An IBM supercomputer called Deep Blue made chess history by beating Garry Kasparov, the world's best chess player, in the first game of an exhibition match Saturday in Philadelphia.
The confusing battle, in which Kasparov appeared to mishandle a promising position, marked the first time a machine has beaten a world champion under classic tournament conditions.
Kasparov and other grandmasters have lost high-speed games to computers, but Saturday's debacle used the standard international time limit of two hours for each player for 40 moves.
Kasparov consumed all but five minutes of his time in the 37-move game, while Deep Blue took only 70 minutes.
Deep Blue, generally regarded as the world's strongest chess program, lost a two-game match to Kasparov in 1989.
The new model links 256 processors to greatly increase its calculating power. Several months ago, IBM programmers predicted that Deep Blue would be able to look at 1 billion chess positions per second.