The Real Kings of Chess Are Computers
Computer chess programs can handily beat the best human players in the world—and their games are no less fascinating
By CHRISTOPHER CHABRISJan. 9, 2015 1:11 p.m. ET
In late November, the latest official world chess championship match was staged in a large hall in the Olympic city of Sochi, Russia. The games were broadcast on the Internet with live commentary and followed by millions around the world. Vladimir Putin even spoke at the closing ceremony. The winner, Magnus Carlsen, has the highest chess rating ever and has been acclaimed by other grandmasters as the greatest player of all time. But perhaps a small asterisk should be attached to his records.
That’s because the two best chess players in the world weren’t playing in Sochi. Instead, they were 1,400 miles away, facing off in a tournament run entirely in a small apartment in the Stockholm suburb of Huddinge. Their names are Komodo and Stockfish. They are computer programs, and last month, they concluded an epic 64-game match in the Superfinal stage of the seventh Thoresen Chess Engines Competition, or TCEC.
Stockfish is an open-source collaborative project by chess-loving programmers around the world; Komodo is a commercial product developed by chess grandmaster Larry Kaufman and game programmer Mark Lefler. Komodo won by a score of 7-4 with 53 draws.
Full article here.