One Jump Ahead pp 203-229 | Cite as

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines

  • Jonathan Schaeffer


While Charles Walker was in Edmonton, we discussed making the Tinsley-Chinook world championship match a reality. Walker, the American Checker Federation (ACF) secretary/treasurer, effectively put me in my place: there was no way that either the ACF or English Draughts Association (EDA) would allow a computer to compete for the world championship. He suggested that maybe we create a new title—the man versus machine championship. This seemed silly to me. The words “world champion” mean just that—the best player in the world. Who cared if it was a man or a machine? You can’t discriminate based on race, religion, or sex. Don’t discriminate based on computational model.


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    A famous phrase from Sherlock Holmes. Now, wouldn’t he be a great program debugger!Google Scholar
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    David Lubar, It’s Not a Bug, It’s a Feature, Addison-Wesley, 1995, p. 53. This is a delightful book of computer “off-the-mark predictions, bad advice, world-class putdowns, and even occasional words of praise from the ‘experts’ in the field.”Google Scholar
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    In the chess community the word cook has a different meaning. If a flaw is found in a composed problem (such as a position designated as White to play and mate in three moves), then the flaw is called a cook (the position isn’t a mate in three, or it’s not unique). The only explanation I can think of for this name is that the problem’s author’s goose is now cooked.Google Scholar
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    In 1996, I tried to get a copy of the letter from Charles Walker. Unfortunately, the only copy of it seems to have “disappeared.”Google Scholar
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    In 1993, Caws lost the title to Patricia Breen (Ireland).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Schaeffer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computing ScienceUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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