Deep Match is based on a chess game played in 1996 between Garry Kasparov and IBM’s supercomputer Deep Blue. It was the first game in which Deep Blue was able to defeat Kasparov, but Kasparov went on to win the series in 1996. Deep Blue, however, defeated Kasparov in the 1997 series, which brought about significant controversy, as Kasparov claimed there were people behind Deep Blue making some of the moves. IBM refused a rematch in 1998 and shut down Deep Blue permanently, creating the biggest conspiracy theory in the chess world.
Composer Kenji Kuriyama has always been intrigued by the way chess games reflect music. In both, there is an introductory phase, where the pieces are moving fast, and each event is not incredibly important. The game then usually shifts to a slower phase, where the players take more time, and the game starts “developing.” The intensity increases as the end comes near, and usually one can predict who is going to win by the way the pieces are positioned, creating expectation and a sense of coda.
Taking advantage of the game’s resemblance to music structure, Deep Match “accompanies” the chess game from 1996 with music. Ernest Levert Jr. will be playing Deep Blue's moves, and DeVaughn Croxton will act as Garry Kasparov. Through electronic sounds and live violin music, this piece replicates the infamous Deep Blue vs. Kasparov match.
Kenji Kuriyama – Composer
Karen Kim – Curator
Ernest Levert Jr. – Performer
DeVaugn Croxton – Performer
Mathew Kinnear – Performer