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Reversing the Biosphere

Simon Parkin, The New Yorker, The Return of the Chess cheat, here. In some ways the cheating detectors, like Ken Regan, check moves in games against the book (MCO) or against the moves a good computer program would make in the same situation. I suppose they update their Bayesian priors relative to some subsequence of moves, in turn, based on some assessment of the state of the game at the beginning of the move subsequence.  Reversing the Biosphere is like – you don’t have MCO or the computer program but you have a whole lot more lists of moves (but you don’t really even know if they are chess moves or even they refer to pieces located on squares of a board). I am guessing that CRISPR telling you there is a push down stack in the native DNA code is like finding out Bishops move on diagonals in the generate the MCO problem.  Can you reverse engineer MCO or the good computer program in a reasonable amount of time? Seems like you should be able to restate this in some plausible computational complexity formulation. As a first step, simply backing out the MCO from the universe of known moves would be interesting as a parallel to reversing mitosis, for example.

Chess cheating has, in the subsequent thousand years, grown less bloody but more sophisticated. Earlier this week, the twenty-five-year-old Georgian chess champion Gaioz Nigalidze was expelled and banned from the Dubai Open Chess Tournament. His opponent, the Armenian grandmaster Tigran L. Petrosian (no relation to the late Armenian grandmaster Tigran V. Petrosian), grew suspicious when Nigalidze began retreating to the bathroom following key moves, often for long stretches of time and always to the same stall. Adjudicators, at Petrosian’s request, carried out a search and found a toilet-paper-wrapped iPod Touch nestled behind the bowl. A chess app was open on the device and the virtual match board mirrored the real one outside.

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