Chess Paradigm shift: Chess Computers

As my Communication Arts and Sciences class begins working on a paradigm shift as a research topic I thought that I should give insight into a major paradigm shift in the chess world that occurred in the last half of the nineteen hundreds. Chess computers have become amazingly advanced and skilled, an app you download on to your smart phone or laptop for free has the ability to beat a chess master. Chess computers are now used as training and studying tools, they have brought a new factor in chess that tournaments and officials now must be cautious that people aren’t cheating with chess computers during matches. This has even made a new discipline of chess where there is a world chess computer championship.

In 1769, Baron Wolfgang von Kempelen built a chess-playing machine for the amusement of the Austrian Queen at the time (picture of the puppet like machine below). Later revealed to be a hoax with someone actually making the moves for the machine this was still the original attempt at making a computer, machine or device that is capable of playing chess. Making a chess computer is very an extremely daunting task. My very very basic knowledge of computers allows me to understand that computers run off of stored data and with a game like chess that has unlimited possibilities of moves and games it amazes me how advanced the computers have become. Many chess enthusiasts believed that computers would never be able to adapt well enough to play the game’s many possible outcomes, and would never be able to beat the world’s best. Until Deep Blue, a chess-playing computer developed by IBM. Deep blue is known for being the first piece of “artificial intelligence” to win both a chess game (game is just one game like in tennis) and a chess match (match is a sum results of many games again like tennis) against a reigning world champion. Deep Blue won its first game against a world champion on February 10, 1996, when it defeated Garry Kasparov in game one of a six-game match. However, Kasparov won a majority of the games defeating program in the overall match. Deep Blue was then heavily upgraded, and played Kasparov again in May 1997 where Deep Blue was able to beat the world chess champion and show the public that computers will take over the world of chess. Garry Kasparov was not happy with this result and requested a rematch but was denied one. After a computer defeated the world champion the impact of these machines began to kick in for the chess world, chess rules stayed the same but man was no longer dominant over machine in this ancient complex game of deep strategy and mental endurance.


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