Computer Chess

The Kasparav-Deep Junior chess match ended in a draw, with both winning a game apiece and four draws. A much better result for Kasparav as compared to the last time when he lost. That computers are now an integral part of Chess is beyond doubt.

For long, Chess has been seen as the ultimate intellectual game. One had to outwit the other player to win – thinking up all kinds of strategems. It was one human mind against another.

Not anymore, according to the New York Times.

Chess players who once relied on thick tomes of annotated games and Post-its to mark their favorite strategies now use computer programs to search constantly updated online databases of two million or more of history’s most significant games. It is standard practice for players to call up all the past games of opponents they will be facing in tournaments and direct the software to analyze the best possible attacks.

Moreover, as the Internet replaces chess clubs as the main forum for games, chess experts estimate that humans are surreptitiously being assisted by computers in at least half of the hundreds of thousands of games that are played online each day.

Maybe, the ultimate unbeatabale unbeatable combination is Human+Computer.

Alternative Energy

New York Times writes about entrepreneurs returning to the search for alternative sources of energy – areas like solar power, wind energy and biomass.

Many entrepreneurs see in alternative energy that rare and desirable condition — a disruptive technology that could transform entire industries, from energy to transportation. “This is really the Internet 10 years ago,” Mr. Beebe said. “We’re on the verge.”

Its something that I’ve tracked for many years, though not as closely in the recent past: where is cheaper fuel coming to come from? This is a question which is almost as exciting as creating affordable computing solutions for the next 90%.