Ancient board game Checkers solved by University of Alberta
July 20: Researchers from the University of Alberta, Canada have developed a computer program called ‘Chinook’ that can play a perfect game of checkers and it is impossible to defeat it. Even the best-played game by the two perfect players would end in a draw.
This perfect program has been developed by the head of department of computer science, Dr. Jonathan Schaeffer from the University of Alberta.
Dr. Schaeffer was working on this project since 1989. Around 50 computers worked all 24 hours to find out the game’s 500 billion billion possible moves of the game. Schaeffer devoted almost two decades to find out the solution of the ancient board game also famous as draughts.
Dr. Schaeffer, a competitive chess player, aspired to win the Checkers World Championship against the best human players. In 1992 Chinook was defeated by the best human player ever, world champion Marion Tinsley. “It was made stronger but not perfect in 1994 but now the program is perfect in the sense that can not be defeated” says Dr. Schaeffer.
Dr. Schaeffer along with the teams says that it was the most challenging and huge computational problem to solve till date, more than a million times bigger than anything solved till date.
Professor said that he has broadened the area of artificial intelligence and he created it to make the best use of the superior processing and memory capabilities of the computers.
He claimed that he has given new boundaries to the knowledge used in artificial intelligence by replacing human-understandable heuristics with perfect knowledge.
Leader of the team also told that he took information about the tactics of the game from the champions and programmed rules of the game in to the software program which stored every successful and unsuccessful move. Thus it became data-base of information which knows every possible move.
Telling about the new projects Schaeffer told that Chinook is just beginning. Another project focuses on Poker.
On solution of Chess, Researchers say that it will remain unsolved for sometime because it requires sifting through billion billion billion billion possible positions to solve it and will take billions of years.
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