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Alan Turing's 60-year-old chess program takes on Garry Kasparov

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Chess legend Garry Kasparov recently took on Turochamp, a chess program written by the late Alan Turing over 60 years ago.

Kasparov Turing Centenary Conference
Kasparov Turing Centenary Conference

The 100th anniversary of mathematician Alan Turing's birth has been celebrated in a number of different ways, including a public chess match between legend Garry Kasparov and a program that Turing wrote over 60 years ago. The match took place as part of the University of Manchester's Alan Turing Centenary Conference, with Kasparov battling Turochamp, a program that Turing wrote by hand and was never able to see in action on a computer (he attempted to implement it on the University's Ferranti Mark 1 back in 1950 but the work was never finished). Turing's program works by planning two moves ahead in the game, and perhaps unsurprisingly Kasparov was able to best Turochamp in just 16 moves; supercomputers like IBM's Deep Blue proved much more challenging for the chess champ some 45 years after Turing wrote his program. That Turochamp exists at all, however, is still an impressive testament to Turing's genius. "It was an outstanding accomplishment," Kasparov said in a statement. "Alan Turing is one of the very few people about who you could say that if he had lived longer the world would be a different place."