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25 July 1997
The $100,000 Fredkin Prize for Computer Chess To Be Awarded To Deep Blue's Inventors at AAAI '97
PITTSBURGH--The $100,000 Fredkin Prize for Computer Chess, created in 1980 to honor the first program to beat a reigning world chess champion, will be awarded to the inventors of the Deep Blue chess machine Tuesday, July 29, at the annual meeting of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) in Providence, R.I.
Deep Blue beat world chess champion Gary Kasparov in the final game of a tied, six-game match last May 11. Kasparov had beaten the machine in an earlier match held in February 1996.
The Fredkin Prize is being awarded under the auspices of AAAI. The funds have been held in trust at Carnegie Mellon University.
The prize was established at Carnegie Mellon 17 years ago by Computer Science Professor Edward Fredkin to encourage research in computer chess. A prize of $5,000 was awarded to the first chess program to attain a Master's rating in 1983. A prize of $10,000 was awarded to the system that achieved Grandmaster status in 1988.
Feng H. Hsu, Murray Campbell and A. Joseph Hoane, Jr. will split the final, $100,000 award at a special chess pioneer recognition event that will take place from 4:30-6:00 p.m. at the Westin Hotel in Providence. Five other research teams that made groundbreaking technological contributions to the development of computer chess also will be honored. The session will include presentations explaining the contributions of each of these systems to the chess-playing technology.
Each team member will receive an Allen Newell Medal for Research Excellence. The Newell Medal was created to honor the late Carnegie Mellon computer scientist Allen Newell who, along with Nobel Laureate Herbert Simon, co-founded the field of artificial intelligence and authored the NSS chess program in 1958.
The teams being honored at AAAI '97:
"There has never been any doubt in my mind that a computer would ultimately beat a reigning world chess champion," said Fredkin. "The question has always been when."
"Like many other grand challenge problems in AI that have been with us for a long time, chess has had a continuous and exciting history," said Raj Reddy, dean of the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon and session chairman of the chess event. "It's wonderful to have this opportunity to honor these pioneers. They engineered chess programs that outclassed all other systems of their time. It is very appropriate that AAAI honor them on this historic occasion."
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