Man beats machine
Kasparov defeated uppity computer in first match
(CNN) - On February 10, 1996, world chess champion Garry Kasparov
began a best-of-six-games match against Deep Blue, a
customized RS/6000 supercomputer that could calculate more
than 200 million moves a second.
Two years earlier, Kasparov had little trouble beating Deep
Blue's predecessor, Deep Thought -- but Deep Blue would prove
to be a more capable opponent.
In the first game, machine beat man handily in only 34
moves. Deep Blue's easy victory raised eyebrows: No machine
had ever won a game in tournament conditions against a player
of Kasparov's caliber.
But Kasparov, known for his tenaciousness, bounced back in
Game 2, beating Deep Blue by switching strategies mid-game.
With the score 1-1, Kasparov fought Deep Blue to a draw in
the third and fourth games, then won the fifth by again
changing tactics in the middle of the game.
The stage was set for a dramatic game-six showdown. The
32-year-old Russian had won two games, the computer had won
one; and the two draws, worth half a point each player, left
the score Kasparov 3, Deep Blue 2. All Kasparov needed to
win the match was a draw; a loss would leave the match tied.
From the start, Kasparov mounted an aggressive attack,
quickly taking control of the board with pawns spearheading
an attack by knights and bishops. Deep Blue
counterattacked, but let a knight stray to the edge of the
board, violating an old chess maxim: "Knights on rim, future
Kasparov forced Deep Blue to concede after 43 moves in three
hours, 46 minutes.
"From my standpoint, it is still vulnerable," Kasparov said
afterward. "The machine is not invincible."
But the human admitted he had underestimated the machine.
"I was lucky to lose Game 1," he said. "Otherwise, disaster
could have struck later. I got an early warning. I believe
there are very few chess players in the world that can take
this heat and play this machine."
For winning, Kasparov received $400,000.
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