Conversation with International Master Ken Regan -

Chess and AI: The Role of Transparency


Thursday, June 30, 2021

3:30 pm EDT


CAIDP brings together world-leading experts in the governance and regulation of AI.  In this conversation, Marc Rotenberg will discuss efforts to promote fair play and promote transparency with International Chess Master Ken Regan .


When: June 30, 2021, 3:30 PM EDT (UTC-4)

Topic: CAIDP Conversations: Live Q&A with Pro


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When the chess world suspects someone of cheating in a tournament, Ken Regan is the expert who gets the call. Using a database of tens of thousands of top-level games, Kenneth Regan, himself an international chess master, has devised a program that can help determine whether a player is playing like a human or like a computer. 

The US Chess Federation recently endorsed the fair play methodology developed by Professor Regan to identify cheating in online and over-the-board games of chess. The USCF noted “A strong advantage of his method is that the algorithm has been published in the public domain.” The chess world also features the ELO rating system, a method for calculating the skill level of players. The system is inherently open, transparent, provable and scalable.


Speaker: Professor Ken Regan


Kenneth W. Regan is an American chess player, mathematician, computer scientist and associate professor with tenure at Department Computer Science and Engineering, University at Buffalo, Amherst, New York. He defended his Ph.D. on the separation of complexity classes in 1986 at University of Oxford under Dominic Welsh. Beside computational complexity theory, his research interests include other fields of information theory and pure mathematics. Kenneth W. Regan holds the title of a Chess International Master with a rating of 2372.


IM Regan deployed a novel database lookup technique after the famous 1999 Kasparov versus the World chess match to prove that the position was drawn at move 50 with best play on both sides. Kasparov suspected that the position was drawn, but as the further course of the game proved, no one fully understood the position at the time. With his 62nd move, Kasparov announced a forced checkmate in 28 moves found by the computer program Deep Junior. In light of this, 51% of the World Team voters opted to resign on October 22, four months after the game commenced


Moderator: Marc Rotenberg


Marc Rotenberg is President and founder of the Center for AI Digital Policy. A tournament chess player, Marc has promoted Algorithmic Transparency and urged the Federal Trade Commission to treat opaque scoring techniques as unfair and deceptive trade practices. He proposed the chess ELO system as an alternative because it is open, transparent, and provable.