It’s been nearly two decades since computers have been able to beat the best human chess players. Since then, the best algorithms have only improved, such that the leading chess players in the world get walloped in a head-to-head match with a machine, and can barely scrape by when the machine is given a severe handicap.

Still, the leading chess programs don’t play chess like humans do, and rely on brute force calculation—mapping hundreds of millions of scenarios per second when deciding which move to make—instead of intuition or wisdom.

This has led some observers to say that chess programs aren’t really playing chess at all.

Human chess players are often able to assess a situation at a glance by building a knowledge of generalities and their exceptions, but this has been difficult to encode into computers, which must usually rely on universal rules.

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