Computer beats human for the first time at Japanese chess

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London, Oct 13(ANI): For the first time, a computer has beaten a human at Japanese chess-shogi.

It is not unusual as computers have been beating humans at western chess for years but it is a relatively simple game, with only about 10123 possible games existing that can be played out.

Shogi is a bit more complex, offering about 10224 possible games.

According to the Mainichi Daily News the top women's shogi player Ichiyo Shimizu took part in a match staged at the University of Tokyo, playing against a computer called Akara 2010.

Akara is apparently a Buddhist term meaning 10224 and the system beat Shimizu in six hours, over the course of 86 moves.

Japan's national broadcaster, NHK, reported that Akara "aggressively pursued Shimizu from the beginning."

It's the first time a computer has beaten a professional human player.

The Japan Shogi Association, incidentally, seems to have a deep fear of computers beating humans.

In 2005, it introduced a ban on professional members playing computers without permission, and Shimizu's defeat was the first since a simpler computer system was beaten by a (male) champion, Akira Watanabe, in 2007.

Perhaps the association doesn't mind so much if a woman is beaten: NHK reports that the JSA will conduct an in-depth analysis of the match before it decides whether to allow the software to challenge a higher-ranking male professional player.

"It made no eccentric moves, and from partway through it felt like I was playing against a human," New Scientist quoted Shimizu as telling the Mainichi Daily News.

"I hope humans and computers will become stronger in the future through friendly competition," she added.(ANI)

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