May 11, 1997. IBM’s Deep Blue wins the deciding sixth game of a chess match against Garry Kasparov, the first time a computer had ever beaten a reigning world champion in a multi-game match. A year earlier Kasparov had prevailed against Deep Blue, which was subsequently upgraded. The Russian grandmaster accepted a rematch in New York City. Kasparov made an uncharacteristic error in the opening of the decisive game against a 1.4 tonne computer capable of evaluating 200 million positions per second. Human eventually capitulated to machine after just 19 moves. Immediately after his loss, Kasparov accused IBM of cheating by allowing humans to secretly intervene mid-match. IBM then refused to give Kasparov a rematch and dismantled Deep Blue.
Also on May 11: Luxembourg gains its independence (1867); founding of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (1927); Holocaust organiser Adolf Eichmann is seized by Israeli Mossad agents in Argentina (1960).
Born on May 11: Irving Berlin (1888), Martha Graham (1894); Salvador Dalí (1904); Laetitia Casta (1978).