The man who takes on supercomputers faces the Xbox generation


They practised for weeks for the lesson they were about to have with their new master.

For he was a grandmaster, and not just any grandmaster, but former world champion, Garry Kasparov, a man used to challenging supercomputers.

Even so, when 15 of the game's finest from the Akiva School Chess Team faced the Russian legend, they were playing to win.

But he made no allowances when playing the top state school in the National Primary Schools Chess Team Championship.

First to fall was Dylan Stevens, nine. He said: "It was hard and pressurising when he got round to your table. He forced me to get into checkmate. I was scared to be the first one but proud because not many people get to do it."

Brothers Eli, seven, and Natan Boyd, nine, said they had been practising for weeks in the hope they might last the distance.

Eli, the second youngest member of the team, was beaten after a respectable 25 moves. Brother Natan said his tactic was to "steal small, then go big.

"I had my own tricks, but I think he knew all of them. Playing him is the best thing I've ever done."

Their mother, Shoshana said she was proud to see them play against "the David Beckham of the chess world".

She added: "They have been playing each other for weeks saying 'you be Kasparov, now I'll be Kasparov'."

Chess coach John Fleetwood said: "We have the best team we have ever had. I love them to bits and I'm very proud to see them play the greatest ever player the word has ever seen."

The match was organised by JW3 and The Alan Howard Foundation. Kasparov said: "If we find another great player by accident, that's great, but I view chess as a perfect tool."

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive