In Pictures: Ultimate Man vs. Computer - Garry Kasparov, Deep Blue and the Internet

Garry Kasparov battled IBM's Deep Blue 16 years ago in February, but that was just the beginning

  • According to IBM, the Deep Blue project began when former Carnegie Mellon doctoral student Feng-hsiung Hsu, developer of a chess-playing computer called Chiptest, and Murray Campbell joined IBM Research in 1989. It started as an effort to explore how to use parallel processing to solve complex computing problems. The Deep Blue team at IBM saw this complex problem as a classical research dilemma of how to develop a chess-playing computer to test the best chess players in the world. Here Kasparov, right, studies the chess board with IBM's Hsu. Credit: Reuters

  • It has been 16 years this month since the first traditional chess match between world champion Garry Kasparov and IBM's Deep Blue supercomputer. In the first challenge, Deep Blue won one game, tied two and lost three. In the rematch the next year, Deep Blue defeated Kasparov in a six-game match -- the first time a reigning world champion lost a match to a computer opponent in tournament play. Kasparov hasn't just battled IBM, he challenged other supercomputers and in a highly successful, hotly contested Internet-based contest. Here we look back at the ultimate in Kasparov vs. machine battles.

  • Elliott Klein, CEO of X3D Technologies, left, shows Kasparov and Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, president of the International Chess Federation, X3D's 3D technology prior to a news conference in New York in January 2003.

  • Kasparov, left, watches as Joseph Hoane moves a piece on behalf of IBM supercomputer Deep Blue early in the third game of their six-game rematch. Credit: Reuters

  • After winning the final match against Deep Blue, Kasparov, left, shakes hands with Chung-Jen Tan from IBM's Deep Blue Team before a press conference. Credit: Reuters

  • According to IBM, Deep Blue was a combination of special-purpose hardware and software with an IBM RS/6000 SP2 (seen here) -- a system capable of examining 200 million moves per second, or 50 billion positions in the three minutes allocated for a single move in a chess game. Credit: IBM

  • Kasparov ponders a move early in Game 6 of his $1.1 million chess series against Deep Blue in New York. The supercomputer made chess history when it defeated Kasparov for an overall victory in their six-game rematch, the first time a computer has triumphed over a reigning world champion in a classical match. The victory by the supercomputer in Game 6, which gave Deep Blue the overall win, came after Kasparov resigned after just 19 moves. Credit: Peter Morgan/Reuters

  • Real-world research: Under the guidance of Paul Horn, IBM Research produced chess champ Deep Blue, the world's first copper computer chip and the first provably unbreakable cryptosystem..

  • And then there was … Sting? Kasparov moves a chess piece while his opponent, musician Sting, right, watches during the opening moments of their match in New York on June 29, 2000. Kasparov played Sting and Sting's band simultaneously, as part of the awards ceremony for the first World School Chess Championship. Credit: Reuters

  • An audience watches a chess game between world champion Kasparov, on screen, and IBM super computer Deep Blue in the third game of their six-game rematch. Kasparov, the Russian grandmaster, won the first game and lost the second in the $1.1 million match. Credit: Peter Morgan/Reuters

  • In January 2003, World Chess Federation President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov decided to hold a world championship challenge match between the world's No. 1 ranked player and the reigning world computer chess champion, an Israeli program called Deep Junior. The highly publicized and tightly contested event played in New York City saw Kasparov battle the computer to a 3-3 draw. Credit: Jeff Christensen/Reuters

  • IBM said the matches would be remembered as a landmark in the evolution of mankind's powerful new tool. According to IBM, the rematch was one of the most popular live events ever staged on the Internet. The website received more than 74 million hits representing more than 4 million user visits from 106 countries during the nine-day event. Credit: IBM

  • Then there was Fritz. Kasparov, wearing 3D glasses, pauses in his match against the X3D Fritz computer during the first game of X3D Man vs. Machine. With the 3D glasses, the chessboard appears to be floating in the air between Kasparov and the computer. Credit: Henry Ray Abrams/Reuters

  • Kasparov studies the board against Deep Junior, during the third game of the Man vs. Machine chess championship. Credit: Jeff Christensen/Reuters

  • In February 1996 in Philadelphia, Kasparov played IBM's Deep Blue computer. Deep Blue was able to analyze 50 billion moves in three minutes, Kasparov noted. The Deep Blue computer was a 32-node IBM RS/6000 SP, which used IBM POWER2 Super Chip processors, the single-chip implementation of the POWER2 processor. Each node employed a single microchannel card containing eight dedicated VLSI chess processors, for a total of 256 processors working in tandem. The Deep Blue programming code was written in C and ran under the IBM AIX. Credit: IBM

  • The Kasparov vs. the World online chess game began June 21, 1999, and attracted 50,000 individuals submitting move votes. The quality of the chess played throughout the Kasparov vs. the World game has been acknowledged by chess experts and third parties around the world as one of the best public chess games ever documented, according to an MSN release. The online chess tournament attracted more than 3 million unique visitors from 75 countries and garnered 28 million page views. Credit: Jeff Christensen/Reuters

  • Kasparov holds a news conference in Makarska, Croatia, in August 1996. Kasparov complained about the IBM Deep Blue computer, saying that four grandmasters were helping it three months before when he played against the machine. Credit: Matko Biljak/Reuters

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