Deep Blue versus Garry Kasparov was a pair of six-game chess matches between the 13th World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov and an IBM supercomputer called Deep Blue. The first match was played in 1996, from 10-17 February in Philadelphia. Kasparov won the match with score of 4–2. A rematch was played in 1997, from 3-11 May.
25 years ago today was the last game of the second match in New York City. The final, deciding game of the rematch was a miniature, by far the shortest of any played during either match. Before the sixth game, the overall score was even: 2½–2½. Kasparov chose the Caro–Kann Defence which was wrecked by Deep Blue’s knight sacrifice forcing the World Champion to resign after only 19 moves. As Kasparov later recounts, he chose to play a dubious opening in an effort to put Deep Blue out of its comfort zone. Although the knight sacrifice is a well-known refutation, Kasparov reasoned that an engine wouldn’t play the move without a concrete gain. It was later revealed that the Deep Blue team had added the variation into its opening database on the same day of the game.
Read more: Interview with Garry Kasparov: “Chess is back to where it belongs” (VIDEO)
The second Deep Blue – Kasparov match was the first defeat of a reigning world chess champion by a computer under tournament conditions, and was the subject of a documentary film, Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine. The match marked the end of human attempts to meaningfully challenge “the machine”.
In a podcast with a Russian-American computer scientist, artificial intelligence researcher, and philosopher Lex Fridman, Garry Kasparov spoke about the matches with Deep Blue and how it felt losing to an engine in 1997.