Chess computers in popular culture

Discussion of anything and everything relating to chess playing software and machines.

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Kirill Kryukov
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Re: Chess computers in popular culture

Post by Kirill Kryukov » Wed Feb 23, 2011 3:33 pm

Jouni wrote:I remember this has been discussed here already. But anyway first in mind comes the legendary 1982 The Thing were Kurt Russel plays chess against computer! Was it Sargon?

Jouni
I also first of all remind "The Thing" whenever this topic comes up. Absolutely awesome scene. (Found it on youtube).

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Re: Chess computers in popular culture

Post by bob » Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:19 pm

Tord Romstad wrote:It probably doesn't qualify as popular culture, but Gene Wolfe -- my favorite living author -- has written a short story named The Marvellous Brass Chessplaying Automaton. The story is set some time in the future, at a time when technology has regressed compared to today. People still remember the age of computers, but the art of making them has been forgotten. It is widely assumed that no working computers remain. But there are rumors that a single computer still survives in a remote German village: A dedicated chess computer.

I won't spoil the story, in case somebody wants to read it. It's included in the short story collection The Best of Gene Wolfe (which, albeit very good, isn't really the best of Gene Wolfe, because his novels are better than his short stories).
Off topic, but you ought to try one of Matt Reilly's books. Fastest-paced books I have ever read, and I have read a _lot_ in 50+ years...

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Re: Chess computers in popular culture

Post by F. Bluemers » Wed Feb 23, 2011 5:18 pm

Blake's 7 (is that culture enough for you? :lol: )
I think it was the second series.
Vilan (the thief of the bunch) was winning too much in a casino and get's tricked to play chess against some wunderkind.
To make matters worse he starts with a Kings Gambit,but Oracle(the computer of computers)
saves the game to a draw.

Tord Romstad
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Re: Chess computers in popular culture

Post by Tord Romstad » Wed Feb 23, 2011 6:04 pm

JuLieN wrote:
Tord Romstad wrote:It probably doesn't qualify as popular culture, but Gene Wolfe -- my favorite living author -- has written a short story named The Marvellous Brass Chessplaying Automaton. The story is set some time in the future, at a time when technology has regressed compared to today. People still remember the age of computers, but the art of making them has been forgotten. It is widely assumed that no working computers remain. But there are rumors that a single computer still survives in a remote German village: A dedicated chess computer.

I won't spoil the story, in case somebody wants to read it. It's included in the short story collection The Best of Gene Wolfe (which, albeit very good, isn't really the best of Gene Wolfe, because his novels are better than his short stories).
I remember you yet mentioned this author, and advocate him so well that I really want to read him, now. :)
That's surprising -- I suck at advocating things, and would have been the worlds least successful salesman. As an example, I had to advocate late move reductions for a year or so before anyone started listening. :)
Sadly the only books from him I find in my language seem to be heroic fantasy only, which is not my cup of tea... :/
What books were those? None of the numerous Wolfe books I have read could be described as heroic fantasy. The only such books I know of are the The Wizard Knight duology, which don't look that interesting to me, and which I haven't read.

Wolfe isn't for everyone, however. It's not easy and fast-paced entertainment, and there is little direct action. You have to think hard and pay attention to every little detail in order to figure out what is going on. The narrators are usually not entirely reliable, and some of the most important events in the books often happen off-screen, forcing the reader to figure out what has happened based on little fragments of information given in dialog from characters who may or may not be truthful. The books are best suited for people who enjoy solving puzzles, and who don't mind reading a book two or three times.

If someone wants to give Wolfe a try, read The Best of Gene Wolfe if you like short stories, Peace if you want something close to mainstream literature, the Soldier series (Soldier of the Mist, Soldier of Arete and Soldier of Sidon) if you're interested in ancient history and mythology, The Book of the New Sun if you're a science fiction fan, and The Fifth Head of Cerberus if you're a science fiction fan without the time or patience to attack something as big as TBotNS. The Book of the New Sun is widely regarded as the best of them all, but it can also be very dense, confusing and frustrating for new readers.

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Re: Chess computers in popular culture

Post by stevenaaus » Wed Feb 23, 2011 8:27 pm

Yeah... that Blake's 7 episode was probably the best of the whole series 8-)
Does anyone recognise which old program is used to display the chess game ?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yN_MJMLMeA

BTW, the characters name is Vila, not Vilan, but there's no youtube link to the final scene when Vila (with Orac's help) draws the game.

bdeane
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Re: Chess computers in popular culture

Post by bdeane » Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:12 pm

What about "Quarantine" by Arthur C. Clarke? :)

See http://researchweb.watson.ibm.com/deepb ... e.8.2.html

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sje
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Re: Chess computers in popular culture

Post by sje » Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:05 am

yanquis1972 wrote:this is only very tangentially related, but i recall a short story from my childhood published in one of chernev's books, called something like 'three sailors', set in maybe the 19th century...they had found some small pocketsized device that could play chess. basically as i recall they'd go to pubs etc, input the moves in the device, play what it recommended, & crush everyone. too bad they didn't have wifi or 3G back then, they would've been really floored with that iphone.
"The Three Sailors’ Gambit" by Lord Dunsany. Originally published 1949 in Chess Pieces by Norman Knight. Republished 1968 in The Chess Companion by Irving Chernev.

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Re: Chess computers in popular culture

Post by JuLieN » Thu Jan 19, 2012 1:37 pm

Ine the 1992 movie Knight Moves ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5h7OoH-cN6Q ), the chess program Battle Chess can be seen.
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JuLieN
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Re: Chess computers in popular culture

Post by JuLieN » Thu Jan 19, 2012 1:59 pm

Image
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Adam Hair
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Re: Chess computers in popular culture

Post by Adam Hair » Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:10 pm

From an episode (37) of a cheesy cable show called 1000 Ways To Die (very loosely based on real stories, if at all), a Soviet chess master plays against a dedicated chess super computer with a robotic arm. The game does not go as easily as the chess master thought it would, which causes him to sweat profusely. As he touches a piece to make a move, his sweat drips on to the board, causing him to be electrocuted.

A cautionary tale for Steve Blincoe :shock:
:)

I will see if I can find a clip of it online.

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