Emotional Computers?

Computers are usually thought of being logical, unemotional, not given to either having or displaying emotions. This is the pervading opinion of the general public. That is, unless you’ve watched 2001, A Space Odyssey.

But do computers have emotions? Do they feel joy when they win? Do they fear an opponent? How about a simple move?

Lets’ take a look at the following game:

DEEP FRITZ 8 (2462)-SQUASH 1 v. 1.35 (1962)
Computer game, 2005
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e6 6.Bc4 d5?!

[In this variation of the Scheveningen, Black has a number of responses, some good, and some that should be avoided. The text is considered borderline and is rarely seen. Here is another response, equally borderline.

Oliver (1925)-Rios Cidras
San Sebastian Open, Apr. 3 2007
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 d6 5.Bc4 Nf6 6.Nc3 g6 7.Bg5 Bg7 8. Ndb5 Bf8 9.e5 Be7 (Even worse is 9…dxe5 10.Qxd8+ Kxd8 11.Bxf6+ Kd7 12.O-O-O+) 10.exf6 Bxf6 11.Bxf6 Qxf6 12.Nc7+ Ke7 13.Nxa8 Na6 14.O-O b6 15.Nb5 d5 16.Bxd5 Qxb2 17.Bb3 Bd7 18.Qd6+ Kd8 19.Nac7 Nc5 20.Rad1 f6 21.Nxe6+ Ke8 22.Nxc5 Qe5 23.Nc7+ Kd8 24.Qxd7# 1-0.]

7.exd5 exd5 8.Bb5+! Bd7 9.Qe2+ Be7 10.Nf5 Kf8 11.Bxd7 Qxd7 12.Nxe7 Qxe7 13.Be3 Nc6 14.O-O-O Rd8 15.Rhe1 Kg8 16.Bg5 Qd6 17.Nxd5 Qb8 18.Bf4 Qc8 19.Nxf6+! gxf6 20.Rxd8+ Nxd8 21.Bh6


21…Qxc2+!? (You might reasonably conclude that SQUASH either panicked or made an incredibly insane blunder. But computers, by definition, cannot be insane, nor can they panic. Here is what SQUASH probably saw: 21…Ne6 22.Qg4+ Ng5 23.Qxc8#. And 21…Qe6 loses to 22.Qe6+! Qxe6 23.Re8#. With the queen sacrifice, Black lives a move longer. See, the computer is not so insane after all!) 22.Kxc2 Ne6 23.Qg4+ Ng5 24.Qc8mate 1-0

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