How About A Game of Computer Chess?

The idea of conceiving a machine that can play chess traces its roots in the eighteenth century. By 1769, a chess playing automaton known as The Turk became popular before being declared as a hoax.

Prior to the introduction of digital computing, serious trails using automatons like the El Ajedrecista of 1912 was too complicated and restricted to be utilized for a complete game of chess. Research in the field of mechanical chess lagged in the background until the arrival of digital computers during the 1950s. This paved the way for the increase in intensity, seriousness, and success of chess playing machines and computer software created by computer engineers as well as enthusiasts.

Nowadays, there is a proliferation of computer chess programs which can be purchased at an affordable cost. Programs like Crafty, GNU Chess, and Fruit were even available for download without any cost. These virtual computers have the capacity to beat most expert players under tournament atmosphere. It is surprising that leading commercial software have beaten top caliber players in a blitz game and short time control formats.

As of February 2007, the leading computer chess software is Rybka, which tops in many ratings such as CEGT, SCCT, CCRL, to name a few. In fact, it has won many tournaments that featured computer programs.

The main purpose of computerized chess programs is for solo amusement. It allows players to hone their skills or even entertain themselves when there is no human opponent accessible. Likewise, they have been used in analyzing the game, for online chess tournaments, and for research. For the first pair of purposes, chess programs have become successful which have made great strides. In fact, these programs needed no more than fifty years to pose a serious challenge to the top chess players.

But to the surprise and frustration of many, the game has achieved minimal success in teaching man about creating machines with human-like intelligence or do anything than play exceptional chess.

This is the reason why, compared to games such as Scrabble, researchers in the field of artificial intelligence have begun losing academic interest in computer chess. They have now switched their attention to other games of intuition such as Go as a testing prototype. Chess playing machines utilize a large number of possible future moves by both players and then adopt a relatively basic evaluation function to the resulting position.

Until now, man is still in search for the program that would beat chess.