[extropy-chat] Chess Computers to Overtake Humans in 2004

BillK bill at wkidston.freeserve.co.uk
Thu Feb 26 14:16:14 UTC 2004


Over the last few years the rated strength of chess computers has been
creeping upwards and is at the verge of overtaking Garry Kasparov, the
top-rated human. Jeff Sonas has written an article for ChessBase News
detailing these statistical results from the SSDF. They show computer
program Shredder at 2812, a mere 19 points away from Kasparov's 2831
FIDE rating. By linear extrapolation the programs seem to be getting
stronger at a rate of about 50 points a year so if the trend holds
computers will pass Kasparov sometime this year.

The human-conqueror may already be here in the guise of a new program
called Hydra. Two weeks ago Hydra finished ahead of both Fritz and
top-rated Shredder by a comfortable margin at the 2004 Paderborn
computer chess tournament. Hydra uses parallel processing and a field
programmable gate array (FPGA) daughter board provided by Virtex to
achieve its strength. Traditional programs lose search speed when they
increase the complexities of their evaluation heuristics in contrast to
Hydra's parallel hardware which allows it to use more advanced
heuristics with no loss of search speed.


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