It now appears possible - even likely - that within a few decades and within certain specialized domains, the computer will be more intelligent than we ourselves. What was unimaginable a few years ago is happening today with alarming rapidity. A small piece of silicon, no larger than a thumbnail, can exhibit more “intelligence” than the best human brains. This book attempts to satisfy two different goals. It presents a comprehensive history of computer chess along with many rare examples of the play of early programs. These examples contain both amazing strokes of brilliance and inexplicable catastrophes; they will give the reader a dear perspective of the pioneer days of computer chess. In contrast, contemporary programs are capable of defeating International Grandmasters; the text contains several recent examples including a remarkable victory over former World Champion Anatoly Karpov. The remainder of the book is devoted to an explanation of how the various parts of a chess program are designed and how they function. Readers who have no knowledge of computers will gain insight into how they “think”. Readers who own a personal computer and who want to write their own chess programs will find sufficient information in this book to enable them to make a good start.