Deep Blue wasn't the first chess program that beat world champion Garry Kasparov in a serious game, that honor goes to a PC program with the name Chess Genius. During the Intel Grand Prix in London 1994 Kasparov was eliminated in the 1st round by Chess Genius, a computer program from the UK written by Richard Lang running on just a Pentium 166 Mhz.

Although the game was about speed chess (25m) a shock went through the chess world and it was news in all the mainstream media.

Richard Lang about the victory: I was absolutely overjoyed that the program managed to beat a human world champion and eliminate him from the competition. No computer has done that before -- it was quite historic. He also added: it was the victory I have been working towards all my life.

Kasparov playing with the advantage of the white pieces in the first game against the Chess Genius 2.0 program -- run on a recently developed Pentium computer -- appeared at first to underestimate his opponents's skills, scowling condescendingly at its early anti-positional moves and rejecting the chance of a draw before being driven to defeat. In game 2 he outplayed the computer initially but ran out of time as he looked for the win, and was forced to offer a draw. The final 1.5 - 0.5 result saw him knocked out of the London tournament.

Richard Lang: Kasparov was too ambitious and should have accepted the draw in the first game.

The success of Chess Genius did not stop after the first round, Genius was able to reach the semi-finals by also beating GM Nicolic with 2-0. It was a dream come true, Richard Lang said.

However the next year Garry Kasparov had his sweet revanche, during the same Intel Grand Prix cycle, this time in Cologne Kasparov beat Chess Genius 3 with 1.5 - 0.5

Historic Genius 2.0 can be downloaded here.

Replay Games.
Copyright © 1984-2007 Ed Schröder Mail Me