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Scientific Psychic
2007-07-21
 

Checker-playing computer is unbeatable

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Professor Jonathan Schaeffer and his team at the University of Alberta have announced that the game of checkers is solved.[1] Dr Schaeffer is a world authority in artificial intelligence applied to computer games. He developed Chinook, the first program to win a human world championship in any game, and this accomplishment is noted in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Checkers became popular in Spain in the mid-16th century. It is a game played between two players by moving 12 red and 12 black pieces on an 8-by-8 square board. The opponent's pieces are eliminated by jumping over them. The player who first runs out of pieces or moves is the loser.

Schaeffer and his team proved that checkers, when played perfectly by both opponents, ends in a draw. The scientists worked for 18 years analyzing 500 billion-billion (5 × 1020) possible combinations of moves to find the perfect strategy in any situation.
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[1] Checkers Is Solved, Jonathan Schaeffer, et al, Science, (19 July 2007),[DOI: 10.1126/science.1144079]


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