Humans have played chess for nearly a thousand years. While chess is relatively easy to learn, to master the game has long been considered a demonstration of intellectual greatness. This 1,000-square-foot exhibit follows a five-decade-long chronological plan, from the theoretical foundations developed by such computing pioneers as Alan Turing and Claude Shannon, to the development of PC chess software and the drama of IBM’s chess-playing supercomputer, Deep Blue.
Visitors will explore the multi-layered history of computer chess, listen to chess software pioneers, learn the basics of chess algorithms and experience the sights and sounds of the era through vintage footage.
By the early 1980s, computer software companies and others began selling dedicated chess computers and boards. A number of early games are on display in the exhibit.
Visitors can learn about the development of chess-playing supercomputers including a special display featuring part of IBM’s Deep Blue supercomputer alongside a multimedia presentation capturing the dramatic match between World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov and Deep Blue.
A freestanding computer learning station will allow visitors to explore software concepts, such as the basic ideas that lie beneath all chess software programs.
In 1977 at Bell Laboratories, Ken Thompson and Joe Condon took the brute force approach one step further by developing a custom chess-playing computer called Belle. Learn the history and lessons from early chess pioneers, including Thompson.