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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Kasparov Takes on 1950 Alan Turing Paper Machine in Manchester

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

Former world chess champion Garry Kasparov is not going to be counting this victory as one of his best. He took on Alan Turing's 1950 chess program at the Alan Turing Centenary Conference in Manchester on June 25. Garry Kasparov won in 16 moves against the 'Paper Machine' created in 1950. But, the game has lot of historical value. Kasparov was an invited guest speaker at the centenary celebrations of the Father of Computing in Manchester.

The historic chess-playing program played in public for the first time.

Alan Turing wrote the chess program soon after the Second World War even before the machine that would run the program was invented. Turing ran the program in his mind with a pencil and paper!

Kasparov said: "It is an amazing fact that the very first chess program in history was written a few years before computers had been invented. It was designed by a visionary man who knew that programmable computers were coming and that, once they were built, they would be able to play chess. The man, of course, was Alan Turing, one of the greatest mathematicians who ever lived. Soon after the war he wrote the instructions that would enable a machine to play chess. Since there was as yet no machine that could execute the instructions he did so himself, acting as a human CPU and requiring more than half an hour per move. A single game is recorded, one in which Turing's "paper machine" lost to a colleague."

Kasparov also unveiled a blue plaque to Turing at Manchester University, with the words: "In the sweep of history, there are a few individuals about whom we can say the world would be a very different place had they not been born."

Alan Turing was born in London on 23 June 1912. At the turn of the millennium, 45 years after his death, Time Magazine listed him among the twentieth century's 100 greatest minds, alongside the Wright brothers, Albert Einstein, DNA busters Crick and Watson, and the discoverer of penicillin, Alexander Fleming. (Details from official website.)

Here is the full chess game.

Turing Machine - Garry Kasparov

Result: 0-1
Site: Manchester
Date: 2012.06.25
[...] 1.e3 ¤f6 2.¤c3 d5 3.¤h3 e5 4.£f3 ¤c6 5.¥d3 e4 6.¥xe4 dxe4 7.¤xe4 ¥e7 8.¤g3 O-O 9.O-O ¥g4 10.£f4 ¥d6 11.£c4 ¥xh3 12.gxh3 £d7 13.h4 £h3 14.b3 ¤g4 15.¦e1 £xh2+ 16.¢f1 £xf2#

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