Needing only a draw to win the match, Kasparov showed his hallmark flair in an extremely impressive victory in the final game of the ACM Chess Challenge. The final score of the match was 4 games to 2, favor of Garry Kasparov.
From beginning to end, this game showed why Kasparov is the absolute best at understanding space on the chessboard. With games like this, he fully deserves comparison to the acknowledged greats of history -- Capablanca, Steinitz, Bobby Fischer. By the end, Garry left Deep Blue in an unbearably cramped position that simply could not be won, or even drawn. After 43. Rb4, Deep Blue's operator had little choice but to resign, since all the Black pieces were tied down on the Queen side, leaving the King virtually defenseless.
Clearly, Garry had learned a great deal about his digital opponent, which he brought to bear in this masterful display. While the pinnacle of human chessplaying ability may still be too high for Deep Blue to climb, most experts were surprised at the really high quality of chess this machine was able to play.
Garry Kasparov won an impressive victory over Deep Blue in a game that showcased the talents befitting a world champion. With his victory, he ensured at least a tie in the match, and demonstrated that, while computers have come a long way, they have not yet surpassed the best chess playing abilities of humans.
It was a bitter defeat for the computer's team, since they chose to refuse Kasparov's offer of a draw after the 23rd move. Kasparov, playing black, tried a new response to Deep Blue's e4 opening. By playing 1. ... e5, 2. ... Nf6, 3. ... Nc6, Garry forced the game into an infrequently played opening known as the Scotch Defense.
After the draw offer was refused, the machine proceeded to perform a questionable sequence of moves -- 24. Qc3 f5 25. Rd1 Be6 26. Qe3 Bf7 27. Qc3 f4 28. Rd2 Qf6. Deep Blue's idea, apparently, was to protect the well-placed knight on d4, but by doing so, allowed Kasparov a powerful Queen pin on the d file. A top human player would have seen that equality was possible, and easy to achieve by backing up the knight and almost certainly forcing the exchange of Queens. Deep Blue effectively put itself in a bind that would prove fatal. This was the first time in the match that Deep Blue exhibited really questionable moves. It resigned after Kasparov's 47th move, h4.
In game 4, Deep Blue proved that it was the real thing by drawing with Black. Like game 1, it was an open game, one in which Mr. Kasparov seemed frustrated by his inability to mount an attack against the unassailable tactics of the machine. Towards the end of the middle game, things started to look a little dicey for the champion. As the 40 move time control approached, the additional pressure of the clock seemed to weigh heavily on Kasparov. However, he reached time control, and formulated a plan which ensured him the draw. Deep Blue's team once refused his draw offer, but finally relinquished hope of a win after Garry initiated a clever rook for knight and pawn sacrifice. The material advantage for Deep Blue could not be exploited because of the threat of a back rank mate of the Black King. The game was drawn by mutual agreement on the 50th move.
After exchanging wins in games 1 and 2, Deep Blue and Garry Kasparov played to a draw to leave the match tied at 1.5-1.5 after 3.5 hours of trench warfare. Deep Blue, playing White, tried to capitalize on a early initiative, but was unable to gain any edge, due to Kasparov's stalwart defense. Playing the Sicilian, Kasparov engaged the computer in a wholesale liquidation, skipping the middlegame, and jumping into a straightforward endgame. Even though Kasparov built an edge in position, the computer played skillfully enough to neutralize any positional manuevering, and force the draw.
In game two, Garry Kasparov was able to find a solution for Deep Blue's ruthless power of calculation. It took all his precision and persistence to win. Kasparov, playing white, played what the commentators called a "Reverse Gruenfeld" opening. His overall strategy could be characterized by the term prophylaxis, or an elimination of any possible initiative by Deep Blue, combined with the fortification of his king in an inviolable position. In the end, after a forced exchange of queens, Kasparav's passed pawn on the h file would inevitably march to promotion, since Deep Blue's only remaining blocker was the lone black bishop. Deep Blue's operator resigned for the computer on the 73rd move.
Deep Blue stunned the chess world with its opening victory. The machine was impervious to what would have been, for a human, enormous pressure. In a wild ending, in which both sides appeared to have serious mating possibilities, Deep Blue coolly pressed its advantage, while the champion's frustration mounted against time pressure. As the game progressed, Kasparov allowed two sets of doubled pawns on the f and b files, an extremely unorthodox position. This was offset by his passed d pawn, which threatened to make the dash for promotion at any time. Deep Blue, however, was up to the task. With 33. Nd6! it regrouped is mating forces, parried Kasparov's final desparate thrust, 33. ... Re1, 34. Kh2 Nf2, 35. Nf7!. At this point, Kasparov was sunk, and the rest was history.
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