Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Calculation and representation

As part of my real (ie non chess) job, I spent part of the year as a tutor for a Digital Media unit at the Australian National University. I was definitely on the Digital side of the course, rather than the Media side, as I struggle with the whole creative process.
The students were required to produce assignments using the Processing language, which is well suited to artistic representation on a computer. Although the course finished a couple of weeks ago, a tie-in with chess came to my attention today. Kerry Stead told me about a web site that had a chess playing program that represented its thinking process in a graphical format. The site is turbulence.org and it uses a chess playing program to create images like the one on the right.
The diagram is generated while the program is deciding on a move. The lines indicate the moves it is examining (green for white, orange for black), and the stronger the move, the brighter the line. The creators confess that the program isn't that strong, but having a strong chess playing program isn't the aim of the website. There are a couple of other little graphical tricks on offer as well, but you need to visit the website to find out what they are.

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