IBM Deep Blue (1985)

Deep Blue was a chess-playing computer developed by IBM. It was the first computer to win both a chess game and a chess match against a reigning world champion under regular time controls.

Development for Deep Blue began in 1985 with the ChipTest project at Carnegie Mellon University; Grandmaster Joel Benjamin was part of the development team. IBM hired the development team when the project was briefly given the name Deep Thought. In 1989 it was renamed Deep Blue.

Deep Blue won its first game against world champion Garry Kasparov in game one of a six-game match on 10 February 1996. However, Kasparov won three and drew two of the following five games, defeating Deep Blue by a score of 4–2. Deep Blue was heavily upgraded before playing against Kasparov again in May 1997. Deep Blue won game six, thereby winning the six-game rematch 3½–2½ and becoming the first computer system to defeat a reigning world champion in a match under standard chess tournament time controls. However, Kasparov accused IBM of cheating.

Computer scientists believed that playing chess was a good measurement for the effectiveness of artificial intelligence, and by beating a world champion chess player, IBM showed that they had made significant progress. Kasparov called Deep Blue an “alien opponent” but later stated that “It was as intelligent as your alarm clock”. According to Martin Amis, two grandmasters who played Deep Blue agreed with each other that “It’s like a wall coming at you”.