10 February 1996

IBM supercomputer Deep Blue defeats Garry Kasparov in chess for the first time.

Deep Blue was a supercomputer developed by IBM that made history by defeating Garry Kasparov, the reigning world chess champion at the time, in a highly publicized chess match. The series of matches between Deep Blue and Kasparov took place in 1996 and 1997, marking significant milestones in the development of artificial intelligence (AI) and its application in strategic decision-making tasks.

Development of Deep Blue: IBM began developing Deep Blue in the late 1980s as part of their efforts to explore the capabilities of AI in complex problem-solving domains. Deep Blue was specifically designed for playing chess and was a highly sophisticated computer system, capable of evaluating millions of positions per second and employing advanced algorithms for decision-making.

First Match (1996): The first official match between Deep Blue and Kasparov took place in Philadelphia in 1996. Deep Blue lost the match with Kasparov winning three games, drawing two, and losing one. However, this match marked the first time a reigning world chess champion competed against a computer under standard tournament conditions.

Rematch (1997): Following the defeat in 1996, IBM upgraded Deep Blue, enhancing its capabilities and refining its algorithms. In May 1997, Deep Blue and Kasparov faced off again in a highly anticipated rematch in New York City. This time, Deep Blue emerged victorious, winning the match with two wins, one loss, and three draws. This victory by a computer over the world chess champion was a groundbreaking moment in the history of AI and computer science.

Significance: Deep Blue’s victory over Kasparov had profound implications for both AI research and public perception. It demonstrated the potential of AI systems to excel in complex tasks previously thought to be exclusive to human intelligence. The match captured worldwide attention and sparked debates about the future role of AI in society, including its potential impact on industries, employment, and human creativity.

Legacy: The Deep Blue matches paved the way for further advancements in AI, inspiring researchers to explore new frontiers in machine learning, decision-making, and game theory. The techniques and algorithms developed for Deep Blue have since been applied to various fields beyond chess, including finance, healthcare, and cybersecurity.