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Programmers Who Developed Chess Programs

Chess has always been a game that has fascinated several individuals ever since it was formed. The moment computer technology began to become mainstream, several programmers scrambled to program chess. Over the last century, significant strides have been achieved to computerize chess. Although many have been successful, there are several programmers whose efforts have disappeared due to their lack of impact. Some of the famous programmers that have made extensive contributions to chess are highlighted below.

Alan Turing

The celebrated computer scientist Alan Turing was amongst the first people to create a computer-based chess program. The program he created was completely able to play a chess game. His ability to create this program was largely due to his extensive research within the realm of artificial intelligence. His achievements led to the Turing test that was largely used to differentiate a human from a computer or a robot. The desire to improve his skill and create a difficult playing partner was part of the reason Alan ventured into the digitalization of chess.

Dietrich Prinz

Dietrick is another computer scientist who worked on chess. Dietrick was a student of Alan and he was heavily influenced by him. Nonetheless, his work was largely independent of Alan’s. Additionally, Dietrick concentrated on providing an endgame of chess as Alan’s work was particularly deficient in this regard. As a result, Dietrick’s chess program is considered the first limited program, which had an end game. Further down his research, Dietrick was able to solve the mate-in-two issue, which was amongst the highlights of his career. In essence, the Dietrick program solved the digital chess problem.

Paul Stein

Paul Stein, in 1956, developed a program that was able to operate a chess-like play. This chess variant, which is referred to as Los Alamos chess is performed on a smaller board and it does not have bishops. The Los Alamos program developed by Paul and a colleague was the first of its kind. This variant of chess was used on the MANIAC I machine. The number of pieces and the size of the board was reduced solely because of the capacity of the computers.

John McCarthy

John McCarthy was an accomplished computer scientist who created several programs. In particular, John was instrumental in the development of artificial intelligence. He was amongst the programmers to create the expression artificial intelligence. Additionally, he helped develop a few programming languages and other programming tools. Amongst his work was the development of the Alpha-beta pruning search algorithm, which was instrumental in the development of chess. It decreases nodes during a search, thereby facilitating the processing of chess and other two-player tournaments.

Richard Greenblatt

Richard Greenblatt is a programmer who is considered to be amongst the founding fathers of the hacking community. He is considered with great respect within several circles of computer science. During his active years, Richard developed the Mac Hack chess program at MIT. The VI version of the Mac Hack program was the first program to operate using human competition conditions.

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