Install

Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kasparov Draws First Blood Over Junior

NEW YORK -- World No. 1 Garry Kasparov crushed the champion computer program Deep Junior in his trademark aggressive style Sunday in the first game of their six-game "Man vs. Machine" match in New York.

The Azerbaijan-born grandmaster took his first step toward burying the ghost of 1997, when he lost a match to the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue, with a convincing win in just 27 moves and three hours, 40 minutes play. Kasparov won a point for the win over the Israeli-built Deep Junior and the second game is scheduled for Tuesday.

"Garry played dominating chess, great open play, aggressive, just like the Kasparov we know well," said U.S. grandmaster Maurice Ashley, one of the experts providing commentary for spectators at the New York Athletic Club.

Kasparov, 39, playing with the white pieces and the slight advantage of the first move, eschewed the cautious "anti-computer" strategy he used six years ago against Deep Blue for more adventurous moves.

Deep Junior, which calculates 3 million moves per second and won the computer version of the world championship last year, selected the Slav Defense in reply to Kasparov's first move, his queen's pawn advancing two squares.

The Slav Defense can produce exciting tactical skirmishes in the middle game, where action can break out in the center or the flanks, but Kasparov controlled the game.

On the 17th move, Deep Junior gave up a more valuable rook in exchange for a knight and the Russian grandmaster seized the advantage, mobilizing his pieces to control the crucial central files of the board and bringing his king to safety in a corner. When Kasparov forced a trade of queens on the 26th move, Deep Junior's chances evaporated. Kasparov played one more move and the programmers resigned on the machine's behalf.

But Kasparov said that despite the comfortable victory, the program was "very strong" and he was taking nothing for granted in the $1 million match.

"I don't want this to be a mirror image of the last match, when I won the first game and lost the second game," Kasparov said, referring to his original encounter with the IBM machine.

Kasparov sat at a conventional chess board with wooden pieces in an isolated room. One of Deep Junior's programmers physically made its moves on the board as they were transmitted onto a black laptop computer screen at his side.

The contest between Kasparov and Deep Junior, with the games spread over 13 days ending Feb. 7, is the first "Man vs. Machine" match sanctioned by the International Chess Federation, known by its acronym FIDE.

It is being played under classical rules in which games can last as long as seven hours.

Deep Blue, custom built by IBM to play chess, made history in 1997 by becoming the first computer to defeat a reigning world champion, Kasparov, in a match played under classical rules.

IBM retired the machine after the match in New York.

Since then, Kasparov lost his world title in 2000 to fellow Russian grandmaster Vladimir Kramnik, who tied an eight-game match against German-built Deep Fritz three months ago.

Kasparov is still No. 1 ahead of No. 2 Kramnik and other leading grandmasters, according to the FIDE rating system, by which the relative strength of players is measured. Kasparov's current FIDE rating is 2847, and Kramnik's is 2809.