Published: Wednesday 31 May 1995

A computer chess programme called WChess swaggered through unbeaten at the Fifth Harvard Cup Human vs Computer Intel Chess Challenge. The programme, developed by D Kittinger, scored 4 wins and 2 draws (Communications of ACM, Vol 37, No 12).

With 6 grandmasters pitted against 8 computer programmes, the humans outwitted their software rivals by scoring an overall win. Computers could in principle beat the best human players easily by analysing positions much faster. But chess players develop an intuitive feel for the game and so don't necessarily need to analyse positions step by step. With the development of WChess, this tenuous advantage may be a thing of the past.

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