Today in History – May 3, 1997 – Garry Kasparov, reigning World Chess Champion, wins first of six chess games against IBM’s Deep Blue supercomputer. The event was the twentieth century version of John Henry’s “man against machine”. The event was viewed by millions of chess and computing fans who were able witness the competition live on this Web site, which now serves as the official archive.
The triumph of “man against machine” was not to happen, however, as in the shocking finale on May 11th World Champion Garry Kasparov resigned 19 moves into Game 6 and lost in little more than an hour. This was the first time a current world champion had lost a tournament match to a computer. Match commentator Yasser Seirawan was stunned: “What we just witnessed was a landmark achievement in chess . . . I absolutely didn’t expect this to happen.”
Check out the Engineering Pathway’s educational resources on the Kasparov and Deep Blue, artificial intelligence and history of computing. For more educational resources, see our electrical engineering education, computer science education and computer engineering education community pages. The Engineering Pathway also hosts Engineering Education communities in all ABET-accredited disciplines.