Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Two Kens on Computer Chess

In 1980, at the Westfield YMHA, I played in a quad with two other humans and one computer. It was Belle, winner of the 1980 world computer chess championship. Going into the final round of the quad, Belle and I had two points each. I lost the coin toss and played Black. The game ended in a hard-fought draw, with me being down two pawns but I had doubled rooks on the seventh rank. The computer's programmer Ken Thompson offered the draw, and I accepted.

Today I have difficulty drawing against the Fritz8 software program, which tells you that computer chess has advanced a long way since 1980. Here is an article Can We Solve Chess One Day? that features Ken Thompson and IM Ken Regan.