A Game to Remember: Bobby Fischer Vs. Mac Hack

Among the many Chess games in between professional chess players and early computer, one game that always intrigues me is the game in between Bobby Fischer and the early chess computer called Mac Hack. Mac Hack was a very good chess player and Richard D. Greenblatt developed it. However, in all of the games Mac Black has played, it has always been pretty defensive rather than focusing on the offence. In the game versus Bobby Fisher too, Mac Black could rarely be seen attacking. The game was held on 1977 and it is a fine example of how brilliantly and beautifully Bobby Fischer played Chess.

Bobby Fisher played White and opened with a simple King’s Gambit: first e4, followed by f4. Mac Hack took the bait and captured the f4 pawn. Just after two moves, Bobby Fischer seemed to be in control. Fischer did not take much time to start a full-fledged attack. He took his bishop to c4, which was pretty aggressive to start with. However, in an attempt to force Fischer to retreat his Bishop, Mac Hack moves his pawn to d5. However, this move has little effect on Fischer’s attacking strategy. With little hesitation, Fischer takes the d5 pawn with his Bishop.

Here onwards, Mac Hack starts losing control over the game as Fischer plays very aggressively. Without wasting much time, Fischer brings in his Knights to play, castles and develops a strong dominance on the center of the board. In amidst of this, Mac Hack has developed his Bishop to b4 which is very common and not at all thoughtful. Knowing Fischer, he probably ad already anticipated the move.

The way the game was developing, it was pretty clear that Mac Hack had little chance of winning. In all fairness, the most exiting point for Mac Hack during the game should have been when it fell for the King’s Gambit at the beginning of the game. However, that does not mean that Mac Hack played a very rubbish game overall. Mac Hack did have an opportunity for mate in one. During the mid-game, Fisher’s Knight took on the pawn that was moved to g5. Mac’s queen took the knight and a move later; Mac Hack had a Bishop in h3. This triggered a mate in one as Fischer had earlier castled in the king’s side. However, Mac’s enthusiasm did not last for long, as Fischer was quick to notice and defend against Mac Hack’s attack.

Checkmate was not far as after the mate in one attempt, Fischer was quick to take back his offensive form. Mac Hack’s Bishop took on Fischer’s e5 pawn and in retaliation; the d4 pawn took the Bishop. When Mac Hack moved its pawn to c6, the end game had begun.

The end game was pretty easy for Fischer. Fischer’s Bishop took Mac Hack’s f4 pawn. This forced the Black’s queen to retaliate to g7 and with a simple Kf6+; black’s King had nowhere to go but h8. Fisher then proceeded to move his queen to h5. In a desperate attempt, Mac Hack moves Rgd8 and Fischer’s queen capture the black bishop on h3. The game did not go very far from there and after a couple of moves; Fischer got his checkmate and eventually won the game.

Even though Mac Hack did not play a very brilliant game, it was very important machinery in that time. The creator of Mac Hack would eventually go on to build the LISP machine, which would be a great advancement in the field of Artificial Intelligence. So, for everybody interested in Chess and computer programming, this game had a lot of importance.