Challenging the World Champion

In 1989, IBM hired Deep Thought team members Feng-Hsiung Hsu, Murray Campbell and Thomas Anantharaman to develop a computer that would beat reigning World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov. Although Deep Thought lost to Kasparov in 1989, the match led the team to refine its software and add more custom processors. By 1996, it could examine 100 million chess positions per second, or about nine to eleven moves ahead.

That same year, Deep Thought was renamed Deep Blue and met Kasparov for a best-of-six games match. In the first game, Deep Blue made history by defeating Kasparov–marking the first time a current World Chess Champion had ever lost a game to a computer in a tournament setting–but Kasparov bounced back to win the match with a score of 4-2.