Blitz Chess Terminator's Speedy Robot Arm

Chess Terminator is a chess-playing robot arm that can determine a move, reach out and grasp a piece, move it and then press the chess timer button to finish its move, all in seconds.

Take a look at the Chess Terminator in action against former world champion Vladimir Kramnik


(Chess Terminator has a speedy robot arm)

The game ends in a draw, for which the robot is not programmed! Robots play to win, and that's a fact. (At about 2:45, Kramnik extends his hand in the traditional move to offer a draw. Chess Terminator singlemindedly continues playing.)

Chess Terminator's arm can play 24 hours per day for three years, according to its creator, Konstantin Kosteniuk, the father and coach of Alexandra Kosteniuk, the current women's world champion.

Science fiction fans recall the detailed description of a chess-playing robot from the 1910 short story Moxon's Master by Ambrose Bierce.

The play was rapid. Moxon hardly glanced at the board before making his moves, and to my unskilled eye seemed to move the piece most convenient to his hand, his motions in doing so being quick, nervous and lacking in precision. The response of his antagonist, while equally prompt in the inception, was made with a slow, uniform, mechanical and, I thought, somewhat theatrical movement of the arm, that was a sore trial to my patience. There was something unearthly about it all, and I caught myself shuddering. But I was wet and cold.

Two or three times after moving a piece the stranger slightly inclined his head, and each time I observed that Moxon shifted his king. All at once the thought came to me that the man was dumb. And then that he was a machine—an automaton chessplayer! Then I remembered that Moxon had once spoken to me of having invented such a piece of mechanism, though I did not understand that it had actually been constructed.

For more stories about speedy robots, see ROPID Has Serious 'Quick', Good Hang Time and Robot Hands Ready To Kick Your Ass, both with videos. From Chess in Translation via Gizmag.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/21/2010)

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