David Levy (chess player)
David Neil Laurence Levy (born 14 March 1945) is an English International Master of chess and a businessman. He is noted for his involvement with computer chess and artificial intelligence, and as the founder of the Computer Olympiads and the Mind Sports Olympiads. He has written more than 40 books on chess and computers.
Life and career
Levy was born in London and went to Queen Elizabeth's School, Barnet. He won the London Junior Chess Championship in 1965 and 1966. He won the Scottish Chess Championship in 1968. He tied for fifth place at the 1969 Praia da Rocha Zonal tournament, scoring over two-thirds and thereby obtaining the title of International Master. He played on Board One for the Scottish team at the 1972 Chess Olympiad in Skopje, Yugoslavia, scoring six wins, five draws, and seven losses (47.2%).
Levy became a professional chess writer in 1971. Several of his books were co-written with English Grandmaster Raymond Keene. Levy was married to Keene's sister Jacqueline for 17 years. He has functioned as literary agent for the escaped Great Train robber, Ronald Biggs and claims to have masterminded his escape from British justice.
In the late 1970s, Levy consulted with Texas Instruments on the development of the Chess module for the TI-99/4A Home Computer Project and went on to set up Intelligent Software to produce chess software and hardware for a number of companies including Milton Bradley. Intelligent Software would later collapse as a result of its involvement in the failed Enterprise home computer.
In 1997, he funded the team that won the Loebner Prize for the program called "CONVERSE". The prize competition rewards the program that is best able to simulate human communication. Levy entered the contest again in 2009, and won.
From 1986 to 1992 and from 1999 to 2018, he was the president of the International Computer Games Association. He was Chairman of the Rules and Arbitration Committee for the Kasparov vs Deep Junior chess match in New York City in 2003.
Levy once started a business called Tiger Computer Security with a computer hacker, Mathew Bevan.
Levy also wrote Love and Sex with Robots, published in the United States in 2007 by HarperCollins, and forthcoming from Duckworth in the UK. It is the commercial edition of his PhD thesis, which he defended successfully on 11 October 2007, at Maastricht University, Netherlands. On 17 January 2008, he appeared on the late night television show The Colbert Report to promote his book. In September 2009, Levy predicted that sex robots would hit the market within a couple of years. He defended his controversial views on the potential future wide use of sex robots by the public, and also by sex offenders, in an interview with the Guardian newspaper in December 2015. Levy has also been working on a range of sexually erotic chatbots, which have been created by a team based in a lab in Malaysia. However his research into human-robot sexual relations has not been viewed favourably by the Malaysian authorities who ruled the 2015 Congress on Love and Sex with Robots, which was due to be co-chaired by Levy, as illegal following the organisers' attempt to imply the Malaysian governments' endorsement by using the Tourism Malaysia logo on their website. The Congress on Love and Sex with Robots was again cancelled in 2018. Initially committee members of the International Conference on Advances in Computer Entertainment (ACE) objected to plans to partner the two events in Montana and Springer Nature cancelled plans to publish the proceedings due to a lack of academic papers. Further controversy then arose over the invitation of Steve Bannon to keynote at ACE leading to both events being cancelled.
Levy was brought in to a new company called Retro Computers Ltd, by his friend Sir Clive Sinclair. This company was formed after a meeting with Sir Clive and Paul Andrews who conceived the Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega games console. This was backed by members of the public on a crowd funding site raising over £150,000 in 2015, and delivered successfully to backers that same year. A second portable console, the ZX Spectrum Vega+, was proposed, and crowd funded again, but two of the four founding directors (Paul Andrews and Chris Smith) left the company in April 2016 before the crowd funding finished. They left citing irreconcilable differences between them and the last remaining director Levy. Levy continued with the company installing two replacement directors, Suzanne Martin and Dr. Janko Mrsic-Flogel, both long term associates of Levy. The Vega+ console was originally intended to be delivered to backers in September 2016, but as of August 2017 the device remained unreleased amid claims of "infighting and legal battles". Despite condensed accounts being filed for the company at companies house no information has been provided to identify the status of funds. In September 2017 the company's bank statements were released showing that by 2017 all money raised via Indiegogo had been spent by RCL with no product to show for it, but calls from the backers for Levy to explain why the company had previously told The Inquirer that the missing funds were "safe" and "ring-fenced" went unanswered. On 23 January 2019 a Petition to wind up the company was filed by Private Planet Limited, owned by Dr Mrsic-Flogel. Liquidators were appointed 4 April 2019 leaving backers empty-handed.
Computer chess bet
In 1968, Levy and artificial intelligence (AI) pioneer John McCarthy were at a party hosted by Donald Michie. McCarthy invited Levy to play a game of chess which Levy won. McCarthy responded that 'you might be able to beat me, but within 10 years there will be a computer program that can beat you.' Levy suggested they bet on it, and Michie agreed to up the ante. Other AI experts signed on later, with the bet total reaching £1,250. In 1973, Levy wrote:
Clearly, I shall win my ... bet in 1978, and I would still win if the period were to be extended for another ten years. Prompted by the lack of conceptual progress over more than two decades, I am tempted to speculate that a computer program will not gain the title of International Master before the turn of the century and that the idea of an electronic world champion belongs only in the pages of a science fiction book.
Researchers expected that a large network of computers would cooperate against Levy, until Chess 3.0, a program written by Larry Atkin, Keith Gorlen, and David Slate of Northwestern University, won the first United States Computer Chess Championship in 1970. Although Chess 4.0 in 1973 and 1974 achieved a United States Chess Federation rating higher than that of the average tournament player, until 1977 no computer program was good enough to pose a serious threat to Levy. In April 1977 he played a two-game match against Slate and Atkin's Chess 4.5, which had done well in human events, including winning the 1977 Minnesota Open, and had defeated Levy in blitz conditions. After Levy won the first game, the second was not played since Levy could not possibly lose the match. On 17 December, Levy played a two-game match against Kaissa; once again Levy won the first game and the match was terminated. In August 1978, Levy played a two-game match against MacHack; this time both games were played, Levy winning 2–0.
The final match necessary for Levy to win the bet also was played in August and September 1978 at the Canadian National Exhibition, against Chess 4.7, the successor to Chess 4.5. Levy won the bet, defeating 4.7 in a six-game match by a score of 4.5–1.5. The computer scored a draw in game two after getting a completely winning position but being outplayed by Levy in the endgame, and a win in game four—the first computer victory against a human master in a tournament—when Levy essayed the very sharp, dubious Latvian Gambit. Levy wrote, "I had proved that my 1968 assessment had been correct, but on the other hand my opponent in this match was very, very much stronger than I had thought possible when I started the bet." He observed that, "Now nothing would surprise me (very much)."
To further stimulate the growth of computer chess, Levy suggested to Omni magazine that he would offer $1000 to the first program to beat him if they added $4,000 to this, for a total of $5,000. In 1989, the authors of the Deep Thought program won the prize when their program beat Levy.
In 1996, Popular Science asked Levy about Garry Kasparov's impending match against Deep Blue. Levy confidently stated that "...Kasparov can take the match 6 to 0 if he wants to. 'I'm positive, I'd stake my life on it.'" In fact, Kasparov lost the first game, and won the match by a score of only 4–2. The following year, he lost their historic rematch 2.5–3.5.
On 28 June 2011, David Levy and the International Computer Games Association (ICGA) concluded their investigation and determined that Vasik Rajlich in programming Rybka had plagiarised two other chess software programs: Crafty and Fruit. According to Levy and the ICGA, Vasik Rajlich failed to comply with the ICGA rule that each computer chess program must be the original work of the entering developer and that those "whose code is derived from or including game-playing code written by others must name all other authors, or the source of such code, in their submission details".
In response to the suspension, Vasik Rajlich was interviewed by Rybka fan Nelson Hernandez, in which he responded to the ICGA's allegations in a statement and answered questions about the controversy and his opinions on it.
In January 2012, ChessBase.com published an article by Dr. Søren Riis. Riis, a computer science professor at Queen Mary University of London, was critical of Levy's and the ICGA's decision, the investigation, the methods on which the investigation was based, and the panel members themselves. ICGA President David Levy and University of Sydney research fellow in mathematics Mark Watkins responded to Riis' publication with their own statements defending the ICGA panel and findings, respectively.
- Keene, R. D. and Levy, D. N. L. Levy, Siegen Chess Olympiad, CHESS Ltd., 1970.
- Keene, Ray and Levy, David, Chess Olympiad 1972, Doubleday, 1973, ISBN 0-385-06925-1.
- Levy, David, Gligoric's Best Games 1945–1970, R.H.M. Press, 1972. ISBN 0-89058-015-4.
- Levy, David, The Sicilian Dragon, Batsford, 1972.
- Levy, David, How Fischer Plays Chess, R.H.M. Press, 1975. ISBN 0-923891-29-3.
- Levy, D.N.L., Howard Staunton 1810–74, The Chess Player, Nottingham, 1975, ISBN 4-87187-812-0
- Levy, David, Chess and Computers, Computer Science Press, Potomac, Maryland, 1976. ISBN 0-914894-02-1.
- Levy, David, 1975—US Computer Chess Championship, Computer Science Press, Potomac, Maryland.
- Levy, David, 1976—US Computer Chess Championship, Computer Science Press, Potomac, Maryland.
- Levy, David and Newborn, Monroe, More Chess and Computers: The Microcomputer Revolution, The Challenge Match, Computer Science Press, Potomac, Maryland, and Batsford, London, 1980. ISBN 0-914894-07-2.
- Computer Gamesmanship: Elements of Intelligent Game Design, by David Levy, 1983, Simon & Schuster, ISBN 0-671-49532-1.
- The Chess Computer Handbook ISBN 0-7134-4220-4
- Heuristic Programming in Artificial Intelligence (with D. F. Beal), 1989. ISBN 0-7458-0778-X
- How Computers Play Chess (with Monroe Newborn) ISBN 4-87187-801-5
- Computer Games I ISBN 4-87187-802-3
- Computer Games II ISBN 4-87187-803-1
- Computer Chess Compendium ISBN 4-87187-804-X
- How to Play the Sicilian Defence (with Kevin O'Connell) ISBN 4-87187-806-6
- Instant Chess (with Kevin O'Connell) ISBN 4-87187-807-4
- How to Play the King's Indian Defence (with Kevin O'Connell) ISBN 4-87187-808-2
- Play Chess Combinations and Sacrifices ISBN 4-87187-809-0
- Oxford Encyclopedia of Chess Games, Volume 1, 1485–1866 (with Kevin O'Connell), 1980, Oxford University Press, Oxford. ISBN 0-923891-54-4
- Korchnoi's Chess Games (with Kevin O'Connell) ISBN 4-87187-810-4
- Sacrifices in the Sicilian ISBN 4-87187-811-2
- Levy, David, Karpov's Collected Games, Robert Hale & Company, 1975. ISBN 0-7091-4943-3.
- Harry Golombek, Golombek's Encyclopedia of Chess, Crown Publishers, New York, p. 180. ISBN 0-517-53146-1.
- Ray Keene and David Levy, Chess Olympiad 1972, Doubleday, 1973, p. 212. ISBN 0-385-06925-1.
- E.g., R. D. Keene and D. N. L. Levy, Siegen Chess Olympiad, CHESS Ltd., 1970; Ray Keene and David Levy, Chess Olympiad 1972, Doubleday, 1973, ISBN 0-385-06925-1.
- Eales, Jacqueline. "Levy vs Keene". Chessbanter.com. Chessbanter. Retrieved 21 January 2017.
- "Kingpin Chess Magazine » The Chess Player and the Train Robber". www.kingpinchess.net. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
- Watters, Mike. "Chess Computers - The UK Story". Chess Computer UK. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
- Smith, Tony. "The story of the Elan Enterprise 128". The Register. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
- Let's talk about sex ... with robots, The Guardian, 16 September 2009
- "A New President | Icga".
- Wiseman, Eva (13 December 2015). "Sex, love and robots: is this the end of intimacy?". the Guardian. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
- "Flirt with a Chatbot". Indiegogo. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
- Hale-Stern, Kaila. "The Annual Love and Sex With Robots Conference Has Been Canceled". Gizmodo. Future PLC. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
- Mustafa, Mushamir. "Authorities Shocked At Upcoming 'Love And Sex With Robots' Congress Which Carries Tourism Malaysia Logo, Threaten Action". Malaysian Digest. Malaysian Digest. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
- Adshade, Marina (13 December 2018). "We Need Academic Conferences About Robots, Love, and Sex". Slate. Retrieved 25 June 2020.
- "Chris Smith and Paul Andrews step down from Retro Computers". Retrieved 28 July 2016.
- Titcomb, James. "Plan to revive Sinclair ZX Spectrum hit by legal turmoil". Telegraph Online. The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
- Corfield, Gareth. "Indiegogo lawyer asks ZX Spectrum reboot firm: Where's the cash?". The Register. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
- "The Inquirer, 28th November 2016". The Inquirer. 26 November 2016.
- David Levy, "Man Beats Machine!", Chess Life & Review, November 1978, pp. 600–03, at pp. 600–01.
- David Levy and Monroe Newborn, More Chess and Computers: The Microcomputer Revolution, The Challenge Match, Computer Science Press, Potomac, Maryland, and Batsford, London, 1980, p. 1. ISBN 0-914894-07-2.
- Douglas, J R (December 1978). "Chess 4.7 versus David Levy". BYTE. p. 84. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
- David Levy, "Computer Chess—Past, Present and Future", Chess Life & Review, December 1973, pp. 723–26, at 726.
- David Levy and Monroe Newborn, More Chess and Computers: The Microcomputer Revolution, The Challenge Match, Computer Science Press, Potomac, Maryland, and Batsford, London, 1980, p. 2. ISBN 0-914894-07-2.
- Jennings, Peter (January 1978). "The Second World Computer Chess Championships". BYTE. p. 108. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
- David Levy and Monroe Newborn, More Chess and Computers: The Microcomputer Revolution, The Challenge Match, Computer Science Press, Potomac, Maryland, and Batsford, London, 1980, pp. 2–5. ISBN 0-914894-07-2.
- David Levy and Monroe Newborn, More Chess and Computers: The Microcomputer Revolution, The Challenge Match, Computer Science Press, Potomac, Maryland, and Batsford, London, 1980, pp. 6–8. ISBN 0-914894-07-2.
- David Levy, "Man Beats Machine!", Chess Life & Review, November 1978, pp. 600–03, at pp. 601.
- David Levy and Monroe Newborn, More Chess and Computers: The Microcomputer Revolution, The Challenge Match, Computer Science Press, Potomac, Maryland, and Batsford, London, 1980, pp. 8–10. ISBN 0-914894-07-2.
- David Levy, "Man Beats Machine!", Chess Life & Review, November 1978, pp. 600–03, at pp. 601–03.
- David Levy and Monroe Newborn, More Chess and Computers: The Microcomputer Revolution, The Challenge Match, Computer Science Press, Potomac, Maryland, and Batsford, London, 1980, pp. 10–30. ISBN 0-914894-07-2.
- David Levy, "Man Beats Machine!", Chess Life & Review, November 1978, pp. 600–03, at pp. 602–03.
- David Levy and Monroe Newborn, More Chess and Computers: The Microcomputer Revolution, The Challenge Match, Computer Science Press, Potomac, Maryland, and Batsford, London, 1980, p. 30. ISBN 0-914894-07-2.
- David Levy and Monroe Newborn, More Chess and Computers: The Microcomputer Revolution, The Challenge Match, Computer Science Press, Potomac, Maryland, and Batsford, London, 1980, Preface. ISBN 0-914894-07-2.
- Antonoff, Michael (March 1996), "Curtains for Kasparov?", Popular Science, pp. 42–46
- "ICGA Investigation Documents". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
- "Hürriyet Daily News". Hürriyet Daily News. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
- "Rybka disqualified and banned from World Computer Chess Championships - ChessVibes". www.chessvibes.com. Archived from the original on 3 March 2012. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
- http://www.washingtontimes.com, The Washington Times. "Computer chess champ stripped of its four titles". Retrieved 30 March 2018.
- Dunn, John E. "World's best chess program loses titles in plagiarism row". Retrieved 30 March 2018.
- "Rybka, the world's best chess engine, outlawed and disqualified - ExtremeTech". 29 June 2011. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
- katzenpapa (12 July 2011). ""Another Conversation with Vasik Rajlich" By Nelson Hernandez (on Rybka chess)". Retrieved 30 March 2018 – via YouTube.
- Riis, Søren (5 January 2012). "A Gross Miscarriage of Justice in Computer Chess" (PDF). ChessBase.com. p. 31. Retrieved 5 January 2012.
- Levy, David (9 January 2012). "No Miscarriage of Justice – Just Biased Reporting". harveywilliamson.com. p. 10. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
- Watkins, Mark (9 January 2012). "A Critical Analysis of the Four Parts of Riis" (PDF). harveywilliamson.com. p. 16. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
- "ICGA/Rybka controversy: An interview with David Levy (1)". 6 February 2012. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
- "ICGA/Rybka controversy: An interview with David Levy (2)". 10 February 2012. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
- David N L Levy rating card at FIDE
- David Levy player profile and games at Chessgames.com
- The History of Computer Chess: An AI Perspective. Watch Full Lecture – WMV 183MB | Google Video featuring Murray Campbell (IBM Deep Blue Project), Edward Feigenbaum, David Levy, John McCarthy, and Monty Newborn. at Computer History Museum
- Levy and the hacker at crypt magazine
- Author page at HarperCollins
- Artificial Intelligence Researcher David Levy Predicts Human-Robot Marriages:
- About.com interview (10/2007)
- A critique of Love and Sex with Robots, by James Trimarco
- Interview with David Levy about upcoming Kasparov-Junior match (circa 2003)