How to beat a chess champion Essay

A good knowledge of the way computers play chess can help a human player, especially when the opponent is the present World Computer Chess champion, CRAY BLITZ (SN: 10/29/83, p. 276). Computer chess programs don’t yet have the ability to create the type of chess position in which they play best, says David Levy of Intelligent Software Ltd. in London, England. In the current issue of ABACUS (Vol. 2, No. 2), Levy describes the strategy that led to his 4-0 victory over CRAY BLITZ last year. In his four games, conducted by telephone between London and Minneapolis, Levy tried to achieve positions that human analysis may have labeled inferior but that the program found hard to “understand.”

As a result of his victory, Levy’s longstanding bet that no computer can beat him still stands (SN: 11/5/83, p. 303). “The day is not yet here when I must finally admit that the world’s best computer program can beat me,” writes Levy, “and I think that I can probably survive another two or three years before paying out the prize money.”

Meanwhile, CRAY BLITZ, afte being installed on a new, faster Cray X-MP supercomputer, last fall successfully defended its North American computer chess title. Now, CRAY BLITZ’s principal author, Robert Hyatt of the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, is “cleaning up” the program to prepare it for next summer’s U.S. Open chess championship.

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