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Deep Blue

Deep Blue
Deep Blue was the first computer system to win a chess match against the reigning world chess champion Garry Kasparov under standard match conditions. Deep Blue ran on a massively parallel, RS/6000 SP-based computer system and could search between 100 million and 200 million chess positions per second.

Deep Blue began as a PhD project of PhD students Feng hsiung Hsu and Murray Campbell at Carnegie Mellon University. It was known as ‘Chiptest’, and consisted of a custom designed chip hosted in a Sun 3/160 computer.

Hsu and Campbell joined IBM in 1989 and the project continued there. The project was called ‘Deep Thought’ and it played for the first time against world champion Garry Kasparov in the same year. Kasparov easily won the game of two matches.

The next match against Kasparov took place in February 1996. The system was renamed as ‘Deep Blue’, and was running on a 32-node RS/6000 cluster, each containing 8 custom designed chips. Kasparov won again.

The researchers worked on improving the algorithm and the speed of Deep Blue. Grandmaster Joel Benjamin was hired to work full-time since August 1996 on testing and developing the chess knowledge. The new hardware consisted of a 32-node SP-2 computer with 512 chess chips. A rematch was announced and was held from May 3-11, 1997 at the Equitable Center in downtown Manhattan. In this chess match, Deep Blue beat Kasparov 3.5:2.5. After he lost the match, Kasparov suggested that humans might have helped the machine during the match. The allegations were partly true because the rules provided for the engineers to modify the program between games. The code was modified between games to understand Kasparov’s playing style better.

Kasparov’s demand for a rematch was denied and IBM retired Deep Blue. Though Deep Blue was a computer designed to play chess at the grandmaster level, the ensuing technology of Deep Blue currently solves many real world challenges, including weather forecasting, financial market modeling, automotive design and medical research and development.

Garry Kasparov / Gary Kasparov
Garry Kasparov is the reigning world chess champion with an ELO rating of 2830 (as of October 2003). Garry Kimovich Kasparov was born on April 13, 1963 in Baku, Azerbaijan, in what was then the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. He was born as Garri Weinstein, but adopted his mother’s maternal surname of Kasparov when he was 12.

Kasparov’s rise in the FIDE ranking order was phenomenal. Kasparov played in a Grandmaster’s tournament in Banja Luka, and emerged with a provisional rating of 2595. This was in 1979, and he was just 16 years old! He earned the title of International Grandmaster in 1980, at the age of 17. Garry had to clear the Candidates Tournament to qualify to play against world champion Anatoly Karpov, though he had the playing strength to match Karpov.

The World Championship match between Karpov and Kasparov was held in 1984. Florencio Campomanes of the Philippines, president of the Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE), stopped their first match after it had lasted six months without a deciding result. This was the only world championship match to be abandoned without result. In 1985 Kasparov won a match against Karpov and became the world champion. This match was organized as the best of 24 games, the first player to reach 12.5 points would claim the title.

Kasparov created an organization to represent professional chess players called the Grandmaster’s Association (GMA). He also created the Professional Chess Association (PCA). Garry Kasparov played against challenger Nigel Short under the PCA as both players were ejected from FIDE. That year, Kasparov held the PCA World Chess Championship, and Karpov held the FIDE World Chess Championship. In November 2000, Kasparov lost his world title in a match against his former pupil, Vladimir Kramnik of Russia. The match was not recognized by FIDE.

In November 2003, Kasparov played a four game match against chess playing computer program X3D Fritz. X3D Fritz’s estimated rating is 2807. The game was played using a virtual board, 3D glasses and a speech recognition system. The first was a draw, X3D won the second, Kasparov won the third, and the last game was a draw. Thus the X3D Man-Machine World Chess Championship match ended in draw.

Chess Notation
Chess notation is used to record and describe the play of a chess game. Descriptive chess notation (also called descriptive notation, English notation, and English descriptive notation) is a notation for recording a chess game and was very popular in the past. The squares are identified by what piece originally starts there, followed by how many squares from that player’s perspective.

Algebraic chess notation is the notation used today by all competition chess organizations and in most books, magazines, and newspapers.Each square of the chessboard is identified by a unique coordinate.The file letter and rank number uniquely identifies each square of the board.

An uppercase letter identifies each type of piece, except the pawn. English-speaking players use K for king, Q for queen, R for rook, B for bishop, and N for knight. Pawns are indicated by the absence of such a letter.

Every move of a piece is indicated by the piece’s initial, plus the coordinate of the destination square. For example Be5 means move a bishop to e5, Nf3 means move a knight to f3, c5 means move a pawn to c5.

When a piece makes a capture, an x is inserted between the initial and the destination square. For example, Bxe5 means bishop captures the piece on e5.

Portable Game Notation (.PGN) is a computer-processable format for recording chess games, both the moves and related data. The chess moves themselves are given in Algebraic chess notation. The usual filename extension is “.pgn”. Most chess programs recognize this format.