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Icons of Progress

Deep Blue

The success of Deep Blue within the game of chess had a significant impact on games in our culture. From today’s more efficient chess software, to a new board game, to a computer that can play Jeopardy!, Deep Blue has influenced the way we play.


The Deep Blue chess match of 1997 inspired the creation of a new board game called Arimaa. As the game’s creator, Omar Sayed, explains on the official Arimaa website, “I had this feeling that using just the board and pieces of a standard Chess set, it should be possible to make a game which would require the kind of real intelligence that humans possess and computers have not even begun to acquire. This game could become the new challenge since Chess had now been dominated by computers.”


As a follow up to the chess-playing Deep Blue, IBM developed the Watson supercomputer in an effort to compete against humans in another game: Jeopardy! In February 2011, Watson appeared on the popular TV quiz show, and won the competition against two former Jeopardy! champions. [Read more about this Icon of Progress.]