Like a champion race horse that has won its last race, IBM's Deep Blue -- the chess computer that beat the world's best human player -- will be put out to stud. Well, out to calculating pasture, anyway.
IBM announced Tuesday that the machine that drove Garry Kasparov to distraction, will castle no more. The company recently turned down Kasparov's request for a rematch. Seattle Slew could only run so much.
Instead, Deep Blue leaves the bright glare of the world stage to take on a less glamorous life analyzing financial data, according to IBM.
Programmed with the ability to evaluate some 200 million chess moves per second, Deep Blue whipped (That's a chess term. You can look it up) Kasparov in six games in May.
Taking its victory with the quiet dignity of a true champion, Deep Blue never gloated. There were no victory dances. There was no tell-all book.
Melinda McMullen, spokeswoman for IBM Research, said a less powerful version of the massive calculating machine called Deep Blue Junior would continue to play demonstration games.
"What we told Garry Kasparov is that we do not anticipate a rematch in the foreseeable future," McMullen said. "Our scientists said they really did want to move on to other grand challenges and the company wants to."
"As long as the public is interested in the story of Deep Blue, we will go out and tell it," McMullen said.
Russian grandmaster Kasparov, world champion since 1985 and considered the strongest player in the history of the ancient game, could not immediately be reached for comment.
Deep Blue is an RS/000 SP parallel processor with chips specialized for chess.