This Day In Market History: World Chess Champion Defeats IBM Supercomputer

By Benzinga
February 18, 2022 Updated: February 18, 2022

Each day, Benzinga takes a look back at a notable market-related moment that occurred on this date.

What Happened

On this day in 1996, world chess champion Garry Kasparov defeated IBM chess-playing supercomputer Deep Blue.

Where The Market Was

The S&P 500 was at 647.98 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 5,503.32.

What Else Was Going On In The World

In 1996, DVDs were launched in Japan and the total number of global internet users surpassed 10 million. A loaf of bread cost $1.15.

AI Computer Defeated

In a highly publicized event demonstrating the cutting-edge in artificial intelligence at the time, Deep Blue won just two out of a series of six chess games against Kasparov. The final game on Feb. 17 was a victory for Kasparov.

In 1985, Kasparov had become the youngest world chess champion in history at age 22. Deep Blue developer Feng Hsiung Hsu began working on a chess-playing computer as a doctoral student the same year Kasparov won his first world championship.

Kasparov crushed the computer, then known as Deep Thought, in a two-game match in 1989.

After Deep Blue fell short in 1996, IBM spent the next year ramping up the computer’s capabilities even further. When Deep Blue and Kasparov met for a rematch in 1997, the computer was capable of examining 200 million chess positions per second. This time, the AI finally surpassed the limits of the human brain. In a series of six games, there were three draws. Kasparov won only one game, while Deep Blue secured two victories to win the match.

By Wayne Duggan