Computer Tops Champ In Chess-Series Opener Kasparov’s Aggressive Reputation Fails To Impress Deep Blue

SUNDAY, FEB. 11, 1996

A chess computer turned retreat into a winning attack Saturday to defeat world champion Garry Kasparov in the first of a six-game match.

IBM’s Deep Blue can master a move no human can accomplish: shifting through more than 200 million possible chess maneuvers per second. The duel is the first to pit human against machine for a regulation, six-game chess match.

Kasparov ceded defeat on the 37th move when Deep Blue pinned his king between a knight and a rook.

Playing black, Kasparov was putting heat on Deep Blue’s king in the 28th move when the computer managed to maneuver its way out of a defensive posture by capturing a key Kasparov pawn.

The pawn was in position to move to the computer’s final rank and be exchanged for a queen, which would have dramatically strengthened Kasparov’s hand.

By the 29th move, Grandmasters Yasser Seirawan and Maurice Ashley were saying that Kasparov lost.

Kasparov is an aggressive player who is known for putting human players at a disadvantage with aggressive attacks and rattling, unexpected moves.

That strategy is worthless against the computer.


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