Kasparov versus Turing (w/ Video)

June 27, 2012, University of Manchester

(Phys.org) -- For the first time in public, Mr. Kasparov played a match against Turing’s chess program live on stage at The University of Manchester’s Alan Turing Centenary Conference.

Although he won in just 16 moves, Mr. Kasparov praised the prototype program called Turochamp, which was created by Turing without using a .

Turing, who would have celebrated his 100th birthday last Saturday, is considered to be the father of the modern computer. The was held as a celebration of his life and to show how his legacy has endured in the fields of computing and computer science.

As part of his lecture at the conference, Mr. Kasparov, playing in black, took on the program that Turing had painstakingly written out by hand more than 60 years ago.

Turing designed his program to play semi-intelligently using rules of thumb to pick smart moves. He tried to implement his program in 1950 as soon as the Manchester Ferranti Mark 1 computer was constructed at the University, but never managed to finish the work.

Turochamp was designed to play two moves ahead, calculating the hundreds of potential moves available, whereas Mr Kasparov is more used to thinking at least ten moves ahead – which explains his simple victory.

Nevertheless, the Russian grandmaster was full of praise for Turing’s research. He said: “I suppose you might call it primitive, but I would compare it to an early car – you might laugh at them but it is still an incredible achievement.

“He wrote algorithms without having a computer – many young scientists would never believe that was possible. It was an outstanding accomplishment.

“Although it’s only thinking two moves ahead, I would have thought it would give the amateur player some serious problems.

“Alan Turing is one of the very few people about who you could say that if he had lived longer the world would be a different place.”

On Saturday, Mr Kasparov unveiled a plaque commemorating Turing on the building at the University where he used to work.

The four-day conference, which finished yesterday, [MON] featured speakers from all over the world, including Vint Cerf, Vice-President of Google, and David Ferrucci of IBM.

In total Nine ACM Turing Award winners and one Templeton Prize winner spoke at the conference. The Turing Award is recognized as the highest distinction in Computer science and the Nobel Prize of computing.

Explore further: Artificial intelligence pioneer wins A.M. Turing Award

More information: Further information about the Alan Turing Centenary Conference can be found at www.turing100.manchester.ac.uk/

Related Stories

'Nobel of computing' goes to early PC designer

March 9, 2010

(AP) -- A Microsoft Corp. researcher won the $250,000 Turing Award, one of technology's most coveted prizes, on Tuesday for his work helping design and build what is widely considered the first modern personal computer.

Turing was right: Two proteins fit decades-old prediction

April 24, 2012

Today, Alan Turing is best known as the father of modern computer science, but in 1952 he sketched out a biological model in which two chemicals — an activator and an inhibitor — could interact to form the basis ...

Archive of WWII codebreaker Alan Turing preserved

February 25, 2011

(AP) -- Papers relating to codebreaker and computer pioneer Alan Turing will go to a British museum after the National Heritage Memorial Fund stepped in to help buy them for the nation.

Mathematician sees artistic side to father of computer

February 23, 2012

This year a series of events around the world will celebrate the work of Alan Turing, the father of the modern computer, as the 100th anniversary of his birthday approaches on June 23. In a book chapter that will be published ...

Recommended for you

Printing microelectrode array sensors on gummi candy

June 22, 2018

Microelectrodes can be used for direct measurement of electrical signals in the brain or heart. These applications require soft materials, however. With existing methods, attaching electrodes to such materials poses significant ...

EU copyright law passes key hurdle

June 20, 2018

A highly disputed European copyright law that could force online platforms such as Google and Facebook to pay for links to news content passed a key hurdle in the European Parliament on Wednesday.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.