Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Shogi Conquered by Computer

It was bound to happen sooner or later, although this one did take a long time to realise. For the first time ever, a computer program has beaten a human in the game of Japanese chess. There's more in this NHK report (in English) that also features a video.

The Australian Gizmodo blog is similarly carrying the story with this interesting tidbit: "...Western chess is a relatively simple game, with only about 10123 possible games existing that can be played out. Shogi is a bit more complex, though, offering about 10224 possible games."

10,123 possible games? I think they probably meant "possible moves" in an average chess game. But what's an average chess game we're talking about here? I sure would like to know more about these numbers, so if you have references, please post them in the comments.

UPDATE (13 Oct, 19:27): It's 10^123. See this New Scientist article. Hat tip to Adrian.


Adrian Petrescu said...

The RSS feed or wherever you read that from is missing formatting -- the original article actually said "10^123" and "10^224", respectively, but it used the HTML sup tags, which some feeds will strip out.

I'm not sure about the accuracy of either of those figures, either, but they certainly are more reasonable than 10,123 :)

Adrian Petrescu said...

The original article with the correctly-formatted 10^123 is here:

Chess said...

Yes, it is surely 10^123, there is absolutely no reason for such an accuracy otherwise. So Shogi is much more complex than Chess, but still less complex than Weiqi which is the great challenge nowadays for programmers!