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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Computer chess pioneer wins 'Asian Nobel Prize'

Chess blog for latest news and trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hi everyone,

What a fantastic photo this is from!

The Trinity of Brain Power - World class economist and chess grandmaster Ken Rogoff, GM, World Problem Solving Chess Champion and author John Nunn, and computer chess pioneer Ken Thompson, winner of Japan Prize 2011.

The news is that computer chess pioneer Ken Thompson has won the most prestigious award in Japan - Japan Prize - often referred to as the 'Asian Nobel Prize'. It is given for outstanding achievements in science and technology, and is worth $600,000. Ken Thompson has won it along with Dennis Ritchie. The two American scientists had created the Unix operating system and the computer language C 40 years ago!

In 1979 Ken and a colleague at the Bell Laboratories decided to build a special purpose machine to play chess, using many hundreds of chips, worth about 20,000 dollars. Thompson, 67, is a “distinguished engineer” for Google, and Ritchie, 69, retired in 2007 from Lucent Technologies (now Alcatel Lucent), a successor to AT&T Technologies.

Don't forget to read the full report at and at the Gambit Blog.

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