Feng-hsiung Hsu

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Feng-hsiung Hsu (born January 1, 1959)[1] (Chinese: 許峰雄; pinyin: Xǔ Fēng Xióng) (nicknamed Crazy Bird)[2] is a Taiwanese-American computer scientist and the author of the book Behind Deep Blue: Building the Computer that Defeated the World Chess Champion. His work led to the creation of the Deep Thought chess computer, which led to the first chess playing computer to defeat grandmasters in tournament play and the first to achieve a certified grandmaster-level rating.

Hsu was the architect and the principal designer of the IBM Deep Blue chess computer. He was the recipient of the 1990 Mephisto Best-Publication Award for his doctoral dissertation and also the 1991 ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award for his contributions in architecture and algorithms for chess machines.[3]


Hsu was born in Keelung,[4] Taiwan, and came to the United States after graduating from National Taiwan University with a BS in E.E. He started his graduate work at Carnegie Mellon University in the field of computer chess in the year 1985.[5] In 1988 he was part of the "Deep Thought" team that won the Fredkin Intermediate Prize for Deep Thought's grandmaster-level performance.[6] In 1989 he joined IBM to design a chess-playing computer[7] and received a Ph.D. in computer science with honors from Carnegie Mellon University.[5]

In 1991, the Association for Computing Machinery awarded Hsu a Grace Murray Hopper Award for his work on Deep Blue. In 1996, the supercomputer lost to world chess champion Garry Kasparov.[6] After the loss, Hsu's team prepared for a re-match. During the re-match with Kasparov, the supercomputer had double the processing power it had during the previous match. On May 11, 1997, Kasparov lost the sixth and final game, and, with it, the match (2½–3½).[6]

Prior to building the supercomputer Deep Blue[7] that defeated Kasparov, Hsu worked on many other chess computers. He started with ChipTest, a simple chess-playing chip, based on a design from Unix-inventor Ken Thompson's Belle, and very different from the other chess-playing computer being developed at Carnegie Mellon, HiTech, which was developed by Hans Berliner and included 64 different chess chips for the move generator instead of the one in Hsu's series. Hsu went on to build the successively better chess-playing computers Deep Thought, Deep Thought II, and Deep Blue Prototype.[5]

In 2003, Hsu joined Microsoft Research Asia, in Beijing.[8] In 2007, he stated the view that brute-force computation has eclipsed humans in chess, and it could soon do the same in the ancient Asian game of Go.[9] This came to pass nine years later in 2016.


  • Behind Deep Blue: Building the Computer that Defeated the World Chess Champion. Princeton University Press, 2002. (ISBN 0-691-09065-3). Review by ChessBase.com

See also[edit]


  1. ^ IT History Society
  2. ^ "Images". Mastering the Game: A History of Computer Chess. Computer History Museum. Archived from the original on March 22, 2007. Retrieved February 24, 2007.
  3. ^ Biographies Of The IBM Deep Blue Team, Press Material
  4. ^ Hsu, Feng-Hsiung (2002). Behind deep blue: building the computer that defeated the world chess champion. ISBN 0691090653. Retrieved March 12, 2012 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ a b c IBM (February 26, 2007). "IBM Research Scientist: Feng-Hsiung Hsu".
  6. ^ a b c Computer History Museum (February 24, 2007). "Defeating the World Chess Champion".
  7. ^ a b "Shroder, Ed. "Historic Pictures." 2007. February 24, 2007". Archived from the original on May 14, 2011. Retrieved February 24, 2007.
  8. ^ "專訪:深藍項目之父許峰雄何以跳槽". People's Daily. May 29, 2003. Retrieved December 21, 2019.
  9. ^ Feng-Hsiung Hsu (October 2007). "Cracking GO". IEEE Spectrum. Archived from the original on March 17, 2009. Retrieved March 12, 2012 – via ieee spectrum online. Brute-force computation has eclipsed humans in chess, and it could soon do the same in this ancient Asian game

External links[edit]