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"...We get a close look into the embarrassingly low-rent, codger-populated world of championship checkers... and a few painless lessons in the game itself... But the most memorable passages deal with Schaeffers's own bittersweet reactions. His brainchild does so well that he can see, all too clearly, its almost tragic effect on the cloistered society of checkers - and on his fellow human beings." Newsweek
" Schaeffer's personal involvement in the Chinook project, along with his engaging and open story-telling makes the book surprisingly gripping." A.K. Dewdney--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
The new edition of this extraordinary book depicts the creation of the world champion checkers computer program, Chinook. In only two years, Chinook had become a worthy opponent to the world champion, and within four years had defeated all the world's top human players. Jonathan Schaeffer, the originator and leader of the Chinook team, details the mistakes and technical problems made and the lessons learned in the continuous effort to improve Chinook's performance, revealing the human factor behind the program’s design. The development of Chinook begins in 1988 as an innocent question asked over lunch and is followed to the final match against then world champion, Marion Tinsley, and ultimately to its recent triumph, solving checkers. Schaeffer’s unwaveringly honest narrative features new anecdotes, updated material and technology descriptions, and additional photos and figures, providing an engrossing account of an obsessive quest to achieve perfection in computer checkers.
Jonathan Schaeffer is a professor of Computing Science at the University of Alberta. His research interests are in artificial intelligence, and he is well known for using games to demonstrate his ideas. He has achieved success building high-performance programs for chess, checkers and poker. Today, most of his research effort is devoted to addressing the challenging problems of the commercial games industry.
"In his unique voice, Jonathan Schaeffer describes the ups and downs of a research project where the ultimate goal is perfection. And Schaeffer is brutally honest about his failures to live up to this standard. When he finally succeeds at his eighteen-year quest, the reader can't help but share the emotions of the moment."
-- Murray S. Campbell, member of IBM's Deep Blue Supercomputer development team
With an interest in both checkers and AI, I thought that these book was a very interesting and honest portrayal of Dr. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Shawn Pope
Schaeffer's real-life checkers adventure is like a fictional anthropologist encountering the still-vibrant remnant of a lost civilization. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Raketemensch
Reading of this book is nice pleasure about the story of the best checkers programme written by Jonathan Schaeffer, the leader of the Artificial Intelligence specialists from... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Slava Gorin
This book is hard to categorize, it covers so much: programming a computer to win at checkers, certainly, but also the history of a dying competitive game, the story of an... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Eric Haines
I began reading this book and around page 100 realized..... Who cares about a computer that can play checkers. Checkers isnt a real game the way chess it anyways. Read morePublished on February 13, 2008 by Jack Michaelson
Well I never thought that title would describe for a book on a project to create a world champion beating chequers playing program! Read morePublished on December 17, 2002 by Mike Baliman
I enjoyed reading this book but as a serious checker player was hoping there was a detailed list of new moves , 4, against 3, Ect.. Read morePublished on March 1, 2001 by Lawrence Gallagher
im enjoying this a bit but im also a checker player and would defintely like the checker coordinates ( numeric notations) shown in every instance as I dont have them memorized,... Read morePublished on February 27, 2001 by Lawrence Gallagher
This book is about one man's obsession to develop a computer checkers program to beat a World Champion. Read morePublished on December 9, 1999