Sunday, September 24, 2006

Open-Source Chess?

SSMW pointed out to me an interesting passage from the 9/10/06 NYT Book Review article on the new book The Immortal Game: A History of Chess, or How 32 Carved Pieces on a Board Illuminated Our Understanding of War, Art, Science, and the Human Brain by David Shenk. The only problem is, the on-line version of the article is pared down significantly from the print edition and does not include the excerpt. Does anyone know if this is part of that Times Select nonsense they do? Anyway, here's the (hand-typed) excerpt:

Rather than being invented all at once "in a fit of inspiration by a single king, general, philosopher or court wizard," the game we know today was "the result of years of tinkering by a large, decentralized group, a slow achievement of collective intelligence."

Remind you of anything? Of course, the game has long-since adopted standard rules (with numerous agreed-upon variations, of course) but Shenk seems to argue here that essentially Chess is an early example of the OS movement.


Blogger getalife said...

Forgive my ignorance, but would "Flash" have the patience to play chess? Cool reference, however. I'm sure he could checkmate in 3 moves or less against a weak player...

10:18 PM  

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