Checkers is Solved!
July 19, 2007
Game over. Computer scientists at the University of Alberta have solved checkers, the popular board game with a history that dates back to 3,000 B.C.
After 18-and-a-half years and sifting through 500 billion billion (a five followed by 20 zeroes) checkers positions, Dr. Jonathan Schaeffer and colleagues have built a checkers-playing computer program that cannot be beaten. Completed in late April this year, the program, Chinook, may be played to a draw but will never be defeated.
“I think we’ve raised the bar—and raised it quite a bit—in terms of what can be achieved in computer technology and artificial intelligence,” said Schaeffer,
An average of 50 computers—with more than 200 running at peak times—were used everyday to compute the knowledge necessary to complete Chinook.
Schaeffer started the Chinook project in 1989, with the initial goal of winning the human world checkers championship.
it in 1994, becoming the first computer program to win a human world championship in any game