After a difficult bout with pancreatic cancer, Martion Tinsley died on April 3, 1995. In e-mail sent out that evening, Jonathan Schaeffer wrote: "He was as close to perfection as is possible in a human. ... We are grateful for the opportunity he gave us, and the privilege of playing the very best. We shall deeply miss him."

That same month, Ron King (who is now the human champion at checkers) challenged Chinook for the man-machine championship, and Schaeffer agreed. Unfortunately, the money needed to fund the match has not been forthcoming, and there are currently no plans to hold the match.

Chinook is now in retirement from professional checkers, though it does still play a devastating amateur game; you can click here to play against the program (not running on an SGI Challenge, though!).

(A few things in the original article are out of date: I am now at the University of Wisconsin, not MIT, and it appears that "Who Proved Fermat's Theorem?: The Curious Incident of the Boasting Frenchman" won't be finished and in print until 2001.)