The year 1996 saw one of the best-publicized machine versus man matchups of all time: IBM's Deep Blue versus chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov. Kasparov was no stranger to playing against computer opponents. In 1985, Kasparov took part in an exhibition that saw him play against 32 computers simultaneously. Kasparov emerged victorious in 1985. He'd do so again in 1996 against Deep Blue.
The match in 1996 consisted of six games. Deep Blue won the first game of the match. Kasparov fired back and won the second game. Games three and four were both draws. Kasparov beat the machine in games five and six.
A year later, Kasparov would meet Deep Blue for a rematch. The new version of Deep Blue was much more powerful. Kasparov won the first game of the match. Deep Blue won the second game. Games three through five were all draws. In the final game of the match, Deep Blue defeated Kasparov and became the first computer to defeat a world champion chess player. Kasparov would request another rematch but IBM retired the Deep Blue project.
Since then, chess-playing computers have become even more proficient. According to the Federation Internationale des Echecs (FIDE) rating system, Garry Kasparov holds the highest rating for human players at 2,851 [source: World Chess Championship]. But now, a chess computer program called Rybka has an estimated rating of more than 3,000 points depending upon the hardware supporting it [source: CHESS].