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Monday, June 25, 2012

Kasparov Chess Match Versus Alan Turing's 'Paper Machine' at Centenary Celebrations in Manchester

Garry Kasparov
Legendary World Chess Champion Grandmaster Garry Kasparov attended the Alan Turing Centenary Celebrations in Manchester today. Kasparov also beat the Turing "Paper Machine" - the first chess computer programme ever written - at a chess game in 16 moves. Kasparov played the game as a demonstration of the vision of Alan Turing who had written the programme for the first chess computer right after the Second World War much before the computer had even been invented! Turing wrote that programme for a machine that was to be invented in the future. 

Kasparov spoke during the conference about Alan Turing's legacy, chess and computers. Alan Turing is the Father of Computer Science. 

Turing was a code-breaker during the war and played chess whenever he found time. But he was "a weak chess player," said Kasparov. "Not all great chess players have a great intellect, and , as Turing showed, a genius at mathematics does not necessarily translate into chess skills, even if he is devoted to the game." 

Kasparov spoke at the conference about how, in 1985, he had taken on simultaneous chess games against 32 chess computers available at that time. Kasparov had won all the games. "Those were the good old days of computer chess," he joked. Today's grandmasters would find it tough to beat the best chess computers out there. "If we want to continue this social experiment of man versus machine, we have to play until the human wins one game," said Kasparov. "The experiment is to find out if the best human player can beat the best computer." 

Kasparov also unveiled a plaque in memory of Turing. The plaque read: "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".


June 23, 2012 marks the centenary of the birth of Alan Turing. The Turing Centenary Conference was held in Manchester on June 22-25, 2012, hosted by the University of Manchester, where Turing worked in 1948-1954. There was live streaming of the lectures at the official website of the Alan Turing conference.  Former world chess champion Garry Kasparov attended the conference as an invited guest speaker. 

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