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Technology continues to advance at a rapid pace. It may sound quaint today, but not so long ago, computers battled humans for supremacy at the game of chess. The challenge of building a computer program capable of defeating the best of human-kind at chess was one of the original grand challenges of the fledgling field of artificial intelligence. On one side were dedicated scientists and hobbyists who invested decades of effort developing the software and hardware technology; on the other side were incredibly talented humans with only their determination and preparation to withstand the onslaught of technology.
The man versus machine battle in chess is a landmark in the history of technology. There are numerous books that document the technical aspects of this epic story. The human side is not often told. Few chess players are inclined to write about their man-machine encounters, other than annotating the games played. This book brings the two sides together. It tells the stories of many of the key scientists and chess players that participated in a 50-year research project to advance the understanding of computing technology.
From the Foreword by Vladimir Kramnik, 14th World Chess Champion
"Grandmaster Karsten Müller and Professor Jonathan Schaeffer have managed to describe the fascinating history of the unequal fight of man against machine in an entertaining and instructive way. It evoked pleasant and not so pleasant memories of my own fights against the monsters. I hope that their work gives you as much pleasure as it has given me."