A short history

Initially appeared the checkers "electronic partners", which followed the more commercial chess "electronics partners".

At the beginning of the Eighties, these consoles had rather low levels. A little later with the spreading of the personal computers, (Commodore, Amstrad, Apple, PC, ...), appeared the first softwares.

Until recently, performances of these softwares were less important than their other advantages, in particular their calm (no anger when they lose), their patience (they let to you undo fifty times your moves) and their disposability (always ok for a game, even at three o'clock in the morning).

Progress however were very fast, and it seems that in a few years, no player will be able of winning games against the machines.

In chess, in 1996, the defeat of Kasparov against Deeper Blue made write a lot, and shook many certainty.

Already, in "American checkers" (on 64 squares), the program " Chinook ", born in 1988, had been allowed to take part in the final games for the title of USA champion 1992, and it had beaten all the opponents until the last games, when it had been finally defeated by Marion Tinsley, the world champion since 1954.

Chinook lost 4 , won 2 , and drew 34. This result was remarkable for Chinook, because, before that games, Tinsley had only lost 7 official games in 30 years of career.

In 1994, in Boston, during the revenge, Tinsley had to give up for problems of health, and Don Lafferty, the second player could not make better than draw (10 points to each player, including 18 draw). In 1995 in Mississippi, Chinook won, 16,5 to 15,5 out of 32 games, including 31 draw (Chinook won the 31th game).

For now, if Chinook plays better than all human players in 8x8, there is no program in 10x10 neither in 12x12 that can win all human players, but the PC softwares (and the PC themselves) make fast progress.

But it seems that the computers domination must be total before little time (5, 10, 15, 20 years?)

Then, how do these machines work ? How do our future winners "think" ? Knowing his opponent is one of the rules of all the strategists.

Maybe, if you understand them, with their strong and weak points, your personal date of definitive giving up against the machines will be delayed (but you will lose anyway).

I will try to inform you on these mysterious players and their way of "thinking".

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