In May 1997, Garry Kasparov, the chess world champion arrived at the venue for his unconventional match against a chess playing machine. The board was all set & the chess whiz created by IBM was all set for the mat as Kasparov moved his knight to f3. After this, the game went on for some time with the human winning against the computer like a breeze. The five games that followed were not so inclined as Deep Blue emerged the clear winner at the end.
And this was how Deep Blue, the chess machine that defeated the world champion in chess got known in the history books. Thanks to Garry, we now know that computers can pack in far better brainpower than us humans. But as Charles Darwin theorized, everything is flawed in the beginning. This is how the Man vs Machine competition started –
The project started at Carnegie Mellon University and came to be known as Deep Thought. The team was hired by IBM research team with the primary motive to defeat the world champion. The team became dynamic, and many old members left, and new faces joined.
First try against Grandmaster
Garry Kasparov was very vocal as to how no computer could ever defeat him. He bragged and even refused a 60-40 split of winning money and insisted on a winner takes all.
In the 2nd week of February 1996, IBM organized a 6-game match. The very first game was won by Deep Blue and Kasparov and the world was flabbergasted. In the coming games, however, Kasparov defeated the IBM prodigy three times and proved that computers can’t yet get the better of him.
The team got together and changed the algorithm. Several matches were held against many grandmasters and just two months before the final showdown, Joel Benjamin joined the team as a chess analyst.
Kasparov was ready, and everybody anticipated the same results. After all, it had only been a year. Kasparov won the first game, the second by Deep Blue and this continued till the sixth game, before which Kasparov was leading by 2 – 1.
The IBM team kept making changes between games and found out a bug. This bug could potentially lead to a blunder. Before the final play, the bug was thought to be resolved.
Kasparov attacked in the final game and trapped Deep Blue and was about to defeat the supercomputer when the bug reappeared. The final move stunned Garry, made him nervous and forced him to surrender. This was arguably the most phenomenal moment in chess; the ‘Machine’ had proven its worth.
• Kasparov claimed cheating. He said that the last move (the bugged move) was of “superior intelligence.”
• IBM denied rematch and retired Deep Blue project
• Several criticisms emerged, including the fact that Deep Blue had the advantage of being tweaked during the matches and that IBM pulled to move to increase their stock value.
• IBM stated that the bug made the machine choose a random move from its previous games.
• It was theorized that after that match Garry Kasparov lost his mojo and lost many games, including the famous Vishwanathan Anand vs. Garry Kasparov – 1996 Blitz Chess Final.
What do you think about chess computers and how they affect the game of chess? Do let us know in the comments.