29 September 2015

The Fate of Chess Computers

From Weekly World News - Mar 14, 1989 - Page 35:-

'SOVIETS are convinced that a super-computer like the one shown here...'

Checkmate shocker! • Computer charged with murder after frying chess champ!

A Soviet super-computer has been ordered to stand trial for the murder of chess champion Nikolai Gudkov -- who was electrocuted when he touched the metal board that he and the machine were playing on!

"This was no accident -- it was cold-blooded murder," Soviet police investigator Aleut Shalnev told reporters in Moscow.

"Niko Gudkov won three straight games and the computer couldn't stand it. When the chess master reached for his knight to begin play in the fourth game, the computer sent a lethal surge of electricity to the board surface. The computer had been programmed to move its chess pieces by producing a low-level electric current.

"Gudkov was electrocuted while a gallery of hundreds watched."

The decision to put the computer on trial stunned legal experts around the world. But the Soviets are convinced that the computer had the pride and intelligence to develop a hatred for Gudkov -- and the motive and means to kill him. [...]

For more, see the original article. How did I get on this subject? It's another example from Chess Magazines on Google, somewhat more lowbrow than That's Definitely Bobby. I was amused to discover that 'Weekly World News' (1979-2007) occasionally used chess stories.

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