Chess masters take on Banbury’s best

Grandmaster Matthew Sadler and Women's International Master Natasha Regan take on multiple players at the Wroxton House Hotel NNL-190618-161445001
Grandmaster Matthew Sadler and Women's International Master Natasha Regan take on multiple players at the Wroxton House Hotel NNL-190618-161445001

Two top British chess masters visited Banbury last week as part of a nationwide lecture tour to talk about their new book on Artificial Intelligence (AI) within the chess world.

Grand Master Matthew Sadler and Women’s International Master, Natasha Regan, were at the Wroxton House Hotel to talk about Game Changer - AlphaZero’s Groundbreaking Chess Strategies and the Promise of AI.

The AlphaZero in the title refers to the latest in computer technology to master chess, the most cunning strategy with an almost infinite number of possible moves.

In the 24 hours after the AI program was released, AlphaZero taught itself the game of chess by playing 1,000 games against itself every second for a total of 44 million games.

It was then pitted against computer world champion, Stockfish, and won.

Following the talk on this latest AI development the chess masters went up against 14 opponents simultaneously, losing just one game and drawing another.

Mr Sadler is Britain’s highest rated chess player and Olympiad gold medallist after competing in the individual event at the 1996 Chess Olympiad in Armenia.

Ms Regan has played for England at both the Manila and Moscow Chess Olympiads.

The event was organised by Carl Portman of the Banbury Chess Club.

If you want to visit the chess club it is open to all from beginner to expert.

For more information call the club’s chairman Steve Rumsby on 01327 860371.