New Year Links

1. Excelent Ken Regan article on chess:

László Mérő, in his 1990 bookWays of Thinking, called the number of class units from a typical beginning adult player to the human world champion the depth of a game.

Tic-tac-toe may have a depth of 1: if you assume a beginner knows to block an immediate threat of three-in-a-row but plays randomly otherwise, then you can score over 75% by taking a corner when you go first and grifting a few games when you go second. Another school-recess game, dots-and-boxes, is evidently deeper. […]

This gave chess a depth of 11 class units up to 2800, which was world champion Garry Kasparov’s rating in 1990. If I recall correctly, checkers ({8 \times 8}) and backgammon had depth 10 while bridge tied chess at 11, but Shogi scored 14 and yet was dwarfed by Japan’s main head game, Go, at 25.

2. The Indian government blocked github. Yep, the government there is stupid.


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