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Deep Blue's Hardware-Software Synergy
October 1997 (vol. 30 no. 10)
pp. 29-35

When IBM's Deep Blue rocked the chess world by defeating World Champion Garry Kasparov in a regulation match, many attributed the win to sheer hardware power. Because Deep Blue can evaluate 200 million moves per second, one observer said it had won by packing 380 years of human thought into three minutes.

Improved hardware certainly did play a role in the victory, but brute-force calculations alone are not the whole story. To win, Deep Blue combined sheer speed and the ability to manage the complexity of searching these combinations. Its optimized game tree search employed evaluation functions tuned with expert knowledge from human grand masters.

This article details the synergism of software algorithms and hardware strategies that the Deep Blue team used to beat Kasparov. Kasparov himself hinted at the rest of the story when he said Deep Blue was making human moves. This observation underscores the role software played in capturing the human expertise.

Citation:
Scott Hamilton, Lee Garber, "Deep Blue's Hardware-Software Synergy," Computer, vol. 30, no. 10, pp. 29-35, Oct. 1997, doi:10.1109/2.625299
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