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Deep Blue - Kasparov, 1996, Game 1 (chess)

Deep Blue - Kasparov, 1996, Game 1 is a world-famous chess game. This is the first game won by a chess-playing computer against a reigning world champion under normal chess tournament conditions (in particular, normal time controls).

Deep Blue was a computer developed by IBM to win against Gary Kasparov. Deep Blue won this game, but Kasparov rebounded over the following 5 games to win 3 and draw 2, soundly beating Deep Blue in the 1996 match. In the 1997 rematch, Deep Blue managed to win the entire match.

Gary Kasparov is widely considered to be one of the greatest chess players.

Game Moves

The game is described below using Portable Game Notation.

[Event ""]
[Site "Philadelphia, PA USA"]
[Date "1996.02.10"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Deep Blue"]
[Black "Kasparov, Gary"]
[Result "1-0"]
[Opening "Sicilian Defense 2.c3"]
[Annotator "Wheeler, David A."]

1. e4 c5 2. c3 {It's more common to play 2. Nf3, but Kasparov has deep experience with that line, so white's opening book goes in a different direction.}

2..... d5 3. exd5 Qxd5 4. d4 Nf6 5. Nf3 Bg4 6. Be2 e6 7. h3 Bh5 8. O-O Nc6 9. Be3 cxd4 10. cxd4 Bb4 {A more common move here is Be7. This was a new approach by Kasparov, developing the bishop in an unusual way. Whether or not it's a good approach is debated. After this move, the computer left its opening book and began calculating its next move.}

11. a3 Ba5 12. Nc3 Qd6 13. Nb5 Qe7?! {This allows white to make its pieces more active. Other moves, which would probably be better, include Qb8 and Qd5.}

14. Ne5! Bxe2 15. Qxe2 O-O 16. Rac1 Rac8 17. Bg5 {Black now has a problem, especially with the pinned knight on f6.}

17.... Bb6 18. Bxf6 gxf6 {Kasparov avoids ... Qxf6? because white would gain material with 19. Nd7. Note that Kasparov's king is now far more exposed.}

19. Nc4! Rfd8 20. Nxb6! axb6 21. Rfd1 f5 22. Qe3! {This is an excellent place for the white queen.}

22... Qf6 23. d5! {Kasparov commented that he might have offered this pawn sacrifice himself in this position, since it hurt black's pawn structure, opened up the board, and black's exposed king suggested that there was probably a way to exploit the result. Kasparov has been attacking the d4 pawn, and the computer wisely decided to advance it for an attack instead of trying to defend it.}

23... Rxd5 24. Rxd5 exd5 25. b3! Kh8? {Kasparov attempts to prepare a counter-attack, by preparing to move his rook to file g, but it won't work. Burgess suggests that 25.... Ne7 Rxc8+ would have better, though white would still have some advantage. Indeed, after this point on it's difficult to identify any move that will dramatically help black.}

26. Qxb6 Rg8 27. Qc5 d4 28. Nd6 f4 29. Nxb7 {This is a very "computerish"/materialistic move; white is grabbing an undeveloped pawn for a small gain in material. However, the computer has not identified any threat of checkmate from black, so it simply acquires the material.}

29.... Ne5 30. Qd5 {The move 30. Qxd4?? would be terrible, because Nf3+ would win the white queen.}

30.... f3 31. g3 Nd3 {The move 31... Qf4 won't work, because of 32. Rc8! Qg5 33. Rc5!}

32. Rc7 Re8 {Kasparov is attacking, but the computer has correctly determined that the attack is not a real threat.}

33. Nd6 Re1+ 34. Kh2 Nxf2 35. Nxf7+ Kg7 36. Ng5 Kh6 37. Rxh7+ {expecting .... Kg6 38. Qg8+ Kf5 Nxf3 and white's strength is overwhelming. White will have lots of ways to defeat black, but black has no real way to attack white.} 1-0