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Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Chess and Zermelo 

Interesting post up at Crooked Timber (be sure to read the comments) on whether or not Zermelo's Theorem actually proves that chess has a winning strategy.

The conventional wisdom among those who've dipped their toes into game theory is that Zermelo shows that chess is basically a kind of really complex tic-tac-toe, and that given enough time and energy, somebody (or some computer) could "solve" chess. This is one of those "ooh, wow" findings that generate a lot of not-terribly-interesting cocktail party posturing: save yourself the trouble of listening next time this comes up by fortifying yourself with the knowledgey goodness of the blogosphere.

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