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Chem Soc Rev. 2005 Mar;34(3):247-66. Epub 2005 Feb 8.

Computer-aided organic synthesis.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Queen Mary, University of London, Mile End Road, London, UKE1 4NS.


It is tempting for those in the field of organic synthesis to liken the process of retrosynthesis to a game of chess. That the world chess champion was recently defeated by a computer leads us to think that perhaps new and powerful computing methods could be applied to synthetic problems. Here the analogy between synthesis and chess is outlined. Achievements in the 35-year history of computer-aided synthetic design are described, followed by some more recent developments.

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