IBM's Deep Blue beats Gary Kasparov at chess

11th May 1997
IBM's Deep Blue beats Gary Kasparov at chess

Between the 3rd and 11th of May 1997, Garry Kasparov played a six-game chess match against the IBM computer Deep Blue in New York City. Kasparov lost the match by 3½ games to 2½. This was the first time a computer had defeated a reigning world chess champion in a match held under tournament conditions.

Many considered the match to be a crucial test of artificial intelligence. Kasparov had claimed that the IBM supercomputer could never surpass human chess ability. After losing the sixth and final game of the match, Kasparov accused IBM of building a machine specifically to beat him. Observers said he was frustrated by Deep Blue's quickness although they expected him to win with unconventional moves.

Deep Blue was a combination of special purpose hardware and software with an IBM RS/6000 SP2. The system was capable of examining 200 million chess moves per second.

In an earlier 1996 match, Kasparoff beat Deep Blue by 4 games to 2. That occasion marked the first time a computer defeated a world champion in a game (rather than a match) under tournament conditions.

Related information:


  • Garry Kasparov vs. Deep Blue
    Credit: © Najlah Feanny/CORBIS SABA, via Computer History Museum. Images remain the copyright of the original copyright holder. Used under fair use policy for educational purposes only.

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