Wired: What are Deep Blue’s roots, and on what technological principles did its forebears operate?
Campbell: Claude Shannon, the famous computer scientist and mathematician proposed that chess was a grand challenge for these new things called computers -- if you could get a computer to play chess at the world champion level, you had done something really special.
There was a turning point in the '70s when it was realized that, if you let computers do what they do best -- that is, search through as many possibilities as they can as quickly as they can -- and stop the pretense of trying to emulate how humans play, you actually got better performance.
And so, from that day on, computers, including Deep Blue, tended to be focused on searching through as many possible chess moves as they could in the amount of time that was available for a computation.
Read more in A Decade After Kasparov's Defeat, Deep Blue Coder Relives Victory.