The checkers program Chinook has won the right to play a 40-game match for the World Checkers Championship against Dr. Marion Tinsley. This was earned by placing second, after Dr. Tinsley, at the 1990 U.S. National Open, the biennial event used to determine a challenger for the championship. This is the first time a program has earned the right to contest for a human world championship. In an exhibition match played in December 1990, Tinsley narrowly defeated Chinook 7.5-6.5. This paper describes the program, the research problems encountered and our solutions.
A piece-of-advice suggests what goal should be achievednext while preserving some other condition. If this goal can be achieved in agiven problem-situation (e.g. a given chess position) then we say that the piece-ofadviceis 'satisfiable' in that position. In this way ALI makes it possible to breakthe whole problem of achieving an ultimate goal into a sequence of subproblems,each of them consisting of achievement of a subgoal prescribed by some pieceof-advice. The control structure which chooses what piece-of-advice to applynext consists of a set of 'advice-tables', each of them being specialized in acertain problem-subdomain.In Hayes, J. E., Michie, D., and Pao, Y.-H. (Eds.), Machine Intelligence 10. Ellis Horwood.
It can be seen that a great deal of worthwhile material has now been generated about computer chess. There is also quite a bit of nonsense by persons who have never built a program. Several groups with excellent programs have done little publishing, although I can hardly blame them since their work requires much time and is usually unsupported by any funding agencies. Certain staples have given rise to duplication: All but one of the books published explain the depth-first alpha-beta procedure. We expect that by far the largest portion of our readers will be scientists interested in updating their knowledge of the subject.