ICHF The 1995 Man vs. Machine World Checkers Championship between Chinook and Don Lafferty was held at the International Checker Hall of Fame in Petal, Mississippi.

ICHFout The International Checker Hall of Fame is the headquarters for the American Checkers Federation. Its founder and director is Charles Walker, Secretary of the American Checkers Federation.

ICHFin Inside this 32,000 square foot mansion are many rooms and hallways featuring checker memorabilia from the past and present.

room The match was held in a small but quiet room inside the International Checker Hall of Fame. Charles Walker was the host for the match and the referee was Richard Fortman. Pat Berry and Herschel Smith acted as assistant referees and timekeepers. Rob Lake represented the Chinook team.

challenge Chinook ran on a Silicon Graphics Challenge located in New Jersey, generously made available to us by Ken Thompson. This machine contained 8 processors and had 512 megabytes of memory. Chinook was equipped with all the 1-7 piece endgame databases, and all the 8 piece 4 vs 4 piece databases. Local internet access was made available by Bill Vilberg of the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg.

This match was held at the insistence of the American Checker Federation because of the outcome of the 1994 Man vs. Machine World Checkers Championship held in Boston, Massachusetts. All parties involved wanted to have the title decided by a decisive result.

This was a 24 game match. If a tie existed after 24 games, then sets of 4 game heats would commence until a winner emerged. If, after 40 games, the match was still tied, play would resume within 4 months time.

handshake A brief opening ceremony took place prior to the start of play on Saturday January 7. Both the contestants and the organizers exchanged warm greetings for each other and, after the contestants exchanged handshakes, play began.

play Don played very conservatively, always keeping the draw in sight. Consequently, at the conclusion of the 24 game match on Saturday January 14, the match stood even at 24 draws.

play The four game sudden-death heats began on Monday January 16. Games 25 to 28 resulted in draws. Finally, on Tuesday January 17 in Game 31 of the second heat, Chinook's third move came as a surprise to Lafferty and he quickly got into trouble. By move ten, Chinook knew it was winning and on move 17 the program had seen into its database and announced the win. Don tried hard for a win in Game 32, but after an interesting struggle, a drawn position was reached. Thus, the match concluded with a 16.5 to 15.5 score for Chinook.