Science: Video game forebear turns 100, born in Spain

Google conference in Madrid to celebrate creator Torres Quevedo

01 November, 13:07

(ANSAmed) - Madrid, November 1 - The 'grandfather' of today's video games turns 100. 'El ajedrecista', the chess player, was invented in 1912 by Spain's Leonardo Torres Quevedo. The algorithmically powered machine could play an end-game of chess against a human opponent automatically.

In order to celebrate its 100 anniversary, Google is organizing a conference on November 7 in Madrid in cooperation with the superior engineering and telecommunications school of the Polytechnic University in Madrid, to celebrate the heritage of Torres Quevedo. Seminars and debates will be organized along with an exhibit on the devices invented by the Spanish scientist.

Sources with Google Spain said 'El ajedrecista' was a marvel for its times. The machine didn't just calculate its moves but had mechanical arms which moved its pieces, in the form of electrical jacks, across a grid. In later models the arm mechanism was replaced by magnets and the device looked more like an ordinary chess board. Also, the machine was programmed so that it was impossible to cheat it as it could spot illegal moves so its challenger could never win. (ANSAmed)

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