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Deep Blue game 6: May 11 @ 3:00PM EDT | 19:00PM GMT        kasparov 2.5 deep blue 3.5


Deep Blue was born in the labs of Carnegie Mellon University in 1985 as "Chiptest," the creation of doctoral students Feng-hsiung Hsu, Murray Campbell and Thomas Anantharaman. Over the years, Chiptest evolved first into Deep Thought, then into Deep Blue, the most powerful chess-playing computer ever constructed.

To the left is a timeline that illustrates the making of Deep Blue. To navigate through the timeline, simply click on the desired date of Deep Blue's development.

An early version of Deep Blue, Chiptest, is born at Carnegie Mellon University. Computer science doctoral students Feng-hsiung Hsu and Thomas Anantharaman are the proud parents.

Feng initiated the project by designing and implementing a single-chip chess move generator using 3-micron VLSI technology. He then hooked up the circuit to a circuit to a toy chess program developed by Anantharaman. Search capabilities were added later. Murray Campbell joined the team a few months later, lending his considerable chess expertise to the effort.

This early incarnation of Deep Blue could search approximately 50,000 moves per second and was controlled by a SUN 3/160 workstation.

Seven weeks after playing its first game at Carnegie Mellon, Chiptest enters its first computer chess competition, the 1986 ACM North American Computer Chess Championship in Dallas. It was a lackluster beginning for the future world computer champion: Chiptest won two games, drew one, and lost two.

Chiptest receives an overhaul and is renamed Chiptest-M (the "M" stood for "microcode"). It could now examine and evaluate about 500,000 chess positions per second, a factor of 10 above the previous version. More importantly, the bugs that had impeded Chiptest's performance the previous year were eliminated in the development of Chiptest-M.

Hsu, Campbell and fellow CMU grad student Andreas Nowatzyk complete the development of Chiptest-M's first offspring, Deep Thought 0.01. Deep Thought contained innovative new software that optimized the coefficients of the scoring function. Both systems ran on a SUN 4 workstation.

Deep Thought 0.01 becomes Deep Thought 0.02 and improves to 720,000 chess positions per second. The new program includes two customized VLSI chess processors.

Deep Thought's opening book contained approximately 5,000 different positions. Its USCF rating was 2551.

After undergoing major modifications during the previous six months, Deep Thought (Hsu, Anantharaman and Campbell dropped the "0.02") wins its first World Computer Chess Championship with a perfect 5-0 score.

Hsu and Campbell join IBM. Anantharaman is hired in February of 1990. The Deep Thought project moves to the Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York.

IBM's Deep Thought, running on a six-processor system, plays Garry Kasparov in a two-game match in New York. Kasparov easily defeats the computer.

Deep Thought was now using three customized dual-processor VLSI chess circuits, and again running on a SUN workstation. It could examine and evaluate two million chess positions per second. Kasparov estimated the computer's FIDE rating at 2480-2500.

Joe Hoane and Jerry Brody join the Deep Thought team before the ACM North American Computer Chess Championship. Hoane is mainly interested in the parallel search algorithm, while Brody, an engineer by trade, offers technical support. The development team decides to enter Deep Thought/88, the 1988 version of Deep Thought, in ACM championship. It finishes the match in a tie for first place with Mephisto.

Deep Thought acquires 18 additional customized chess processors and emerges as Deep Thought II. It now is running on an IBM/6000 and can search six to seven million chess positions per second.

Deep Thought II sweeps all five games of the ACM International Chess Championship to retain its title.

C.J. Tan inherits the role of Deep Thought project supervisor from Randy Moulic. The team of Tan, Hsu, Campbell, Hoane and Brody remains intact today.

For a match against the Danish national team, IBM conducts an in-house naming contest for its chess-playing supercomputer. For the first time, Hsu and Campbell's creation competes in a match as "Deep Blue Prototype." The development team later dropped the prototype moniker, and the computer was christened "Deep Blue" for good.

Two months before the Kasparov match in Philadelphia, international grandmaster Joel Benjamin joins the Deep Blue team as chess consultant.

The historic Kasparov/Deep Blue showdown. Deep Blue was now running on a thirty-two-node IBM RS/6000 high-performance computer. Each node used a single multichannel card maintaining six dedicated VLSI chess processors. Deep Blue was now capable of examining and evaluating an average of 100 million chess positions per second.

Related Information

      Deep Blue FAQ:The answers to the questions about this powerful chess-playing computer

      The making of Deep Blue:A timeline of Deep Blue's development

      How Deep Blue works:Under the hood of this powerful parallel processor

      All this power just for chess?:How Deep Blue technology is affecting the way we live

      meet the players:"In many ways, it is more difficult to play against (Deep Blue). It never tires, never makes tactical mistakes from which you can profit." - Garry Kasparov

      Chess Pieces
no. 46

Nona Gaprindashvili of the former USSR was the first woman to achieve men's international grandmaster status in 1978. She also became the first woman to win a "men's" chess tournament when she tied for first place at Lone Pine in 1977, and has since had a perfume named after her in Russia.
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