"Schaeffer's personal involvement in the Chinook project, along with his engaging and open story-telling makes the book surprisingly gripping."

-- A.K. Dewdney, author of numerous books, including Armchair Universe: An Exploration of Computer Worlds

One Jump Ahead

Challenging Human Supremacy in Checkers

by Jonathan Schaeffer, University of Alberta

"Playing chess is like looking out over a limitless ocean;
playing checkers is like looking into a bottomless well."
-- Marion Tinsley, Former World Checkers Champion

This extraordinary book tells the story of the world champion checkers program, Chinook. From its beginnings in 1988, Chinook quickly became a worthy opponent for the world championship. By 1992 it had defeated all of the world's top human players -- except for one. The world champion, Dr. Marion Tinsley, was as close to perfection in checkers as was humanly possible. Although initially a research project, the Chinook effort soon changed directions and became a quest to defeat Tinsley. Instead of an impersonal contest between a man and a machine, this became a personal battle between two humans striving for supremacy at checkers.

In this fascinating account, Jonathan Schaeffer, the originator and leader of the Chinook team, provides an engrossing story of failures and successes. Over the period 1988-1996, we follow the development of Chinook from an innocent question asked over lunch through to the final dramatic showdown against the unbeatable world champion. This is an entertaining story for anyone with an interest in computing.

Table of Contents: Preface - Acknowledgments - I Can't Lose - This Was Going to Be Easy - Bottomless Well - Valuable Lessons - The Illusion of Intelligence - A Nobel Turing Trio - Didn't Samuel Solve That Game? - The Case for the Prosecution - You Look Like a Checkers Player - The Fudge Factor - I Feel Like a Teenager Again - Gentlemen, Start Your Engines - Trust Me - A Wake-Up Call - Prelude to Disaster - Programmed by God - Divine Intervention - Dissection Among the Ranks - Home Away From Home - It's a Draw! - Let Me Suggest the Unthinkable - Gentlemen's Agreement - I'm Ready to Go - Get a Life, Jonathan - Epilogue - Six Appendices of Records and Technical Specifications

One Jump Ahead

Challenging Human Supremacy in Checkers
Hardcover. 504 pp.
$34.95 - ISBN 0-387-94930-5

To Order

Call: 1-800-SPRINGER
e-mail: orders@springer-ny.com

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