On 5 October 2009 I was sat in a Wetherspoon's on Mile End Road with my good friend John Faben. John is a PhD maths student and the owner of this blog, and that night, as he so often does, he asked me a question to which I had no hope of giving an adequate answer. It played on my mind for a few days, then I forgot about it.
I saw John again last Sunday. Funnily enough, we were in a Wetherspoon's. I was reminded of his poser from eight months ago, and resolved to put it out to chess blog readers far and wide. The problem is as follows:
Imagine, if you will, a game of chess between a competent human and a computer. The former must start with just a bare king; the latter, perhaps somewhat unfairly, has all of its pieces intact. If, however, all of the computer's moves were generated at random, what are the chances of the game ending in a draw?