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One Jump Ahead

Computer Perfection at Checkers

By Jonathan Schaeffer

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The new edition of this extraordinary book depicts the creation of the world champion checkers computer program, Chinook. Written by the originator and leader of the Chinook team, it also reveals the human factor behind the program’s design.

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  • ISBN13: 978-0-3877-6575-4
  • 605 Pages
  • User Level: Trade
  • Publication Date: December 16, 2008
  • Available eBook Formats: PDF
Full Description
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.
Table of Contents

Table of Contents

  1. I Can’t Lose.
  2. The Opening Game: This Was Going To Be Easy.
  3. Bottomless Well.
  4. The Middle Game: Valuable Lessons.
  5. The Illusion of Intelligence.
  6. A Nobel Turing Trio.
  7. Didn’t Samuel Solve That Game?
  8. The Case for the Prosecution.
  9. As Close to Perfection As Humanly Possible.
  10. You Look Like a Checkers Player.
  11. The Fudge Factor.
  12. I Feel Like a Teenager Again.
  13. Gentlemen, Start Your Engines.
  14. Trust Me.
  15. A Wake
  16. Up Call.
  17. Prelude to Disaster.
  18. Programmed by God.
  19. Divine Intervention.
  20. Dissension Among the Ranks.
  21. Home Away From Home.
  22. It’s a Draw!
  23. Let Me Suggest the Unthinkable.
  24. The End Game: Gentlemen’s Agreement.
  25. I’m Ready to Go.
  26. The Game Score: As Good As God.
  27. The Final Frontier.
  28. Quiet Satisfaction.
  29. As Close to Perfection as Computationally Possible.
  30. I Know I Can 't Lose.
  31. Past and Present.
  32. The Game Players: Sluicing for Gold by Robert Lake.
  33. A Long Journey by Paul Lu.
  34. Recollections and Reflections by Norman Treloar.
  35. Personal Recollections by Martin Bryant.
  36. Solving the Problem of a Checkers Solving Program by Neil Burch.
  37. Checkered Past by Rebecca Schaeffer.
  38. Checkered Out by Step Schaeffer.
  39. The Game Stats: Appendix A: Further Reading.
  40. Appendix B: Tinsley’s Record.
  41. Appendix C: CHINOOK’s Record.
  42. Appendix D: CHINOOK Technical Specifications.
  43. Appendix E: Tinsley–CHINOOK games.
  44. Appendix F: Proof Statistics.

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