IBM's Deep Blue, 1997
Here is a timeline of some of the major events in computer chess.
In 1912, Leonardo Torres y Quevedo (1852-1936) built an electro-mechanical machine that could play King and Rook versus King endgames. It was called El Ajedrecista (the chessplayer). It was first demonstrated publicly in 1914 at the Paris World's Fair. It used a mechanical arm to make its moves, and electrical sensors to detect its opponent's replies in a King vs. King + Rook endgame. The writer of a Scientific American article on the device was worried that machinery might someday substitute for the human mind. (source: "Torres and His Remarkable Automatic Devices," Scientific American, Supplement 80, Nov 6, 1915, p. 296).
In 1920, a second version of El Ajedrecista was constructed that eliminated the arm and moved the chess pieces via magnets under the board instead. It was made by Gonzalo Torres y Quevedo, the son of Leonardo Torres y Quevedo. This version now resides in a museum at Madrid's Polytechnic University.
In 1922, the second version of El Ajedrecista was exhibited in Paris.
In 1941, the German engineer and computer pioneer Konrad Zuse (1910-1995) developed the first computer chess-playing algorithm. Because of the circumstances of the Second World War, however, they were not published, and did not come to light until the 1970s. Zuse (pronounced tsu-ze) is considered the inventor of the world's first programmable computer, and the first high-level programming language. Zuse wrote, "The link with mathematical logic had already been established. As a civil engineer I was attracted by the prospect of drawing on predicate and relational calculus and exploring the possibilities they offered as a basis for computing. Take the frameworks used in building construction for example-were they not similar to the graphs used in relational calculus? Using pair lists, it was relatively easy to digitalize the structure of a framework with the aid of relational calculus, in other words, to break it down into its component data. This could then be entered into the combination memory, which had been invented by this time, and serve as a basis for combination calculations. This ought to mean that not only purely numerical calculations could be dealt with, but construction design itself. Up till now only the human mind had been capable of this. The same idea applied to frameworks and other types of building design. I became extremely preoccupied with this new aspect of computing. I even went as far as learning to play chess in order to try to formulate the rules of the game in terms of logical calculus. Chess offered a mass of data structures within a limited space. A symbolic language (the expression "algorithmic language" was unknown to me at the time) that could describe chess problems seemed to me to be suitable for all computer machine problems. Plankalkül was later (1945) devised with this principle in mind." (source: Computer Pioneers — Konrad Zuse - http://history.computer.org/pioneers/zuse.html)
In 1942, Zuse began writing a computer chess program in Plankalkul (high-level programming language) on punched cards.
In 1944, John von Neumann (1903-1957) and Oskar Morgenstern (1902-1977) began studying the general theory of games. They presented the minimax algorithm and showed how it applied, in theory, to the game of chess. Neumann classified chess as a two-player zero-sum game with perfect information.
In 1945, Zuse formulated chess program routines in his high-level programming language Plankalkül.
In 1945, Alan M. Turing (1912-1954) used chess-playing as an example of what a computer could do. Turing himself was a weak chess player.
In 1946, Alan Turing made his first reference to machine intelligence in connection with chess-playing.
In 1947, Alan Turing specified the first chess program for chess.
In 1947, Turing challenged British researcher and computer pioneer Donald Michie (1923-2007) to see who could first write a simple chess-playing algorithm. Michie was a stronger chess player than Turing. Michie returned to Oxford and began exploring ways of developing "paper machines" that could play chess.
In 1948, Alan Turing and mathematician D. G. Champernowne (1912-2000) began work on his "paper machine" Turbochamp program.
In 1948, a chess program called Machiavelli was developed by Donald Michie and Shaun Wylie (1913-2009). This was a rival "paper machine" of Alan Turing's Turbochamp.
In 1948, Alan Turing began working on his chess algorithm and finished it in 1950. The algorithm was crude. Its logic was based on just a few of the most basic rules of chess, and it was only able to "think" two moves in advance.
In 1948, American mathematician Norbert Wiener (1894-1964) wrote a book called Cybernetics or Control and Communication in the Animal and Machine. In it, he described how a chess program could be developed using a depth-limited minimax search with an evaluation function. He wrote, "It would probably win over a stupid or careless chess player, and would almost certainly lose to a careful player of any considerable degree of proficiency. In other words, it might very well be as good a player as the vast majority of the human race. This does not mean that it would reach the degree of proficiency of Maelzel's fraudulent machine, but, for all that, it may attain a pretty fair level of accomplishment." (source: Cybernetics, 2nd edition, 1961, p. 164)
Wiener himself was a poor chess player. When Wiener was asked why he was so great as a mathematician, but so lousy at chess, he replied, "In chess you're only as good as your worst move. In mathematics you're as good as your best move."
In October 1948, Claude E. Shannon (1916-2001), a research worker at Bell Telephone Laboratories in New Jersey, began developing an idea of how to program a digital computer to play chess. He estimated that the number of nodes in the complete chess tree to be 10 raised to the 120th power. Shannon categorized two types of search. Type A was a brute-force search looking at every variation to a given depth, and favored by fast processors. Type B was a selective search looking at important branches only.
In 1948 the UNIVAC (Universal Automatic Computer) computer was advertised as the strongest computer in the world. So strong, that it could play chess and gin rummy so perfectly that no human opponent could beat it.
In 1949, Tihamer Nemes (1895-1960) of Hungary designed and constructed an electro-mechanical chess machine. He built a chess machine for solving two-move chess problems. (source: CHESS, Nov 1949, p. 38)
On March 9, 1949, Shannon presented a paper called "Programming a Digital Computer for Playing Chess." The paper was presented at the National Institute for Radio Engineers Convention in New York. He described how to program a computer to play chess based on position scoring and move selection. He proposed basic strategies for restricting the number of possibilities to be considered in a game of chess. Shannon was an avid chess player. He first proposed his idea of programming a computer for chess at the National Institute for Radio Engineers (IRE) Convention in New York.
In 1949, Shannon built an "electric chess automaton." It could handle 6 pieces and was used to test programming methods. (source: Chess Review, Jan 1951, p. 13)
In 1950, Alan Turing wrote the first computer chess program. The same year he proposed the Turing Test that in time, a computer could be programmed (such as playing chess) to acquire abilities rivaling human intelligence. If a human did not see the other human or computer during an imitation game such as chess, he/she would not know the difference between the human and the computer.
In 1950 Claude Shannon devised a chess playing program that appeared in the paper "Programming a Computer for Playing Chess." This was the first article on computer chess. (source: Philosophical Magazine, Vol. 41, 1950, pp. 256-275)
In March 1950, Shannon published "A Chess-Playing Machine" in Scientific American. The article was concerned with the problem of constructing a computing routine or "program" for a computer to enable it to play chess. (source: Scientific American, Feb 1, 1950, Vol. 182, # 2, pp. 48-51)
In April 1950, Edward Lasker wrote an article "20th Century Chess Playing Automata." (source: Chess Review, April 1950, pp. 104-108)
In 1951, Turing tried to implement his "Turbochamp" program on the Ferranti Mark I computer at Manchester University. This was the world's first commercially available general-purpose computer. He never completed the task. However, his colleague, Dr. Dietrich Prinz (1903-1989), wrote a chess playing computer program for the Ferranti Mark 1 computer that solved simple mates in two moves.
In 1951, the electromagnetic automatic chess player constructed by Gonzales Torres y Quevedo was demonstrated at the Cybernetics Conference in Paris. Gonzales demonstrated the machine to Norbert Wiener at the conference.
In November 1951, the first chess-solving program was written by Prinz for the Mark 1 computer. The program would examine every possible move until a solution was found. It took about 15 minutes to solve a mate in two moves and print the solution. It looked at 450 possible moves, of which 100 were illegal. It averaged about 2 seconds per move on average. (source: Research, 1952, Vol. 6, p. 261 and Faster Than Thought, Bowden, 1953, pp. 296)
In 1952 Alick Glennie (1925-2003), who wrote the first computer compiler, defeated Alan Turing's paper-printed chess program, TurboChamp, in 29 moves. Glennie was the first person to beat a computer program at chess. Turing never finished his chess-playing program. When it was Turing's turn to make a move, he would consult the algorithm and use its "logic" to decide which pieces to move, and where. Because he had to analyze every move as his program would, Turing took upwards of 30 minutes to work through the strategy each time his turn came. "Turbochamp "showed it was fully capable of playing against a human in chess — but not winning. Glennie defeated Turing in just 29 moves.
In May 1952, W. Ross Ashby (1903-1972) published an article called "Can a mechanical chess-player outplay its designer?" At the time, the question was not only of philosophic interest, but was fast approaching practical importance. Ashby felt compelled to demonstrate the full significance and implications of this possibility to an audience beyond the handful of psychiatrists and cyberneticians with whom he had contact. To do this, he developed a clear and compelling problem through which audiences could grasp this significance. Ashby was concerned with the ability of a machine, in this case a chess-playing machine, to acquire knowledge and skill beyond the knowledge and skill built into it. (source: British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, May 1952, Vol. 3, No. 9, pp. 44-57)
In February 1953, Eliot Slater (1904-1983) published an article called "Statistics for the Chess Computer and the Factor of Mobility." Claude Shannon argued that the problem of providing a program for a chess-playing computer is of theoretical interest, and its use might lead to a wide range of practical developments. The problem was also interesting psychologically. If the human and the mechanical players are to play the same game, they will each have to be directed by concepts which have a certain equivalence. But the concepts used by the skilled human chess-player are both subtle and complex, and for the purpose of programming a computer they will have to be reduced to their simplest form. Chess-masters are, as a class, men of considerable general intellectual ability, and come from the ranks of professional men, mathematicians, scientists, lawyers, etc. They have in addition a special ability. Very few chess-masters, who began the game early, did not show unusual excellence at it at a very early age. The specific chess ability begins to show itself, given the opportunity, at about the age of eleven. Furthermore, there are few, if any, chess-masters who cannot play blindfold, and play many games at once, achievements which are entirely beyond the powers of the ordinary player. The order of intellectual activity which we are required to reduce to simple terms is therefore of a superior kind. (source: Transactions of the IRE Professional Group on Information Theory, Vol 1, # 1, Feb 1953)
In 1953, Alan Turing included an example of his chess program in action in chapter 25 ("Digital Computers Applied to Games") of the book Faster Than Thought by B. Bowden. He discussed how a digital computer could play chess. (source: Faster Than Thought, Bowden, 1953, pp. 288-310)
In 1954, Norwegian-Italian mathematician Nils Barricelli (1912-1993) visited Princeton and met grandmaster Reuben Fine (1914-1993). In a discussion with Fine, Barricelli said that he was going to program a computer to beat Reuben Fine. At chess. Fine replied that he was sure that such a machine would play a poor game. Barricelli eventually developed his chess program called FREEDOM, which took place in the First World Computer Chess Championship in Stockholm in 1974. (source: Bell, MASTER at IFIPS, Atlas Computer Laboratory, 1978)
In March 1955, Allen Newell (1927-1992), of the RAND Corporation, published an article called "The Chess Machine: An Example of Dealing with a Complex Task of Adaptation." The modern general-purpose computer was characterized as the embodiment of a three-point philosophy: (1) There shall exist a way of computing anything computable; (2) The computer shall be so fast that it does not matter how complicated the way is; and (3) Man shall be so intelligent that he will be able to discern the way and instruct the computer. (source: Proceedings of AFIPS Western Joint Computer Conference, pp. 101-108, March 1955)
In 1955, John McCarthy (1927-2011) invented the alpha-beta search function that was eventually used in chess programs. In 1955, he coined the word Artificial Intelligence and is considered the father of artificial intelligence. It was McCarthy's students that developed the first computer program to convincingly play chess. It ran initially on an IBM 704 computer (later on an IBM 709 and 7090) and incorporated McCarthy's version of an alpha-beta pruning scheme to reduce the number of positions that had to be considered. The IBM 704 was one of the last vacuum tube computers.
In 1955, Cliff Shaw (1922-1991) of the RAND Corporation worked with Allen Newell and Herbert Simon at Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie-Mellon University) in Pittsburgh to develop their CP-1 chess program later called NSS (Newell, Shaw, and Simon). The later abandoned the project to focus on writing programs for discovering symbolic logic proofs. They returned to the NSS chess program in 1958 using a more powerful computer.
In 1956, Russian programmers began developing a chess-playing computer program that ran on their BESM-6 Soviet mainframe computer. By 1958, a computer program was completed to play a complete game of chess using a BESM.
By 1956 experiments on a Univac MANIAC I (Mathematical Analyzer, Numerical Integrator, and Computer) computer (capable of 11,000 operations a second and used to design hydrogen bombs) at Los Alamos, using a 6x6 chessboard, was playing chess. This was the first documented account of a running chess program. It used a chess set without bishops. It took 12 minutes to search 4 moves deep. Adding the two bishops would have taken 3 hours to search 4 moves deep. MANIAC I had a memory of 600 words, storage of 80K, 11KHz speed, and had 2,400 vacuum tubes. The team that programmed MANIAC was led by Stan Ulam (1909-1984), who invented nuclear pulse propulsion and designed the H-bomb with Edward Teller (1908-2003). (source: Journal of the ACM, Vol. 4, # 174, 1956)
Playing with the simplified Los Alamos rules, the program played three games. The first game pitted the program against itself. In the second game, the program played Dr. Martin Kruskel, a mathematician and strong chess player. The human won. In the third game, the program mated a novice in 23 moves. It was the first time a human had lost to a computer in a game of intellectual skill. The novice was a secretary who had been taught the game during the previous week. She had been coached explicitly for the purpose of seeing how well the program could do against a beginner. (sources: Chess Review, Jan 1957, pp. 13-16 and Pritchard, The Encyclopedia of Chess Variants, 1994, pp. 175-176)
In April 1957, James Kister, Paul Stein, Stan Ulam, William Walden, and Mark Wells (all from Los Alamos Scientific Lab) published an article called "Experiments in Chess." The aim of the article was to report on some experiments performed on a fast computing machine, the MANIAC I, on the coding of computers to play the game of chess. It was not their belief that a machine would be made in the near future which could be coded to beat a strong player. It was the first published report of a chess-playing computer program. (source: Journal of the ACM, Vol. 4 # 2, April 1957, pp. 174-177)
In 1957, Alex Bernstein, an IBM employee, created the first complete chess program at IBM. With his colleagues Michael de V. Roberts, Timothy Arbuckle and Martin Belsky, Bernstein created a chess program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It ran on an IBM 704 (42,000 instructions per second), one of the last vacuum tube computers. It took about 8 minutes to make a move after a 4-ply search. Bernstein got support from chess advisor Arthur Bisguier (1929-2017), who became an IBM employee and an international grandmaster in 1957. International Master Edward Lasker (1885-1981) played the program, easily defeating it, but he commented that it played a ‘passable amateur game.' The Bernstein Chess Program was the prototype of a selective forward pruning technique called the Shannon Type B (selective search) program. His program searched four plies and considered seven most plausible moves from each position, evaluating material, mobility, area control and king defense. (source: Proceedings from the Western Computer Conference, Vol. 13, # 157, 1958)
In 1957, American economist, political scientist, artificial intelligence pioneer, and Nobel prize-winner Herbert Simon (1916-2001) and a team at Carnegie Tech said that "within 10 years, a digital computer would be the world's chess champion, unless the rules bar it from competition." (source: New Scientist, Aug 5, 1989, p. 50). It actually took 40 years before a computer could be the world chess champion in a match.
In 1957, the original chess program on the MANIAC I was lost when it was retired and replaced by MANIAC II. It may have played 20 games by Los Alamos rules before the program was lost. Chess wasn't the only game programmed on the MANIAC I. It was also programmed to play Blackjack.
In 1957, a few scientists and engineers predicted that "within 10 years a computer would be world chess champion." (source: Praxtime, Marc 24, 2014 - https://praxtime.com/2014/03/24/chess-technology-progress/)
In 1958, Allen Newell (1927-1992), Herbert Simon and Cliff Shaw developed the chess program CP-1 (NSS) at Carnegie Tech. It was the first chess program to be written in a high-level language (IPL-IV) and took about an hour to make a move. Their NSS program combined algorithms that searched for good moves with heuristics that captured well-known chess strategies. Its most important innovation was the alpha-beta tree search algorithm. The way it works is that a computer evaluates a move and starts working on its second move. As soon as a single line shows that it will return a lower value than the first move, it can terminate the search. You can now chop off large parts of the search tree without affecting the final results. The NSS chess program ran on a JOHNNIAC (named after John von Neumann), an early computer built by RAND Corporation, first built in 1953. Newell and Shaw handled most of the actual development work.
In 1958, the NSS chess program beat a human player for the first time. The human player was a secretary who was taught how to play chess one hour before her game with the computer. The computer program was played on an IBM 704. The computer displayed a level of chess-playing expertise greater than an adult human could gain from one hour of chess instruction.
In June 1958, there was an article called "Computer v. Chess-Player" by Michael de V. Roberts and Alex Bernstein in Scientific American. It showed a picture of Alex Bernstein playing chess using an IBM 704 computer. Bernstein also presented an article on the chess playing program at a computer conference in 1958. (source: Scientific American, Jun 1, 1958, Vol. 198, # 6, pp. 96-105)
In October 1958, Allen Newell, John C. Shaw, and Herbert Simon published an article called "Chess-playing programs and the problem of complexity." This paper traced the development of digital computer programs that play chess. The work of Shannon, Turing, the Los Alamos group, Bernstein, and the authors was treated in turn. The efforts to program chess provided an indication of current progress in understanding and constructing complex and intelligent mechanisms. (source: IBM Journal of Research and Development, Vol 2 Issue 4, pp. 320-335, October 1958)
In 1959, MIT freshmen Alan Kotok (1942-2006), Elwyn Berlekamp (1940- ), Michael Lieberman, Charles Niessen, and Robert A. Wagner started working a chess-playing program while students of Professor John McCarthy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). They started with Bernstein's program, then added alpha-beta pruning to minmax at McCarthy's suggestion to improve the plausible move generator. They wrote in Fortran, and a single move could take five to twenty minutes to complete. Their chess-playing program ran on an IBM 7090 mainframe computer.
In 1959, a Canadian chess program was demonstrated at the University of Toronto. It was written by International Master Frank Anderson (1928-1980) and Bob Cody, and it ran on an IBM 605 computer. The program did not play a complete game of chess, but analyzed simple pawn endings. The program was able to play these simple pawn endgames perfectly. When the program was demonstrated at the Canadian Conference of Scientists it played against more than 50 different opponents, each of whom was allowed to choose his own starting position, given the small number of pawns. In each case the program played perfectly. David Levy wrote, "The programmers devised a unique strategy that enabled their program to play these endings perfectly. Their first version could cope with more than 180,000 different positions, a figure that was increased in subsequent versions of the program. When the program was demonstrated at the Canadian Conference of Scientists it played against more than 50 different opponents, each of whom was allowed to choose his own starting position, given the small number of pawns. In each case the program played perfectly. Unfortunately, the strategy that enabled these endings to be programmed successfully was never documented and the programmers no longer have any written record of it, nor are they able to remember it. In fact, Frank Anderson confessed to me recently that even at the time he could not explain why some of their strategies worked."
In the 1950s, world chess champion Mikhail Botvinnik (1911-1995), who had a PhD in electrical engineering, became interested in computers that could play chess. Botvinnik's research on chess-playing programs concentrated on "selective searches", which used general chess principles to decide which moves were worth considering. This was the only feasible approach for the primitive computers available in the Soviet Union in the early 1960s, which were only capable of searching three or four half-moves deep (i.e., A's move, B's move, A's move, B's move) if they tried to examine every variation.
In 1960, Mikhail Botvinnik gave a lecture at Humboldt University in Berlin called "Man and machines at the chessboard." He was convince that a computer could be programmed to play at grandmaster strength.
In 1961, a chess program was written at the Steklov Institute of Mathematics in Moscow under the direction of Mikhail Shura-Bura (1918-2008) running on a Strela or M-20 single-processor computer. (source: Tomanov, "The Best Move in 58 Seconds," 8th Bulletin of the Botvinnik-Tal 1961 Revenge Match, 1961)
In 1961, John Maynard Smith (1920-2004) designed a chess move analyzer called SOMA (Smith One-Move analyzer). It used an evaluation function that took in account the material, mobility, and ‘swap-off values.'
In 1962, the first MIT chess program was written. It was the first chess program that played regular chess credibly. It was chiefly written by Alan Kotok (1941-2006) for his Bachelor of Science thesis project, assisted by John McCarthy of MIT. The program ran on an IBM 7090, looking at 1,100 positions per second. The program was able to beat chess beginners and played about 100 games. Kotok, at age 20, published their work in MIT Artificial Intelligence Memo 41 and his B.S. thesis. Kotok went on to become one of DEC's leading computer designers (chief architect of the PDP-10), and created the first video game and the gaming joystick. (source: Kotok, "A Chess Playing Program for the IBM 7090 Computer," MIT Department of Electrical Engineering, 1962)
In 1962, the first recorded computer chess cheating occurred at MIT. Some MIT students went to Professor John McCarthy and another professor (both chess players), stating that they had a breakthrough in chess algorithms and that they should come to the lab immediately to see their discovery. McCarthy was led into one lab room and the other professor was led into another lab room. One of the professors was placed in front in a TX-0 computer, and the other in front of a PDP-1 computer. They were then asked to enter chess moves. Unknown to them, their computers were connected to each other by a single wire and the two professors were playing each other.
In 1963, on a Moscow television show, Yuri Averbakh (1922- ) predicted a world chess champion computer by 1998. David Bronstein (1924-2006) predicted that there would be separated chess championship for man and machines by 2000. Vasily Smyslov (1921-2010) predicted that a chess computer would never be world chess champion. (source: British Chess Magazine, April 1963, pp. 117-118)
In 1963, world chess champion Mikhail Botvinnik predicted that a Russian chess playing program would eventually defeat the World Champion. Botvinnik eventually developed an algorithm that was reasonably good at finding the right move in difficult positions, but it often missed the right move in simple positions, e.g., where it was possible to checkmate in two moves. This "selective" approach turned out to be a dead end, as computers were powerful enough by the mid-1970s to perform a brute-force search (checking all possible moves) several moves deep and today's vastly more powerful computers do this well enough to compete against human world champions. However, his PIONEER program contained a generalized method of decision-making that, with a few adjustments, enabled it to plan maintenance of power stations all over the USSR.
In 1963, Grandmaster David Bronstein (1924-2006) defeated an M-20 Soviet mainframe computer running an early Soviet chess program at the Moscow Mathematics Institute. He played two chess games with the computer and easily won them both. The games are the oldest known games between a Grandmaster and a computer.
In 1963, Alexander Brudno (1918-2009) independently discovered the alpha-beta algorithm. The algorithm was implemented in the ITEP Chess Program. He later led the team that created the chess program KAISSA at Moscow's Institute of Control Sciences.
In 1963, the ITEP Chess Program, a forerunner of the Soviet Kaissa program, was developed at the Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Physics (ITEP). It was developed by by Vladimir Arlazarov, Alexander Bittman (Russian national chess master), Anatoly Uskov, Alexander Zhivotovsky,. It ran on their M-2 computer (used for rocket design and nuclear physics) and was also ported to run on the M-20. The ITEP Program was called a Shannon Type A program using a general recursive search engine developed by Alexander Kronrod (1921-1986). Kronrod is well known for saying, "chess is the Drosophila [fruit fly] of artificial intelligence." Georgy Adelson-Velsky (1922-2014) headed the development of the computer chess program at ITEP. His innovations included the first use of bitboards (a now-common method for representing game positions) in computer chess. (Genetics research was enhanced by Thomas Morgan's use of the Drosophila, or fruit fly, for which he won a Nobel Prize in 1933)
In 1964, Chess Life had an article called "Applications of Chess Computers." (source: Chess Life, Jan 1964, p. 14)
In February 1965, Richard Bellman (1920-1984), of the RAND Corporation, published an article called "On the application of dynamic programming to the determination of optimal play in chess and checkers." A great deal of effort was expended about the use of digital computers to play chess or checkers. The paper tried to show how the theory of dynamic programming could be used to determine optimal play in the great majority of pawn-king end games in chess, with computers currently available, and to determine the optimal play for the entire game of checkers. He proposed the creation of a database to solve chess endgames using retrograde analysis. Instead of analyzing forward from the position currently on the board, the database would analyze backward from positions where one player is checkmated or stalemated. (source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Feb 1965, Vol. 53, # 2, pp. 244-247)
In May 1965, Claude Shannon met Mikhail Botvinnik in Moscow and discussed computers and chess. Shannon challenged Botvinnik to a game of chess. Botvinnik won in 42 moves.
In 1965, John McCarthy, who was a professor at Stanford University since 1962, visited the Soviet Union. There, a group at the Moscow Institute for Theoretical and Experimental Physics (ITEP), led by Alexander Kronrod, challenged his chess program (Kotok-McCarthy program) to a match with their chess program, later called KAISSA. A match was held over nine months in 1966-67. The Soviet program won the match 3-1 (two wins and two draws). The Kotok-McCarthy program ran on an IBM 7090 computer. The Soviet chess program ran on an M-20 computer. Former world champion Mikhail Botvinnik was an advisor for the Soviet chess program. After the match, Konrod lost his directorship at ITEP and his professorship because of complaints from the physics users that ITEP resources were being wasted on chess. ITEP's programming team was led by Georgy Adelson-Velsky.
In 1965, Dr. Hubert Dreyfus (1929-2017), a professor of philosophy at MIT, later at Berkeley, was hired by RAND Corporation to explore the issue of artificial intelligence. He wrote a 90-page paper called "Alchemy and Artificial Intelligence" (later expanded into the book What Computers Can't Do) questioning the computer's ability to serve as a model for the human brain. He also asserted that no computer program could defeat even a 10-year-old child at chess.
In early 1966, an IBM 7090 computer programmed by Dr. John McCarthy at Stanford University in Palo Alto began a chess game with a computer programmed by a team at Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh. The Stanford computer won the match. (source: Chess Review, Jan 1967, p. 31).
In April 1966, George Baylor and Herbert Simon published a paper called "A Chess Mating Combinations Program." The chess program, MATER, written in Fortran, reported in this paper was not a complete chess player; it did not play chess games. Rather, it was a chess analyst limited to searching for checkmating combinations in positions containing tactical possibilities. A combination in chess is a series of forcing moves with sacrifice that ends with an objective advantage for the active side. A checkmating combination, then, is a combination in which that objective advantage is check-mate. Thus, the MATER program described in this paper, given a position, proceeded by generating that class of forcing moves that put the enemy King in check or threaten mate in one move, and then by analyzing first those moves that appear most promising. (source: Proceedings of AFIPS Joint Computer Conference, Vol. 28, April 1966, pp. 431-447)
In September 1966, there was a Scientific American article called "System Analysis and Programming" by Christopher Strachey (1916-1975). It discussed how positions on a chess board could be represented by a computer. This article was about how to get a computer to do what you want, and why it almost always takes longer than you expect. It was not a detailed report on the state of the art of programming but an attempt to show how to set about writing a program. The process of writing a program was primarily intuitive rather than formal. The author was more concerned with the guiding principles that underlie programming than with the particular language in which the program was to be presented to the machine. (source: Scientific American, Vol. 24, #3, Sep 1, 1966, pp. 112-124)
In November 1966, Richard Greenblatt (1944- ), with assistance from Donald Eastlake at MIT and Stephen Crocker, began writing a chess program called MacHack VI. It is sometimes known as the Greenblatt Chess Program or Mac Hack VI. Technical advice in the programming was given by Larry Kaufman (1947- ), Alan Baisley, and Robert A. Wagner. They were all highly rated chess players and MIT students. MacHack VI was the first chess program (a Shannon type B program) to play in human tournaments. It was also the first to be granted a chess rating, and the first to draw and win against a person in tournament play. The name came from Project MAC (Multilevel Access Computer or Machine-Aided Cognition), which was a research project located at MIT. The number VI refered to the DEC PDP-6 (200KHz) machine for which it was written. DEC built the $400,000 PDP-6, built of discrete silicon transistors, and gave the first prototype to Project MAC. The PDP-6 had a speed of about 225,000 instructions per second. Greenblatt was very interested in artificial intelligence (AI). He decided to use the computer operating system to actually do something in AI. He had seen Kotok's chess playing program and knew it was bad. Since he was also a chess player, it was only logical that he worked on a chess program that would go beyond Kotok's chess programming effort, as well as other AI chess projects that had been attempted at various labs around the country.
Greenblatt wrote the program after reading an MIT Artificial Intelligence memo on the limitation of computer chess. He said he intended to write a chess-playing program good enough to beat a human. Greenblatt's thesis adviser, Marvin Minksy (1927-2016), tried to discourage Greenblatt, telling him that there was little home of making progress in chess-playing software. Greenblatt managed to get four hours of PDP-6 time a day, then wrote code off-line when he wasn't on the machine. The research program was also supported by the Advanced Research Project Agency (AROA), under Office of Naval Research Contract Number Nonr-4102(01).
Greenblatt added 50 heuristics (rules of thumb for making a move) to an older chess program written by Kotok. MacHack VI was written in MIDAS macro assembly language on the DEC PDP-6 computer that DEC donated to MIT. Greenblatt wrote the chess program using only 16K of memory for the PDP-6 computer. It evaluated about 10 positions per second.
MacHack was the first computer program to implement a transposition table and an opening ‘book.' This innovation let the computer take advantage of the fact that about 25% of all move sequences transpose to the same end position. Greenblatt was able to get his program playing chess in one week. The program was debugged and given features over the next few months. It used a plausible move generator to restrict the number of moves examined at each ply. It examined 15 moves at ply one, 15 at ply two, 9 at ply three, and 9 at ply four. In order to search to a five-ply depth, the program had to deal with a game tree of 127,575 moves.
Greenblatt was offered a B.S. degree from MIT if he would write a thesis about his chess program. He never did write his thesis. Greenblatt later founded Lisp Machine, Inc., and is considered one of the founders of the hacker community.
On November 20, 1966 a USSR chess program, programmed by scientists of the Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Physics (ITEP) began a 4-game correspondence match with the Kotok-McCarthy MIT chess program at Stanford University. The match lasted 9 months and was won by the Soviet computer, with 3 wins and 1 loss. (sources: Soviet Sport, Mar 12, 1967, and Chess Life, May 1967, p. 112)
From January 21-23, 1967, MacHack VI (DEC PDP-6), entered as "Robert Q. Computer," played in the Massachusetts Winter Amateur Championship at the Young Men's Christian Union (YMCU) in Boston. It was the first time a computer played chess against human beings under regular tournament conditions. MacHack VI played all five rounds and ended up with a score of 0.5-4.5, one draw (against J. Conroy, rated 1412) and four losses for a U.S. Chess Federation (USCF) provisional rating of 1243. It took 32nd place out of 35. The program pulled off some nice combinations, but was weak in the endgame. After the tournament, MacHack VI's provisional rating was 1239. (sources: Chess Life, Feb 1967, p, 23, Chess Review, Mar 1967, p. 68, and Boston Globe, Jan 29, 1967). The first tournament game by a computer was played between Carl Wagner (2190) and MacHack VI in round 1. The computer, at MIT in Cambridge, MA, was operated by Allen Moulton and William Gosper. The moves were relayed to the computer by teletype. Carl Wagner (1940- ) won the event, directed by Ben Landey. (source: "MIT Computer Loses to Human in Chess," The Lewiston Daily Sun, Jan 23, 1967)
Carl Wagner - MacHack VI, Boston (1), 1967 1.g3 e5 2.Nf3 e4 3.Nd4 Bc5 4.Nb3 Bb6 5.Bg2 Nf6 6.c4 d6 7.Nc3 Be6 [7...Nc6] 8.d3 [8.Nxe4] 8...exd3 9.Bxb7 Nbd7?! [9...dxe2 10.Qxe2 Nbd7] 10.exd3 Rb8 11.Bg2 0-0 [11...Bg4] 12.0-0 Bg4 [12...Ne5] 13.Qc2 Re8 [13...Bf5] 14.d4 c5 15.Be3 cxd4 [15...Rc8] 16.Nxd4 Ne5 17.h3?! [17.b3] 17...Bd7 [17...Bxh3 18.Bxh3 Bxd4 19.Bxd4 Nf3+ 20.Kg2 Nxd4] 18.b3 Bc5 [18...Bxh3 19.Bxh3 Bxd4 20.Bxd4 Nf3+ 21.Kg2 Nxd4] 19.Rad1 Qc8 [19...Qb6] 20.Kh2 [20.Bg5 Bxh3 21.Bxf6 gxf6 22.Nd5] 20...Ng6 [20...h6] 21.Bg5 [21.Ndb5] 21...Re5 [21...Nh5] 22.Bxf6 gxf6 23.Ne4 f5?? [23...Kg7] 24.Nf6+ Kg7 25.Nxd7 Qxd7 26.Nc6 Rbe8 27.Nxe5 Rxe5 28.Qc3 f6 29.Rd3 [29.b4] 29...Re2 30.Rd2 Rxd2 31.Qxd2 Ne5 32.Rd1 [32.b4] 32...Qc7 33.Bd5 [33.f4] 33...Kg6 34.b4 Bb6 35.Qc2 Nc6 36.Be6 Nd4 37.Rxd4 Bxd4 38.Qxf5+ Kg7 39.Qg4+ Kh6 [39...Kf8 40.Qg8+ Ke7 41.Qf7+ Kd8 42.Qf8#] 40.Qxd4 Qe7 41.Qh4+ Kg6 42.Bf5+ Kg7 43.Qxh7+ Kf8 44.Qh8+ Kf7 45.Qa8 [45.h4] 45...Qc7 46.Qd5+ Kg7 47.Kg2 Qe7 48.h4 Kh6 49.g4 [49.Qg8] 49...Kg7 50.h5 Qe2 51.h6+ Kf8 [51...Kxh6 52.Qg8 Qe8 53.Qh7+ Kg5 54.f4+ Kxf4 55.Qh6+ Ke5 56.Qe3#] 52.h7 Qxf2+ 53.Kxf2 Ke7 54.h8Q a6 55.Qe6# 1-0
J. Conroy (1410) - MacHack VI, Boston (3), 1967 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Na5 6.Bb5+ c6 7.dxc6 bxc6 8.Qf3 Qd5 9.Qxd5 [9.Be2] 9...Nxd5 10.Be2 [10.Ba4] 10...Bf5 [10...Be7] 11.d3 Bb4+ [11...Be7] 12.Bd2 Bxd2+ [12...Ke7] 13.Nxd2 0-0 [13...h6] 14.a3 [14.Nb3] 14...f6 [14...Rab8] 15.Ngf3 [15.Nge4] 15...Rab8 [15...Rad8] 16.b4 Nb7 17.0-0 [17.d4] 17...Nc3 [17...Nd6] 18.Rfe1 Nxe2+ [18...Nd6] 19.Rxe2 Nd6 20.Ne4 [20.d4] 20...Nxe4 [20...Bxe4 21.dxe4 a5] 21.dxe4 Be6 22.Rd1 [22.Rd2] 22...Bc4 [22...Rfc8] 23.Red2 [23.Ree1] 23...Rb7 [23...a5] 24.Rd8 [24.Nh4] 24...Rxd8? [24...a5] 25.Rxd8+ Kf7 26.Nh4 [26.h3] 26...g5? [26...Be6] 27.Nf5 Rc7 28.g4 [28.Rh8] 28...Kg6 [28...c5] 29.Rd6 [29.f3] 29...Be2 [29...c5] 30.Rd8?! [30.h3] 30...Bxg4 31.Rg8+ [31.Nd6] 31...Kh5 32.Ng7+ [32.Ng3+ Kh6 33.Kg2] 32...Kh6 [32...Kh4] 33.Nf5+ [33.Ne8] 33...Kh5 34.Ng7+ [34.Rf8] 34...Kh6 [34...Kh4] ½-½
In 1967, several MIT students and professors, organized by Seymour Papert (1928-2016), challenged Dr. Hubert Dreyfus (1929-2017) to play a game of chess against MacHack VI. Dreyfus accepted. Herbert Simon, an AI pioneer, watched the match. He said "It was a wonderful game - a real cliffhanger between two woodpushers with bursts of insights and fiendish plans…great moments of drama and disaster that go in such games." Dreyfus was being beaten by the computer when he found a move which could have captured the enemy queen. The only way the computer could get out of this was to keep Dreyfus in checks with his own queen until he could fork the queen and king, then exchange them. And that's what the computer did. Soon, Dreyfus was losing. Finally, the computer checkmated Dreyfus in the middle of the board.
Hubert Dreyfus - MacHack VI, Boston, 1967 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Nc3 Bc5 5.d3 0-0 6.Ng5 Na5 7.Bd5? [7.Bb3] 7...c6 8.Bb3 Nxb3 [8...d5] 9.cxb3 [9.axb3] 9...h6 10.Nh3? [10.Nf3] 10...d5 11.exd5?? [11.Qf3] 11...Bg4 12.f3 Bxh3 13.gxh3 Nxd5 14.Nxd5 Qxd5 [14...Qh4+! 15.Kd2 cxd5] 15.Bd2 [15.Qe2] 15...Qxd3 [15...Qd4] 16.b4?? [16.Qe2] 16...Be7 [16...Bd4] 17.Rg1?? [17.Qe2] 17...e4 [17...Bh4+! 18.Rg3 Qd7] 18.fxe4? [18.Qe2] 18...Bh4+ 19.Rg3 Bxg3+ 20.hxg3 Qxg3+ 21.Ke2 Qxh3 [21...Rad8] 22.Qg1 h5 23.Bc3 g6 24.Qf2 h4 [24...Rfe8!] 25.Qf6 Qg4+ 26.Kd2?? [26.Kf1] 26...Rad8+ [26...Rfd8+! 27.Ke3 Qg3+] 27.Kc2?? [27.Ke3] 27...Qxe4+ 28.Kb3 Qe6+ 29.Qxe6 fxe6 30.Rh1 Rf4 31.Be1 Rf3+ 32.Ka4 h3 33.b5 Rd4+ 34.b4 cxb5+ 35.Kxb5 Ra3 [35...Rd5+ 36.Ka4 b5+ 37.Ka5 Ra3#] 36.Kc5 Rd5+ 37.Kc4 b5# 0-1
In February 1967, MacHack VI (the Greenblatt chess program) played in a local chess tournament in Boston.
In March 1967, MacHack VI (the Greenblatt chess program) played in a local chess tournament in Boston. It won one game and lost 4 games, for a provisional rating of 1330 and an established rating of 1360. MacHack VI won about 80% of its games against non-tournament players.
MacHack VI - Ben Landey (1435), Boston (3), 1967 1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.Qxd4 Nc6 4.Qd3 [4.Qa4] 4...Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 [5...Nb4] 6.Nf3 d6 [6...Bg7] 7.Bf4 [7.Be2] 7...e5 [7...Bg7] 8.Bg3 [8.Bg5] 8...a6 [8...Be7] 9.0-0-0 b5 [9...Be7] 10.a4 [10.Bh4] 10...Bh6+? [10...Be6] 11.Kb1 b4 12.Qxd6 Bd7?? [12...Qxd6] 13.Bh4 [13.Bxe5] 13...Bg7 14.Nd5 Nxe4 15.Nc7+ Qxc7 16.Qxc7 Nc5 17.Qd6 Bf8 18.Qd5 Rc8 19.Nxe5 Be6 20.Qxc6+ Rxc6 21.Rd8# 1-0
In March 1967, the Atlas chess program was written in Algol by Alex Bell at Atlas Computer Laboratory in Chilton, England.
On March 10, 1967, a USSR chess program (ITEP) beat the Kotok-McCarthy MIT chess program from Stanford University in their third game, checkmating in 19 moves. The match lasted 9 months and was won by the Soviet computer, with 3 wins and 1 loss. (sources: Soviet Sport, Mar 12, 1967, and Chess Life, May 1967, p. 112, and Chess Review, June 1967, p. 187)
USSR Program (Kaissa) - USA Program (Stanford), March 10, 1967, game 3, 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Bc5 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Bd6 6.dxe5 Bxe5 7.f4 Bxc3+ 8.bxc3 Nf6 9.e5 Ne4 10.Qd3 Nc5 11.Qd5 Ne6?! (11…d6) 12.f5 Ng5? 13.h4 f6 14.hxg5 fxg5 15.Rxh7! Rf8 (15…Rxh7 16.Qg8+) 16.Rxg7 c6 17.Qd6 Rxf5 18.Rg8+ Rf8 19.Qxf8 mate 1-0
On April 22, 1967, MacHack VI played in the Boston Spring Amateur championship. MacHack VI forfeited its first round game. Machack VI then won two games and drew two games, for a provisional rating of 1450 and a performance rating of 1640. It won the class D trophy. The improvement in the program was due to additional programming and debugging, not learning. MacHack VI was strong in the opening and middle game, but its endgame was very weak. The weak endgame was due to its center-controlled heuristic interfered with the advancing passed pawns. (source: Chess Life, Aug 1967, p. 237)
MacHack VI - NN, Boston (2), 1967 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.0-0 Bd6 [5...Qd6] 6.d4 Bg4 7.dxe5 Bxf3 8.Qxf3 Bxe5 9.c3 [9.Qb3] 9...Qh4 [9...Nf6] 10.g3 Qe7 11.Re1 [11.Nd2] 11...h5 [11...Nf6] 12.h4 [12.Nd2] 12...0-0-0 13.Bg5 f6 14.Bf4 [14.Be3] 14...g5 [14...Bxf4 15.Qxf4 g5] 15.Bxe5 Qxe5 16.hxg5 fxg5 [16...Qxg5] 17.Qf5+? [17.Na3] 17...Qxf5 18.exf5 Nf6 19.c4 [19.Na3] 19...h4 [19...Ng4] 20.Nc3 Rd2 21.b3? [21.Re2] 21...h3 [21...hxg3! 22.fxg3 Rhh2] 22.Ne4 [22.Rad1] 22...Nxe4 [22...h2+! 23.Kh1 Nxe4 24.Rxe4 Rxf2] 23.Rxe4 Kd7 24.f6 [24.a4] 24...Rd6 [24...h2+ 25.Kg2 Rf8] 25.f7 [25.f4] 25...Rf6?? [25...Rf8] 26.Rd1+ Rd6 27.Rxd6+? [27.Rde1!] 27...cxd6 28.Kh2 Rf8 29.Kxh3 Rxf7 30.Re2 b5 31.Kg4 Rg7 32.Re4 d5 [32...Rf7] 33.cxd5 cxd5 34.Re5 Kd6 35.Rxg5 Rxg5+?? [35...Re7] 36.Kxg5 Ke5 37.f4+ Ke4 38.f5 d4 39.f6 d3 40.f7 d2 41.f8Q d1Q 42.Qf5+ Ke3 43.Qe6+? [43.Qf4+! Kd3 (43...Ke2 44.Qg4+) 44.Qd6+] 43...Kf2 44.Qxa6?! [44.g4!] 44...Qd5+ [44...Kxg3] 45.Kf4 [45.Kf6] 45...Qd4+ 46.Kf5 Qd5+ 47.Kg4 [47.Kf6] 47...Qf3+ 48.Kh4 Qxg3+ [48...Qh1+] 49.Kh5 Qe5+ 50.Kh6 Qh8+ 1/2-1/2
On April 20, 1967, Dr. L. Stephen Coles, while affiliated with Carnegie Tech, lost a game of chess from MacHack VI, which was hosted on a PDP-10.
In May 1967, MacHack VI (the Greenblatt chess program) played in a local chess tournament in Boston. It lost 4 games, winning none and drawing none. Its provisional rating was 1400.
In September 1967, MacHack VI had a USCF rating of 1493 provisional rating, based on 18 rated games it had played. (source: Chess Life, Sep 1967, p. 284)
In November 1967, Richard D. Greenblatt, Donald E. Eastlake, and Stephen D. Crocker published a paper called "The Greenblatt Chess Program." Since mid-November 1966 a chess program was under development at the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory of Project MAC at M.I.T. This paper described the state of the program as of August 1967 and gave some of the details of the heuristics and algorithms employed. (source: Proceedings of the AFIPS Computer Conference, pp. 801-810, November 1967)
In 1967 MacHack VI was made an honorary member of the US Chess Federation (USCF) and the Massachusetts Chess Association (MACA). The MACHACK program was the first widely distributed chess program, running on many of the PDP machines. It was also the first to have an opening chess book programmed with it.
In late 1967, Gary Boos and James Munkstock, both from the University of Minnesota, started working on their chess program called Mr. Turk. It was written in Fortran and ran on a CDC 6600.
By the end of 1967, MacHack VI had played in four chess tournaments. It won 3 games, lost 12, and drew 3 (18 USCF-rated games total). In December 1967, MacHack VI had a provisional rating of 1493 by the U.S. Chess Federation. (source: Chess Life, Dec 1967, p. 394) By the end of 1967, it had played over 300 games in over-the-board competition with human players.
In 1968, Barbara Jane Huberman Liskov (1939- ) wrote a Ph.D. thesis (A Program to Play Chess End Games) at Stanford University that included a computer program that played certain chess endgames with pieces versus a lone king. This included endgames of King vs Queen, King vs Rook, King vs 2 Bishops, and King vs Bishop and Knight.
In 1968, I. Jack Good (1916-2009) wrote a paper called "Five-Year Plan for Automatic Chess." (source: Machine Intelligence, Vol. 2, 1968, pp. 110-115)
In April 1968, F. L. Moullen wrote an article called "Chess and the Computer." (source: Datamation, Vol. 14, # 4, April 1968, pp. 52-68).
In the spring of 1968, undergraduates Larry Atkin and Keith Gorlen decided to write a chess program to exercise Northwestern University's (Evanston, Illinois) new CDC 6400 mainframe computer (a slower and cheaper version of the CDC 6600 supercomputer, the world's fastest computer at the time — 3 million instructions per second). Atkin and Gorlen launched Chess 1.0 in their spare time.
In July 1968, former world chess champion Mikhail Botvinnik wrote an article called, "A Computer World Champion?" Botvinnik was interviewed by Dimitrije Bjelica. The article stated that Botvinnik was probably the greatest expert in computer chess. Botvinnik was sure that very soon, computers would be able to defeat Grandmasters, and later, become world champion. He said, "When computers start playing chess well, interest in chess will increase. When the computers start playing successfully, the Grandmasters' reputation s will be enhanced." (source: Chess Life, July 1968. pp. 271-272)
In August 1968 International Master David Levy (1945- ) made a $2,500 bet that no chess computer would beat him in 10 years. He won his bet. The original bet was with John McCarthy, a distinguished researcher in Artificial Intelligence at Stanford. The bet was made at the 1968 Machine Intelligence Workshop at the 4th IFIP conference in Edinburgh University. It was made after hearing artificial intelligence (AI) researchers John McCarthy and Donald Michie predicted that a computer would defeat the world chess champion within ten years. The bet was eventually made against four computer science professors, which Levy won. He finally lost to Deep Thought in 1989, 21 years after his bet. During the conference, MacHack VI, running on a PDP-10, won an exhibition match versus a chess program written by John Scott, running on a ICL 1909/5. MacHack VI won. (source: Machine Intelligence, Vol. 4, 1969).
On October 27, 1968, MacHack VI played its first game with another computer, called CHARLY, located at ETH in Zurich, Switzerland. The computer played three games (games 2 and 3 played on Nov 16, 1968) via ham radio. All three games were won by MacHack VI. (source: Krakauer, "Computer Chess via Ham Radio," - http://ljkrakauer.com/LJK/60s/hamchess.htm)
CHARLY - MacHack VI, MIT v ETH computer radio match Zurich - Cambridge, MA, 1968 (1) 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4 Nxe4 4.Bd3 d5 5.Nxe5 Bd6 6.0—0 0—0 7.c4 Bxe5 8.dxe5 Nc6 9.cxd5 [9.Bf4] 9...Qxd5 10.Qf3 Bf5 11.Qxf5 [11.Nc3] 11...Qxd3 12.Nc3 Nc5 13.Qxd3 Nxd3 14.f4 Rfd8 15.Rf3 Rd7 16.Ne4 Rad8 17.b3 Rd4 18.Nc3 Ne1 19.Rg3 Nc2 20.Rb1 Kf8 21.Nb5? [21.a3] 21...Rd1+ 22.Kf2 R8d7?! [22...N6b4] 23.Ke2? [23.Nc3] 23...R1d5 [23...Rh1] 24.a4?! [24.Nc3] 24...N6d4+ [24...N6b4] 25.Nxd4 Nxd4+ 26.Kf2 Nf5 [26...Ne6] 27.Ba3+?! [27.Rh3] 27...c5 28.Rc3 [28.Rh3] 28...Rd2+ 29.Kg1? [29.Ke1] 29...b6 30.g4? [30.b4] 30...Nd4 31.Kh1 Nc2 [31...Rf2] 32.Bc1?? [32.Bb2] 32...Re2 33.Bb2 Ne3 34.h3 Rd1+ [34...Rdd2] 35.Rxd1 Nxd1 36.Ba1 Nxc3 37.Bxc3 Rc2 38.Be1 Rc1 39.g5 Rxe1+ 40.Kg2 Re4 41.b4 cxb4 0—1
At the end of 1968, MacHack Vi was USCF rated 1529.
In 1969, upon hearing of the work of Atkin and Gorlen, physics graduate student David Slate (rated around 2050) decided to write a competing program. They combined their programs in October 1969, and produced Chess 2.0.
By 1969, MacHack VI played in 18 chess tournaments and had played over 100 completed games.
In 1969, work began on the CHAOS (Chess Heuristics And Other Stuff) chess program at the RCA Systems Programming division in Cinnaminson, New Jersey.
In 1969, James Gillogly, while at the RAND Corporation, wrote a chess program in standard FORTRAN IV which utilized a standard alpha-beta lookahead search of selected portions of the move tree. The program played several complete games of chess. (source: "MAX: A Fortran Chess Player," RAND Corporation Paper, Vol. 4428, July 1970)
In August-September 1969, MacHack VI played in the Labor Day Open in Toronto.
Philip Haley (1772) — MacHack VI, Labor Day Open Toronto, Ontario (3), 1969 1.Nf3 Nf6 2.g3 d5 3.Bg2 c5 4.d3 Nc6 5.Bf4 Bf5 6.0—0 Qb6 7.Nc3 Qxb2 8.Qd2 [8.Bd2] 8...d4 9.Ne4 Nxe4 10.dxe4 Bxe4 11.Rfb1 Qc3 12.Qxc3 dxc3 13.Rxb7 Nb4 14.Rb8+? [14.Ng5] 14...Rxb8 15.Bxb8 Nxc2 16.Rc1 Nd4 [16...e6] 17.Nxd4 Bxg2 18.Nb5 [18.Kxg2] 18...Bh3 [18...Bc6] 19.Bxa7 Bd7 20.Nc7+ [20.a4] 20...Kd8 21.Nd5 c4?! [21...Bc6] 22.Nxc3 [22.Rxc3] 22...e5 23.Ne4 Bb5 24.Rb1 [24.Ng5] 24...Bc6 [24...Be8] 25.Nc3 [25.Ng5] 25...Bd7?! [25...Bd6] 26.a4 [26.Rb8+] 26...Bf5?! [26...Bd6] 27.e4 Bc8 [27...Be6] 28.a5 Ba6? [28...h5] 29.Rb6 Kc8?? [29...Bc8] 30.Nd5 [30.Rxa6] 30...f6?? [30...Bb7] 31.Rc6+ Kd7 32.Rxa6 Kc8 33.Rb6 Kd7 34.Rb8 Kc6 35.Be3 c3 36.Nxc3 [36.a6] 36...Kc7 37.Re8 Kd7 38.a6 Kxe8 39.a7 Kd7 40.a8Q Ke7 41.Qb7+ [41.Qd5 Ke8 42.Qe6+ Be7 43.Nd5 Kf8 44.Qxe7+ Kg8 45.Qe8#] 41...Kd6 42.Nd5 [42.Nb5+ Ke6 43.Qd5+ Ke7 44.Bc5+ Ke8 45.Nc7#] 42...f5 43.Qc7+ [43.Nb6 Ke6 44.Qd7+ Kf6 45.Nd5+ Kg6 46.Qxf5#] 43...Ke6 44.Qc8+ Kf7 45.Qxf5+ Ke8 46.Qe6+ Kd8 47.Bb6# 1—0
In 1969, Hans Berliner (1929-2017) developed his first chess program at Carnegie-Mellon University called J. Biit. J Biit (Just Because It Is There). It was written in PL/I and ran on a DEC PDP-10 computer at Carnegie Mellon University. He also got it running on an IBM 360/91 mainframe computer at Columbia University. J. Biit was one of the first chess programs operated through a Graphical User Interface (GUI).
In 1970, MacHack VI was available on all PDP-10 computers (400,000 instructions per second). A version was made available on many time-sharing computer services using DEC PDP series computers. This led to a rapid proliferation of chess programs. Within three years of MacHack VI's debut, at least eight new programs appeared. This led to the first tournament for computer programs in 1970. MacHack remained active in chess competitions through 1972.
In 1970, the University of Toledo in Ohio announced the Glass Bowl Open, a 98-player event, would have all its parings done by computer. However, there were more players than had been prepared for by those who write the computer program. As a result, the computer was not used. The computer was able to solve pairing for 41 players in 26 seconds, but the printout of the results took about 10 minutes. One programmer said, "Computer pairings on a regular basis are a long time away at best." (source: Chess Life and Review, June 1970, p. 326)
In 1970, NASA researcher Chris Daly of Goddard Space Flight Center, and Kenneth King of Information Displays, Inc., wrote the assembly language chess program Daly CP. It ran on a stand-alone computer-aided design (CAD) platform IDIIOM (IDI Input-Output Machine), based on a Varian Data Machine 620/I minicomputer. The program required 4Kbyte of memory and search all moves to a depth of 4 ply.
In 1970, Thomas Stroehlein published a doctoral thesis with analysis of endgames involving Queen, Rook, Pawn, Queen and Rook, Rook and Bishop, and Rook and Knight endgames. He did the first retrograde analysis implementation to construct endgame databases.
In 1970, former world chess champion Mikhail Botvinnik retired from competitive chess, preferring instead to occupy himself with the development of computer chess programs.
In 1970, Alex G. Bell published an article called, "How to Program a Computer to Play Legal Chess." (source: Computing Journal, Vol. 13, # 2, 1970, pp. 209-219)
In 1970, Hans Berliner published a paper called, "Experiences Gained in Constructing and Testing a Chess Program." This paper was an attempt to document the structure of one chess program, and to shed some light on the pitfalls of developing a competent chess program. Berliner advocated a program that selected a move as likely to be best under lengthy examination, and only rejects this notion based upon finding in the depth search. This process would then be continued until there no longer appears to be a move that could better than the best found thus far. (source: Proceedings of the IEEE Symposium on Systems Science and Cybernetics, 1970, pp. 216-223)
In 1970, Slate received a letter containing suggestions for improving CHESS 2.0 from International Master David Levy, who had tested the program at the University of London. Improvements were made and the new release was now called CHESS 3.0. CHESS 3.0 was now more efficient and running 65% faster than CHESS 2.0.
In 1970, TECH (Technology Chess Program), a chess program, was written in BLISS by James Gillogly at Carnegie Mellon. Hans Berliner helped in developing positional analysis (evaluation). It was based on a brute force search of the move tree with no forward pruning. Tech was the first program that used its opponent's thinking time to its own advantage. While its opponent was computing a move, TECH would predict what it would be and then proceed to calculate a reply based on the prediction. Its predictions were correct about 20% of the time. (source: Gillogly, "Performance Analysis of the Technology Chess Program," M.Sc Thesis, 1978)
In 1970, the Columbia Computer Chess Program (CCCP) was developed by a group of students at Columbia University, written in PL/I. It ran on an IBM 360/91 at Columbia University with 1,200,000 bytes of memory, and used most of its memory to grow decision trees. The project started in collaboration with Hans Berliner, and was a spin-off of J. Biit.
From May 23-24, 1970, J. Biit participated in the 76-player 1970 Flint (Michigan) Open. Carnegie-Mellon University donated the computer time to run the program. The Mott Foundation of Flint donated the phone line. Hans Berliner managed the computer at the tournament. J. Biit won one game and lost 4. (source: Chess Life & Review, Sep 1970, p. 521)
In June 1970, CHESS 2.0 scored 2 out of 5 in the Northwestern University chess championship.
In August 1970, Herbert Simon wrote a letter to the editors of Science magazine called, "Computers as Chess Partners." He mentions that computer chess programs began in 1957-58 when Alex Bernstein constructed the first complete chess-playing program for a computer. He also pointed out that the Greenblatt program won a Class C USCF rating. (source: Science, Vol. 169, # 3946, Aug 14, 1970, pp. 630-631)
From August 31 through September 2, 1970, the first U.S. Computer Chess Championship was held in the Rhinelander Gallery at the Hilton Hotel in New York and won by CHESS 3.0 (CDC 6400), a program written by Slate, Atkin, and Gorlen at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. CHESS 3.0 scored 3-0. The event was organized by Monroe (Monty) Newborn (1938- ), who was at Columbia University at the time, and Ben Mittman, at Northwestern University. The tourney was a 3-round Swuss-system event, with a time control of 40 moves in 2 hours. Six programs had entered the first Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) North American Computer Chess Championships (NACCC). The other programs were DALY CP, J Biit, COKO III, SCHACH, and the Wita (Marsland). The tournament director was Dr. Jacques Dutka (1919-2002), a mathematician at Columbia University and former chess master. (sources: "First U.S. Computer Chess Tournament," ACM SIGART Bulletin, # 24, 1970, Berliner, "1st U.S. Computer Championship," Chess Life & Review, Nov 1970, p. 638, and New York Times, Sep 2, 1970)
J Biit - Chess 3.0, New York, 1970 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 Bxc3+ 5.bxc3 Nc6 6.d5 Ne7 7.dxe6 fxe6 8.Rb1 Nc6 9.Bd3 Qe7 10.Nf3 e5 11.Bf5 e4 12.Nd4 Qc5 13.Rb5? [13.Nb5] 13...Qxc4 14.Qb3 Qxb3 15.axb3 Nxd4 [15...a6] 16.exd4 0—0 17.0—0 a6 [17...b6] 18.Rc5 [18.Ra5] 18...d6 19.Bxc8 dxc5 [19...Rfxc8] 20.Be6+ [20.Bxb7] 20...Kh8 21.dxc5 Rae8 22.Bc4 Ng4 [22...c6] 23.Be2 Ne5 [23...e3] 24.Be3 g6 25.Rd1 Rf7 26.Rd4 Nc6 [26...Nd3] 27.Rd2? [27.Bc4] 27...Kg7 28.Bc4 Rff8 [28...Rf5] 29.Rd7+ Re7 30.Rxe7+ Nxe7 31.Bd4+ Kh6 32.Be5 [32.Be3+] 32...Rc8 [32...c6] 33.h4 c6 34.Be6 [34.g3] 34...Re8 35.Bf7 [35.Bf4+] 35...Rd8 36.Bc4?? [36.g3] 36...Rd1+ 37.Kh2 Nd5 38.g4 g5 39.hxg5+ Kxg5 40.Kh3 Nf4+ 41.Bxf4+ Kxf4 42.Be2 Rd2 43.Bf1 Rxf2 44.Bc4 Rf3+ [44...e3] 45.Kh4 Rxc3 46.Bg8 e3 [46...Rc1] 47.Bc4 Rxc4 48.bxc4 e2 49.g5 e1Q+ 50.Kh5 Qh1# 0—1
In December 1970-January 1971, the North American Intercollegiate Chess Championship was held at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Northwestern University "C" fielded a chess computer on their third board. Players from other teams argued that since the computer had no student ID card, it could not play. However, Lt. Col Ed Edmondson, Executive Director of the USCF, had given the machine a free USCF membership (without a Chess Life & Review subscription, since the computer could not read). The chess computer was allowed to play. It won 2 games and lost 6 games. (source: Chess Life & Review, March 1971, p. 150)
In 1971 the Institute of Control Science, Moscow, created a program (later called KAISSA) to play chess. The chess program ran on a mainframe (British ICL System 4/70 computer) equipped with a 64-bit processor. 64 is also the number of squares on a chessboard, so it was possible to use a single memory word to represent a yes-or-no or true-or-false predicate for the whole board. This was called the bit board. The ICL 4/70 computer had 24,000 bytes of memory. It enabled the program to evaluate 200 positions per second. It could store 10,000 opening positions in its memory. The program was written in Assembly language. The Assembly code occupied 384K bytes (8-bit words). The Russians would have had a more powerful chess program if it had used an IBM machine, but they were not allowed to buy or use one. The speed of the ICL 4/70 was 900,000 instructions per second. Previously, the ICL computer was being used by the Institute of Geophysics to calculate the probabilities of earthquakes.
In 1971 Ken Thompson (1943- ) wrote his first chess-playing program. Together with Dennis Ritchie, he created the Unix operating system. Thompson also created the chess machine Belle.
In June 1971, George Arnold and Monroe Newborn developed a chess program called Ostrich, developed in the Digital Computer Laboratory at Columbia University.
In the summer of 1971, Ken Thompson began work on a chess program for the PDP-11, which would eventually become BELLE.
In August 1971, CHESS 3.5 won the 2nd annual ACM North American Computer Chess Championship (NACCC), held at the Hilton Hotel in Chicago, winning all of its three games. There were 8 programs in the event. The other programs were TECH (by Jim Gillogy), GENIE (by Herbert Raymond), DAVID (by Gerhard Wolf), CCCP (Columbia Computer Center Program), COKO III (the Cooper-Koz chess program), SCHACH (Texas A&M), and MR. TURK (University of Minnesota). Ben Mittman was the tournament organizer and served as moderator for a panel discussion.
On October 9, 1971, the chess computer MacHack VI played in the Greater Boston Open. John Curdo (1931- ) played and defeated MacHack. Curdo was the first chess master to play a computer program in rated tournament play.
In 1972, Paul Rushton wrote a thesis for his M.Sc. degree in Computing Science from the University of Alberta, title "A Critique of Programming Techniques for Playing Chess."
In 1972 a Soviet computer program run on an ICL 4/70 machine played a 2-game correspondence match against readers of popular Russian newspaper of the communist youth wing, Komsomolskaya Pravda. The most votes for a move by the readers in a week was chosen as the move against Kaissa. The readers won, 1½-½. It was the Soviet journalist A. Khenkin of Komsomolskaya Pravda who gave the program its name, Kaissa, after the muse of chess Caissa, invented by Sir William Jones in 1763. Kaissa made use of a pruning technique called "the method of analogies," meaning postions that were so alike that the same score could be attributed to all. Kaissa was revolutionary in its use of analogous positions and tree searching methods for reductions of computational load.
In August 1972 CHESS 3.6 won the 3rd annual ACM computer championship, held in Boston, scoring 3-0. There were 8 programs. The other programs were TECH, COKO III, OSTRICH (by Monty Newborn), SCHACH, USC CP (University of Southern California), MSU CP, and LEVERETT CP (by Bruce Leverett).
In August 1972, Donald Michie (1923-2007) wrote an article called, "Programmer's Gambit." He noted that chess computers fall far short of international grandmaster performance. But, if fed with the right kind of "knowledge," they should far exceed it. At the time, the best chess programs were rated around 1500. The author wagered several thousand dollars against International Master David Levy, that a chess computer would be able to beat Levy by 1978. Mitchie lost that bet. (source: New Scientist, Aug 17, 1972, pp. 329-332)
In 1973, Paul Rushton and Anthony (Tony) Marsland wrote a paper called "Current Chess Programs: A Summary of Their Potential and Limitations." It listed existing chess programs and ideas for unwritten or incomplete programs. (source: INFOR Journal of the Canadian Information Processing Society, Vol. 11, # 1, Feb 1973)
In 1973, Ken Thompson wrote TINKER BELLE, a ‘C' language chess program under Unix.
In 1973, Slate and Atkin wrote a new program, Chess 4.0, rather than modifying the Chess 3.x series. A library of 5,000 opening positions was added.
In May 1973, a conference meeting on chess playing by com was held at the Atlas Computer Laboratory in Oxfordshire, England.
In June 1973, in Scientific American, there was an article called "An Advice-Taking Chess Computer" by Albert Zobrist and Frederic Carlson. The cover of Scientific American had a chess problem on the cover. (source: Scientific American, Jun 1, 1973, Vol. 228, # 6, pp. 92-105)
In August 1973, Dr. Hans Berliner wrote an article called "Some Necessary Conditions for a Master Chess Program." (source: IJCAI '73 Proceedings for the 3rd International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, August 1973, pp. 77-85)
On August 28, 1973, CHESS 4.0 won the 4th ACM computer championship, held in Atlanta. It won 3 games and drew 1 game. A major turning point from Chess 3.0 to Chess 4.0 was the transition to full-width search and brute-force search to take advantage of the speed and computational capacity in the new computers. The other programs were CHAOS (Chess Heuristics and Other Stuff), OSTRICH, TECH 2, DARTMOUTH CP (written by Warren Montgomery and Larry Harris using the Dartmouth Time Sharing System - DTSS), TECH, BELLE, COKO 4, GEORGIA TECH CP, THE FOX (by Charles Wilkes, written in APL), USC CP, and CHES.
By 1974, Kaissa had played 50 chess games, but no previous tournament experience.
In January 1974, Chess 4.0 played in a chess tournament with 50 humans at Northwestern University. It tied for 3rd place, scoring 4.5 out of 6. Its performance rating was 1736.
In 1974 World Correspondence Champion Hans Berliner wrote his PhD dissertation on "Chess Computers as Problem Solving."
In 1974, after endgame tablebases were developed by computers, FIDE changed the rules of the 50-move rule to allow 100 moves for endgames where 50 moves were insufficient to win.
In 1974, D. Cooper and E. Kozdrowski wrote an article called, "COKO III: The Cooper-Kozdrowicki Chess Program." This paper discussed the "tree-searching catastrophe" as a natural phenomenon that plagued selective tree searching for both man and machine. In addition, so-called "interminimal-game communication" was considered as a natural, powerful procedure frequently used by humans to guide their selective search and as a point of emphasis for future development. It was concluded that COKO's development was just beginning, with no immediate barriers to progress, and no lack of ideas for improvement. (source: International Journal of Man-Machine Studies, # 6, 1974, pp. 627-699)
On August 8, 1974, KAISSA (ICL 4/70) won the first World Computer Chess Championship (WCCC), held in Stockholm with a perfect 4-0 score. It was programmed by Mikhail Donskoy (1948-2009) and Vladimir Arlazarov. 2nd place went to CHESS 4.0, scoring 3 wins and 1 loss (losing to Chaos). The event was sponsored by the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP) The tournament director was International Master David Levy. Thirteen computers from eight nations participated in the first world computer chess championship. Kaissa had the largest book of stored openings (10,000 positions) than any other competing program. Kaissa could not run on a Stockholm ICL machine because of the special Soviet operating system, so it ran on a machine in Moscow via a telephone link.
In round 1, Kaissa mated Frantz in 34 moves. In round 2, Kaissa defeated Tech II in 33 moves (missing a mate in 1). In round 3, Kaissa mated Chaos in 36 moves. In round 4, Kaissa mated Ostrich in 67 moves. Earlier, Kaissa missed a forced perpetual check. Kaissa defeated 3 American entries and 1 Canadian entry to become world champion. Kaissa played Ostrich in the last round. A win for Ostrich would have given Ostrich a tie for first place. Ostrich missed two winning moves (one was a force mate in 6 moves) and lost the game. The forced mate by Ostrich involved a piece sacrifice which the program was unable to make.
After the tournament, Kaissa and Chess 4.0 played in an exhibition game to determine which program was stronger. The game was adjudicated a draw after 65 moves in a rook vs rook and knight pawnless endgame. Chess 4.0 had missed a winning move earlier.
In November 1974, the University of Waterloo program RIBBIT (later call TREEFROG) won the 5th ACM computer championship, held in San Diego. It won the event by defeating Chess 4.2. The other programs were CHESS 4.2, CHAOS, BELLE, DUCHESS (Duke University students Eric Jensen, Tom Truscott and Bruce Wright), DART 4.1 (Dartmouth College), TECH 2, OSTRICH, CHUTE 1 (by Michael Valenti), KCHES6, TYRO (successor of USC CP), and XENARBOR.
In December 1974, there was only one rated chess computer on the annual USCF rating list. CHESS 4.0 (called Computer of NWU IL) was rated 1579 based on 14 games.
In March 1975, the 1st Advances in Computer Chess Conference was held at Balliol College, Oxford, England. Hans Berliner gave a lecture called "A Representation and Some Mechanisms for a Problem-Solving Chess Program.
In the April 1, 1975, issue of Scientific American, Martin Gardner (1914-2010) reported a computer program had been running for months at MIT and had determined the best first move in chess was "Pawn to Queen Rook Four." It was an April Fool's joke.
In August 1975, Grandmaster David Bronstein used the endgame database in KAISSA to win an adjourned game against Karen Grigorian (1947-1989) in a tournament in Vilnius. When he adjourned the game, he telephoned the KAISSA programmers in Moscow to ask them to look up their program's library and find the best possible continuation for him. He played according to the program's library and won. Bronstein said that the solution was so beautiful, that he would have never thought of it himself. The ending was a queen an knight's pawn against queen.
On October 20, 1975, TELL (written by Johann Joss) won the first German computer chess tournament, held in Dortmund. There were 8 programs in a 3-round Swiss System tournament.
On October 21, 1975, Chess 4.4 won the 6th ACM North American Computer Chess Championship (NACCC) event in Minneapolis with a perfect 4-0 score, using the faster CDC Cyber 175 computer (2.1 megaflops). There were 12 programs in the event. Other programs included TREEFROG (University of Waterloo), ETAOIN SHRDLU (by Garth Courtois), CHAOS (University of Michigan), DUCHESS, CHUTE 1.2 (Mike Valenti and Zvonko Vranesic), TYRO (Al Zobrist and Ric Carlson), OSTRICH (Monty Newborn), WITA (Tony Marsland), IRON FISH (Gary Boos and James Mundstock), BLACK KNIGHT (Ken Sogge and Gary Maltzen), and SORTIE (Stephen Becker and Ted Anderson). During this event, International Master David Levy, the tournament director, won a simultaneous exhibition against the 12 computers (10 wins and 2 draws) and won. In 1975, the programs reached the level of class A players (1800-2000 rating). It was estimated that a doubling in computer speed increased playing strength by about 100 points. (source: "The Robots Are Coming," by David Levy, Chess Life, May 1976, p. 259 and 1975 US Computer Chess Championship by David Levy)
In December 1975, Laszlo wrote a paper called "An Experimental Evaluation of Chess Playing Heuristics." Application of the methodology resulted in the creation of a library of master chess games and the evaluation of the component in the chess program CHUTE. (source: Technical Report CSRG-63, University of Toronto, Dec 1975)
In December 1975, only three computers were listed on the annual USCF rating list. The computer at Dartmouth was rated 1210; the computer Duchess at Duke University was rated 1333; the computer Tech II in Massachusetts was rated 1323.
In 1976, Slate and Atkin added a transposition table for Chess 4.5. Its rating was under 1600, or Class C level. After 10 years of development, chess programs gained less than 200 points. At that rate, it would take another 60 years before a computer could challenge the world chess champion. But in just a few years, Chess 4.9 would be playing at the Expert level.
In 1976, Joe Condon implemented a hardware move generator to be used with software version of Belle on the PDP-11.
On July 25, 1976, Northwestern University's CHESS 4.5 (rated 1579) won the Class B (1600-1799) section of the 4th Paul Masson tournament in Saratoga, California, scoring a perfect 5-0. This event was the first time any machine performed successfully in a tournament for humans and won a prize ($700, but was turned down by the programmers). The performance rating was 2184. It's established rating was 1722. Its rating before the tournament was 1579. Chess 4.5 running on a CDC Cyber 175 supercomputer (2.1 megaflops) looked at less than 1500 positions per second. (source: "Invasion from Cyberland," by David Levy, Chess Life, June 1977, p. 312)
In September 1976, MASTER won the 1st European Computer Chess Championship (ECCC), held in Amsterdam. 2nd place went to ORWELL (written by Thomas Nitsche).
In October 1976, a computer program was used for the first time to make the chess pairings at the chess Olympiad in Haifa.
In October 1976, Chess 4.5 won the 7th ACM NACCC tournament in Houston. Chess 4.5 was searching trees with 800,000 nodes per move using a CDC CYBER 176 (4.6 megaflops). It could look at 1,500 positions per second. The other programs were CHAOS, BLACK KNIGHT, BLITZ 4, DUCHESS, WITA, CHUTE 1.2, L'EXCENTRIQUE (by Claude Jarry), ETAOIN SHRDIU, CHESSTAR, and XENARBOR 4.
By 1976 all legal moves of castling were established by a chess computer.
In 1976, engineer and programmer Ron Nelson developed a chess program for an Altair 8800 microcomputer with an Intel 8080 CPU.
In 1976, Senior Master and professor of psychology Eliot Hearst (1932-2018) of Indiana University wrote that "the only way a current computer program could ever win a single game against a master player would be for the master, perhaps in a drunken stupor while playing 50 games simultaneously, to commit some once-in-a-year blunder."
On December 18, 1976, Microchess for the MOS Technology KIM-1 6502 microprocessor system was the first game program sold and shipped for home computers. It used 1100 bytes of RAM. It had 3 levels of play, requiring 3, 10, or 100 seconds. The program was written by Peter R. Jennings of Toronto and sold for $10.
In December 1976, there were only three computers on the USCF annual rating list. Chess 4 in Minnesota was rated 1722; Duchess at Duke University was rated 1351; Zap I in California was rated 1057.
In 1976, Sidney Samole (1935-2000), owner and president of Fidelity Electronics, Ron Nelson, engineer and programmer, invented the first commercial electronic computer, the Chess Challenger I. Samole said he was inspired to make a chess computer after Samole saw the Star Trek character Mr. Spock playing chess against a computer. (source: Decker, Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals, 2011, p. 214)
In January 1977, the first microcomputer chess playing machines, Fidelity CHESS CHALLENGER 1 was created and first demonstrated at the Chicago Consumer Electronics Show. One thousand Chess Challenger 1 machines were built. Fidelity made a mistake in chess notation. The playing notation on the board was reversed, with files labeled 1 to 8 and ranks labeled A to H. So P-K4, which should have been displayed e2-e4 appeared as 5b-5d. Chess Challenger 1 was quickly replaced by Chess Challenger 3 (3 levels of play), which went on to enjoy huge worldwide sales.
In 1977 the International Computer Chess Association (ICCA) was founded by computer chess programmers to organize championship events for computer programs and to facilitate the sharing of technical knowledge via the ICCA Journal. The main organizer was Barend Swets of the Netherlands. In 2002, it was renamed the International Computer Games Association (ICGA).
In 1977, Doug Penrod began Computer Chess Newsletter. It was the forerunner of the ICCA Journal. He implemented the 1st microcomputer chess tournament at the 2nd West Coast Computer Faire in San Jose, California.
On February 20, 1977, Northwestern University's CHESS 4.5 won the 84th Minnesota Open winning 5 games and losing one. It had a performance rating of 2271. It defeated Warren Stenberg (1969) in round 1 and Charles Fenner (2016) in round 2. It then lost to Walter Morris (2175). An emergency meeting of the board of the Minnesota State Chess Association was held to decide if the program would be accepted into the championship. They voted to accept it. Chess 4.5 then qualified for the Minnesota State Championship, but only scored one win and one draw, with 3 losses, taking last place. (source: "Invasion from Cyberland," by David Levy, Chess Life, June 1977, p. 312)
On March 29, 1977, Chess 4.5 (hosted on a CDC Cyber 176) gave a simultaneous exhibition in New York, winning 8, drawing 1, and losing 1 (to Eric Bone — 2150). One of the opponents was IM Edward Lasker, who lost to CHESS 4.5. It then played 4 games of blitz chess against International Master David Levy, winning 2 and losing 2. Hans Berliner then played it 2 blitz games and lost both. Its blitz performance rating was 2300.
In the spring of 1977, Bobby Fischer (1943-2008) played three games against the MIT Greenblatt computer program in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Fischer sent the games to be published in the Computer Chess Newsletter, published by Douglas Penrod. (source: Computer Chess Newsletter, Issue 1, April 7, 1977)
In April 1977, David Levy defeated CHESS 4.5 at Carnegie Mellon University.
In June 1977, W. Goldwater wrote an article called "My Game." It was about his experiences playing a chess computer. David Levy also wrote an article about computer chess called, "But Will it Fly" and "Invasion from Cyberland." (source: Chess Life & Review, June 1977, pp. 312-314)
On August 9, 1977, CHESS 4.6 (CDC Cyber 176) won the second World Computer Chess Championship (WCCC), held in Toronto. It was held in conjunction with the 1977 conference of the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP). There were 16 participating programs from 8 countries, including defending champion Kaissa of the USSR. It won with a 4-0 score, defeating BCP (England), Master (England), Duchess (1351), and Belle. 2nd place went to Duchess. In a special exhibition the next day, Chess 4.6 beat Kaissa. The other programs were Chaos (USA), Ostrich (Canada), Wita (Canada), Elsa (by Ludwig Zagler of Germany), Dark Horse (Sweden), Black Knight (USA), Blitz 5 (USA), Chute 1.2 (Canada), BS 6676 (by Barend Swets of The Netherlands), and Tell (Switzerland). In a special exhibition the next day, Chess 4.6 beat Kaissa (source: Chess Life, Jan 1978, p. 33 and BYTE, Jan 1978, p. 108). Mikhail Botvinnik was also invited to computer tournament and his program PIONEER was expected to play, but Botvinnik, who lectured on PIONEER at the event, said the program was not ready. (sources: Personal Computing, Jan 1979, p. 37 and Computernews, Nov 1977, pp. 14-19).
In August 1977, during the World Computer Chess Championship in Toronto, Ken Thompson came with a database of king and queen versus king and rook (KQKR). International Masters Hans Berliner and Lawrence Day, taking the queen's side, could not win against Thompson's queen vs. rook endgame database.
In 1977, Ira Baxter from Software Dynamics developed a chess program called SD Chess. It was written in Basic on a 6800-microcomputer using a minimax tree look-ahead scheme.
In 1977, Ken Thompson's BELLE chess machine was the first computer system to use custom design chips to increase its playing strength. It increased its search speed from 200 positions per second to 160,000 positions per second (8 ply). Over 1,700 integrated circuits were used to construct BELLE. The chess computer was built by Ken Thompson. The program was later used to solve endgame problems. The cost of BELLE was $20,000.
In 1977, Belle used an endgame tablebase for a king and rook against king and queen and was able to draw that theoretically lost ending against several masters. This was despite not following the usual strategy to delay defeat by keeping the defending king and rook close together for as long as possible.
In 1977, David Galef wrote an article called "A Chess Piece." It was about chess enthusiasts putting personal computers to work in pursuit of the game. (source: Personal Computing, May/June 1977, Vol. 1, #3, pp. 93-94)
In August 1977, SNEAKY PETE (1209) was the first chess computer to play in a U.S. Open, held in Columbus, Ohio. It lost its first 7 games, then won 4 in a row, then lost its final game, for a score of 4-8. (sources: Deseret News, Sep 23, 1977 and personal experience at the 78th US Open).
On September 16-18, 1977, CHESS 4.6 participated in the top section of the Aaronnson Chess Tournament in London. It lost its first game, then won two, and drew the last three for a score of 3.5-2.5. One of the draws was with Joppen of Switzerland, a FIDE master. This was the first time a computer drew with a master in tournament play. (source: Yovits, Advances in Computers, Vol 18, 1979, p. 82)
On September 18, 1977 Chess 4.6, on a Cyber 176 computer, was the first computer to beat a grandmaster when it defeated GM Michael Stean (1953- ), rated 2485, in London. It was a blitz game. (source: Chess Life Yearbook, 1978, p. 6)
In September 1977, Dan and Kathe Spracklen began working on their computer program called SARGON.
From October 15-17, 1977, Chess 4.6 tied for 1st place with Duchess at the 8th ACM North American Computer Chess Championship (NACCC), held at the Olympic Hotel in Seattle. Both scored 3.5 points out of 4. The winning trophy was awarded to Chess 4.6 base on tie-breaking points. The other programs were CHAOS, XENARBOR, BLITZ 5, BLACK KNIGHT, OSTRICH, CHUTE 1.2, 8080 CHESS, TYRO, WITA, and BRUTE FORCE. In the evening after Round 3, Tournament Director David Levy held a simultaneous exhibition against all twelve programs, winning 10, drawing one, and losing to Chess 4.6. The next day, after the tournament was over, he played two games of speed chess against Chess 4.6 and Duchess and lost both (sources: Chess Life, Oct 1978 and Personal Computing, Vol. 2, # 4, 1978, p. 106-111)
In December 1977, David Levy played his first computer, KAISSA, as part of his bet. He easily won. KAISSA ran on a fast Amdahl computer, but the computer operators did not optimize its performance.
Levy was then challenged by Richard Greenblatt to play against MacHack VI. MacHack VI was supplemented with a hardware component called CHEOPS, which analyzed moves at 150,000 positions per second. A two-game match was agreed on. Levy won the first game thereby making the second game unnecessary.
By the end of 1977, CHESS 4.6 had defeated Hans Berliner, Lawrence Day, Robert Hübner, David Levy, Michael Stean and Zvonko Vraneši? in blitz games.
In December 1977, there were 8 computers on the annual USCF rating list. Black Knight of Minnesota was rated 1196; Blitz in Mississippi was rated 1573; Chess 4 in Minnesota was rated 1935; Compy D in New York was rated 1109; Patzer in California was rated 1006. Sneaky Pete in Ohio was rated 1166. Tinker Belle in New Jersey was rated 1412; Xenarbo in California was rated 1244.
In 1978, Grandmaster Walter Browne (1949-2015) tried to win a random, but won-by-force, position, in less than 50 moves under tournament conditions. The position came from Ken Thompson queen vs. rook endgame database. Browne lost a $100 bet that he could win in 50 moves or less. A few weeks later, Browne played a rematch and won on exactly move 50. He won his money back. (source: Chess Life, June 2017, pp. 22-23)
In 1978, Peter Auge and Erich Winkler formed Novag Industries Ltd.
In February 1978, Chafitz Inc. launched their first chess computer BORIS. In March 1978, SARGON won the first tournament for microcomputers, the West Coast Computer Faire, held in San Jose, scoring 5-0. The original Sargon was written by Dan and Kathleen Spracklen in a Z80-based computer called Wavemate Jupiter III. It was written using Z-80 assembly language through TDL Macro Assembler. The other participants were: Commodore Chessmate, Boris, Chess Challenger, Processor Technology, SD Chess, Tenberg Basic, Steve Stuart, Compu-Chess, Compucolor, and Mark Watson. (source: Chess Life, June 1978, p. 311)
In May 1978, a computer chess workshop was held in Edmonton at the annual Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS).
In 1978, David Levy collected his 10-year bet by defeating CHESS 4.7 in Toronto with the score of 3 wins and one draw. The drawn game was the first time a computer drew an international master under tournament conditions. Computer chess experts predicted that a computer would be world chess champion in 10 years. (source: Chess Life, June 1978, p. 311)
On April 10-11, 1978, the 2nd Advances in Computer Chess (ACC) Conference was hosted by the University of Edinburgh. Ivan Bratko and Donald Michie gave a lecture called "A Representation of Pattern-Knowledge in Chess Endgames." Danny Kopec and Tim Niblett gave a lecture on king and rook vs king and knight endings. During the conference, endgame expert John Roycroft was asked to solve the endgame of king and rook (Roycroft) vs. king and knight (Ken Thompson's endgame database). Thompson's database had 3 million different rook vs knight endgame positions. Roycroft failed to solve the selected-position-problem during the regular conference play, but returned the next day with the correct solution. (source: Personal Computing, March 1979, p. 41)
On April 30, 1978, Chess 4.7 scored 5-0 at the Twin Cities Open in Minneapolis. Going into the event, the program had a USCF rating of 1936. After the event, its rating was 2040.
In May 1978, the first ad for a chess computer appeared in Chess Life magazine. The Fidelity Electronics Chess Challenger 3 was selling for $240 (suggested retail price was $275).
On May 6, 1978, Chess 4.6, rated 2070, defeated U.S. chess champion Walter Browne, rated Elo 2560, at a 44-board simultaneous exhibition in Minneapolis. Chess 4.6 was running on a Control Data Corporation (CDC) Cyber 176 supercomputer and examining 2.5 million positions in three minutes of think time. Chess 4.6 won in 63 moves. Browne was the first grandmaster to lose a game of chess from a computer, but it was a simultaneous exhibition and not a normal tournament with time controls. (source: Chess Life, July 1978, p. 363)
In May 1978, David Kittinger began work on his computer chess program called MyChess after getting a copy of Microchess and decided to write his own chess program with better speed.
In July 1978, David Levy wrote an article called, "Computers Are Now Chess Masters." He gave a history of chess computers and how computers have different strengths and weaknesses. He also discussed how he played against computers. (source: New Scientist, Jul 27, 1978, pp. 256-258)
On August 9, 1978, DUCHESS won an invitational computer chess tournament in Jerusalem, held during the Jerusalem Conference on Information Technology. DUCHESS won all three games. There were 6 participants in this 3-round Swiss System tournament. The other programs were CHESS 4.6, CHAOS, OSTRICH, TELL, and Bs6676.
In August 1978, Chess 4.7 played a 6-game challenge match with David Levy (2350) for his famous 10-year bet at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto that no chess computer could beat him in a match by 1984 (he later won his bet). Chess 4.7 did not defeat Levy in the match, but it did beat him in game 4. Levy became the first International Master to lose a game to a computer in a tournament environment. (source: BYTE, Dec 1978, p. 84 and Chess Life, Nov 1978, p. 600)
In August 1978, Hans Berliner wrote an article on computer chess and its history. Because of its obvious intellectual content, chess has long presented computer scientists with a challenge to their ingenuity. The development of the attempt to program computers to play chess at human Grand master level had raised some interesting points about the strategies that men and machines used to solve problems 'intelligently'. (source: Nature, Vol. 274, Aug 24, 1978, pp. 745-748)
In September 1978, MIKE (Mike Johnson) won the 1st Personal Computer World (PCW) championship, held in London. The other participants were Boris (David Lindsay and Rex Kent), Chess Challenger 10 (Ron Nelson), Microchess 2.0 (Peter Jennings), Fafner (Guy Burkill), and Cocma. (A. Cornish) Mike and Boris tied with 3.5-1.5, but Mike beat Boris in the play-off.
In September 1978, Novag Industries manufactured their first dedicated chess computer, the Chess Champion MK I. It had a Fairchild F8 8-bit processor running at 1.78 MHz, with 2KB of ROM and 256 byte RAM. It was a clone of the Data Cash Systems CompuChess program. It was sold in the USA by Joseph Sugarman's company as JS&A chess computer. It was later endorsed by world champion Anatoly Karpov.
In October 1978, the Spracklens wrote an article for Byte magazine called "First Steps in Computer Chess Programming." (source: Byte, vol. 3, #10, Oct 1978, p. 86)
In October 1978, Frey and Atkin wrote an article called "Creating a Chess Player." (source: BYTE, Oct 1978, p. 107)
In December 1978, the 9th ACM NACCC tournament was held in Washington, DC. BELLE, developed at Bell Laboratories by Ken Thompson, won after defeating BLITZ 6.5 in the final round. BELLE was the first chess computer with hardware designed specifically for chess. The other programs were CHESS 4.7 (CDC Cyber 176), CHAOS, BLITZ 6.5, SARGON II, DUCHESS (IBM 3033), OSTRICH 4, MIKE, BLACK KNIGHT, BS'66'76, AWIT, and BRUTE FORCE. In 1978, International Master Edward Lasker stated, "My contention that computers cannot play like a master, I retract. They play absolutely alarmingly. I know, because I have lost games to four of them." (source" Chess Life, April 1979, p. 204 and Personal Computing, March 1979, pp. 38-41)
In 1978, Erich Winkler left Novag and formed SciSys. All the SciSys computers were manufactured in Hong Kong.
In 1978, David Levy offered $1,000 to the authors of the first chess program to defeat him in a chess match. Omni magazine added an additional $4,000.
In 1978, Dr. Monte Newborn predicted that a computer would be the world chess champion in 10 years and that "Karpov will be the last World Champion made of flesh and blood." (source: "The Computer Chess Revolution," by David Levy, Chess Life, Feb 1979, p. 84)
In December 1978, there were 10 computers on the annual USCF rating list: Black Knight in Minnesota was rated 1174; Blitz in Mississippi was rated 1670; Boris in Texas was rated 1036; Chess Challenger in Georgia was rated 1318; Chess Challenger in California was rated 812; Chester in Texas was rated 1190; Compy Doesn in New York was rated 1109; CHESS 4.6 (Cyber 176) in Minnesota was rated 2040; T. Belle in New Jersey was rated 1464; Tyro in California was rated 1024.
In 1979, CHESS CHALLENGER 7, program written by Ron Nelson, was introduced by Fidelity International for $195.00, but then later reduced to $99.95. It used an 8-bit Z80 processor chip running at 4 MHz. It was rated about 1200.
In 1979, Chafitz Incorporated introduced their Chafitz Modular Game Systems and Boris 2.5 Game Module Chess Computer.
In 1979, CHESS CHALLENGER 10 won the Penrod Memorial Microchess Tournament.
In 1979, Microchess was licensed to Novag for its dedicated Chess Champion Mk II.
In 1979, Monroe Newborn wrote an article called, "Recent Progress in Computer Chess." There was much progress in software technology, making programming, debugging, and testing chess programs much easier. The author details CHESS 4.7's first victory over a chess master. The paper looks at computer endgame play, speed chess by computers, and chess on microcomputers. (source: Advances in Computers, Vol. 18, 1979, pp. 59-117)
In 1979, MASTER won the 2nd European Computer Chess Championship (ECCC), held in London. 2nd place went to DARK HORSE.
In 1979, Evan Katz published an article called "A Glimpse at the World of Micro-Chess." (source: Personal Computing, Vol. 3, # 7, 1979, p. 83)
In the March-April 1979 issue of Recreational Computing, there was an article on how to convert the Sargon chess program to an 8080 program using macros.
In June 1979, Arthur L. Robinson wrote an article called, "Tournament Competition Fuels Computer Chess." A chess diagram was produced wrong, with a missing pawn. (source: Science, Vol. 204, # 4400, Jun 29, 1979, pp. 1396-1398)
In July 1979, Sargon played in the Paul Masson tournament in Saratoga, California and received a 1641 rating.
In September 1979, Harold Dondis (1922-2015), wrote an article called "Does the Computer violate the Laws of Chess." (source: Chess Life, Sep 1979, p. 497)
On October 30, 1979, Northwestern University's CHESS 4.9 won the 10th ACM NACCC tournament in Detroit, scoring 3.5 out of 4. The other programs were BELLE, DUCHESS, MYCHESS (Dave Kittinger), L'EXCENTRIQUE, CHAOS, SARGON 3.0, OSTRICH 80, BLITZ 6.9, AWIT, BS'66'76 (Barend Swets), and RUFUS. Chess 4.9 was rated at 2040, making it the first program with an expert rating. (sources: Chess Life, Jan 1980, p. 6 and Personal Computing, Feb 1980, pp. 50-55)
In November 1979, Chafitz-Sargon III (the Spracklens) won the 2nd Personal Computer World (PCW) championship, held in London, winning all 5 games. The other participants were Vega (David Broughton), MyChess (David Kittinger), Tiny Chess 86 (Jan Kuipers), Mike II (Mike Johnson), Voice Chess Challenger (Ron Nelson), Max (Guy Burkill), Delta (Dave Wilson), and Wizard (Jeffrey and Clare Cooper). Vega was the highest-scoring non-commercial program. (source: Personal Computing, Feb 1980, pp. 65-72)
In January 1980, Mike Johnson and Dave Wilson developed the chess program ADVANCE 1.0.
In January 1980, Sargon played in the San Jose City College Open and received a 1736 rating.
In 1980, the Applied Concepts Great Game Machine was the first updateable chess computer.
In 1980, HIARCS (Higher Intelligence Auto-Response Chess System) was initially released, developed by Mark Uniacke. The first version was written in PDP-11 BASIC, when Uniacke was 15 years old.
In 1980, the "Mephisto" trademark was created for the line of chess computers sold by Hegener & Glaser (H+G). The Brikett was the first German chess computer on the market, programmed by Thomas Nietsche and Elmer Henine.
In 1980, Donald Michie called computer chess the "Drosophilia melanogaster (fruit fly) of machine intelligence."
In 1980, the USCF prohibited chess computers from competing in human tournaments except when represented by the chess systems' creators.
In 1980, Chafitz ARB (Auto Response Board) Sargon 2.5 was launched, which became a milestone for electronic chess computers. For the first time, a full-sized Auto Response Board was sold, incorporating the Spracklens' latest chess program, Sargon 2.5.
In February 1980, at the US Amateur Team Championship in Somerset, New Jersey, Chess 4.9 drew with Larry D. Evans, rated 2393 at the time. He became the highest-rated player to do no better than draw against a computer in a regular tournament game. Chess 4.9 had a performance rating of 2168. In speed chess, Chess 4.9 performed at a 2300 Elo rating.
In March 1980, a chess program was written by M. C. Rakaska and converted to play on an IBM PC in December 1981. This is probably the first chess games running in MS-DOS. The game featured only text-mode graphics. The chess board and the pieces were drawn using ASCII characters.
In 1980, a chess computer was used for the first time to clandestinely help a human player during a game. It occurred in Hamburg, Germany. German grandmaster Helmut Pfleger (1943- ) was giving a simultaneous exhibition at the Hamburg chess festival. One of the players who was playing in the simul hid a radio receiver on himself while he received moves from BELLE. As soon as Pfleger made a move, the move was immediately relayed by phone to Ken Thompson, who entered it into the computer BELLE. When Pfleger approached the board again, a move was dictated by radio transmission to the player's earphone. The computer won in 68 moves. It was Pfleger's only loss. The game was not strictly an example of cheating. It was an experiment in which the deception was immediately revealed. Immediately after the game, Pfleger was asked if he noticed anything unusual in the games. He had not. He was then told that one of the games was played by a machine, surprising Pfleger. He was amazed to hear that it was the game he lost.
In 1980, Edward Fredkin (1934- ), an MIT professor, created the Fredkin Prize for Computer Chess. He offered $5,000 for the first computer to have an established master's rating. The award came with $100,000 for the first program to beat a reigning world chess champion. The trustee for the prize was Carnegie Mellon University and the fund was administered by Hans Berliner. (source: Chess Life, Jan 1983, p. 8 and Chess Life, April 1984, p. 7)
In 1980, the Fidelity Electronics Champion Sensory Challenger won the 1st U.S. Microcomputer Chess Championship, held in San Jose.
In July 1980, MyChess won the West Coast Computer Faire Microcomputer Chess Tournament.
In August 1980, Mephisto won the European Microcomputer Chess Championsuip in Stockholm.
On September 6, 1980 Fidelity CHAMPION SENSORY CHALLENGER won the first World Microcomputer Chess Championship (WMCCC), held in London. There were 13 other participants: Boris Experimental, Mike 3.0, Rook 4.0, Sargon 2.0, Gambiet (Wim Rens), Modular Game System, Auto Response Board, Vega 1.7, Viktor, Albatross, Fafner 2, Princhess 1.0, and K. Chess IV. Chess Challenger won, scoring 5-0. It ran on a 6502 processor with 20K of memory.
On September 9. 1980, BELLE won the 3rd World Computer Chess Championship (WCCC), held in Linz, Austria. There were 17 other participating programs: Chaos, Duchess, l'Excentrique, Chess 4.9, Nuchess, Bebe, Schach 2.3, Bcp, Kaissa, Awit, Ostrich 81, Master, Mychess, Parwell, Advance 1.0, Dark Horse, and Challenger. Belle tied with Chaos, both with 3 wins and a draw, but Belle had the better tiebreaks. (source: Science, Vol. 210, # 4467, Oct 17, 1980, pp. 293-294)
In September 1980, after the 3rd World Computer Chess Championship in Linz, Claude Shannon was an invited guest and was interviewed about computer chess. (source: van den Herik, "An Interview with Claude Shannon," ICCA Journal, Vol. 12, # 4)
In October 1980, BELLE won the 11th ACM computer championship, held in Nashville. 1980 was the first year that CRAY BLITZ (developed by Robert Hyatt, Albert Gower, and Harry Nelson at the University of Southern Mississippi) participated in the ACM chess tournaments. The other programs were CHAOS, CHALLENGER 10, BEBE, MYCHESS, OSTRICH 81, CUBE 2.0, AWIT, and CLASH. Boris X Great Game Machine (GGM), by Applied Concepts, was registered to play, but Kathe Spracklen filed a protest. She claimed that Boris X was too similar to Sargon 2.5, and requested its source code to compare. John Aker, the author of Boris, finally admitted that Boris X was a revamped Sargon 2.5, and Boris was rejected from the tournament.
In 1980, Hans Berliner said that no computer could defeat the world chess champion in the next five years, but that this was a 50-50 possibility by 1990 and a certainty by the year 2000. In 1981, Berliner changed his opinion and said, "I think it will happen by 1990 now — and maybe a lot sooner." He believed that chess would be solved by computers by 2030. (source: Chess Life, May 2017, p. 45)
In 1980, Chess 4.9 drew a game with Larry D. Evans (2393) at the U.S. Amateur Team Championship. Chess 4.9 had a performance rating of 2168. In speed chess, Chess 4.9 performed at a 2300 Elo rating. Grandmaster Fridrik Olafsson had no trouble in defeating Chess 4.9 in two blitz games that year.
By the end of 1980, Chess 4.9 was retired from competition after Slate teamed up with William Blanchard to create NUCHESS. Atkin went to Applied Concepts and worked on dedicated chess computers such as the Great Game Machine and the Chafitz modular game system.
In January 1981, there were a variety of computers on the USCF rating list: Apple II at 1082; Bee Bee at 1855; Belle at 2015; Blitz at 1690; Boris at 1660; Chess Challenger at 1638; Chess 4.6 at 2074; Capa Mork II at 1345; Challenger X-1 at 1736; Challenger 7 at 1552; Duchess 6 at 1855; E Kopmann at 1414; Hall VCC at 1442; Mychess at 1615; Sargon 2.5 at 1474; Sargon 3.0 at 1430; Viktor-32 at 1361; Wesson Sargon at 1428; Chaos at 1820.
In 1981 Kaissa was being used to analyze 5-piece endings. Kaissa was never improved because the Soviet government decided that the programmer's time was better spent working on practical projects. The chess group transferred to a different institute where they worked on database programming and developed the Russian equivalent of Oracle (relational database).
On April 9-10, 1981, the 3rd Advances in Computer Chess Conference was held at Imperial College in London. Mikhail Botvinnik was an invited guest who gave a lecture called "Decision Making and Computers." Ken Thompson gave a lecture on the Belle chess hardware and computer chess strength.
In 1981, CRAY BLITZ, running on a Cray-1 supercomputer, won the Mississippi State Championship with a perfect 5-0 score and a performance rating of 2258. In round 4 it defeated Joe Sentef (2262) to become the first computer to beat a master in tournament play and the first computer to gain a master rating (2258). (source: Chess Life, Dec 1981, p. 11)
Josef Sentef (2262) — Cray Blitz, Mississippi State Championship, 1981, 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 c6 3. Nf3 d5 4. cxd5 cxd5 5. d4 Nc6 6. g3 Ne4 7. Bg2 Nxc3 8. bxc3 e6 9. 0-0 Bd6 10. Qc2 0-0 11. Ng5 f5 12. f4 Na5 13. Qd3 Qd7 14. Bd2 Nc4 15. Bc1 Qa4 16. g4 h6 17. gxf5 hxg5 18. fxg5 Ba3 19. g6 Bxc1 20. Raxc1 Nd6 21. Qh3 Rxf5 22. Qh7+ Kf8 23. Qh8+ Ke7 24. Qxg7+ Kd8 25. Rxf5 Nxf5 26. Qf6+ Ne7 27. g7 Qe8 28. Bf3 Kd7 29. Rf1 Ng8 30. Qg5 Qe7 31. Qg6 Kd6 32. e4 dxe4 33. Bxe4 Qh4 34. Qg3+ Qxg3+ 35. hxg3 Bd7 36. Rf8 Rc8 37. Bh7 Rxc3 38. Rxg8 Rg3+ 39. Kf2 Rg5 40. Be4 b6 41. Ke3 e5 42. Ra8 Rg3+ 43. Kf2 Rxg7 44. dxe5+ Kxe5 45. Bf3 Be6 46. a4 Rf7 47. Ke3?? Rxf3+ 48. Kxf3 Bd5+ 49. Ke3 Bxa8 50. a5 Be4 51. Kd2 Kd4 52. Kc1 b5 53. Kb2 Kc4 54. a6 b4 55. Ka2 Kc3 0-1
On August 26, 1981, 22-year-old chess master Carl Storey (2206) defeated Bell at the University of British Columbia in a 2-game match. It was part of a man-machine challenge match sponsored by the Fredkin Foundation of Boston. Storey won $2,500 for his victory. The chess match was organized for the International Joint Conference of Artificial Intelligence. Belle was located in New Jersey, but was hooked up to a video display terminal by telephone.
In September 1981, CYRUS won the 2nd European Microcomputer Chess Championship in London, which scored a perfect 5-0. The other microcomputer participants were Advance 2.0, LogiChess, Philidor, Philidor Experimental, Caesar, Gambiet 81, Microtrend Experimental, Chess Champion Mark V, White Knight, Chessnut, and Albatross.
Onn September 28, 1981, Fidelity X won the 2nd World Microcomputer Chess Championship, held in Travemuende, Germany. There were 7 other participants: Princhess 2.9, Novag X, Philidor X, LogiChess 2.1, Scisys X, Conic X, and Applied Concepts X. Chess Champion Mark V won the Commercial World Microcomputer Chess Championship. The event also included Champion Sensory Challenger, Savant, and Gurenfeld/Morphy/CapablancaIn October 1981, Belle Computer played 33 games simultaneously, winning 28 and losing 5. The event was played at the Toms River Chess Club in New Jersey. (source: Chess Life, May 1982, p. 13)
On November 10, 1981, BELLE (Thompson and Condon) won the 12th ACM computer championship, held in Los Angeles. It won 3 and drew 1 (to Nuchess). The other programs were NUCHESS (Slate and Blanchard), CRAY BLITZ (Hyatt and Gower), BEBE (Tony Scherzer), DUCHESS (Duke University), PHILIDOR (David Levy), OSTRICH (Nonrow Newborn), CHESS CHALLENGER EXPERIMENTAL (Spracklens), L'EXCENTRIQUE (Jarry), SAVANT (Dave Kittinger), CUBE 2.1 (Lloyd Lank), CHAOS (University of Michigan), SCHACH 2.5 (Matthias Engelbach), CHATURANGA (John Poduska), AWIT (Tony Marsland), and PRODIGY (University of Waterloo). (source: Chess Life, Apr 1982, p. 28)
In January 1982, there were 5 computers on the USCF rating list: Bee Bee in Illinois at 1771; Belle in New Jersey at 2168; Cray Blitz in Mississippi at 2258; Fidelity Challenger in Florida at 1771; and Sargon 2.5 in Maryland at 1484.
By 1982, microcomputer chess programs could evaluate up to 1,500 moves a second and were as strong as mainframe chess programs of five years earlier.
In 1982, Danny Kopec and Ivan Bratko developed the Bratko-Kopec Test, standard test for chess computers. It was used to evaluate human or machine ability based on the presence or absence of certain knowledge.
In 1982, Jonathan Schaeffler developed PHOENIX at the University of Alberta.
In 1982, Hans Berliner predicted that a computer would be world chess champion by 1990.
In 1982, David Horne released 1K ZX Chess, which used only 672 bytes of RAM, for the Sinclair ZX81.
In May 1982, Ken Thompson (1943- ) traveled to Moscow for a computer chess tournament and thought his computer, the 400-pound BELLE (PDP-11/23) computer, was traveling with him on the airplane in a crate. However, the U.S. Customs Service confiscated the chess computer at Kennedy Airport as part of Operation Exodus, a program to prevent illegal export of high technology items to the Soviets. It took over a month and a $600 fine to retrieve BELLE from customs. Thompson later said that the only way the BELLE would be a military threat if it was dropped from an airplane on the head of some government official. (source: Chess Life, September 1982, p. 12)
In June 1982, Gina Kolata wrote an article called, "Chess-Playing Computer Seized by Customs." Customs at New York's Kennedy Airport seized a small crated containing Belle, a chess computer. It was on its way to Moscow with Ken Thompson for a chess match. The computer was confiscated by the Customs Service as part of its Operation Exodus, a program to prevent the illegal export of high technology items to the Soviets. (source: Science, Vol. 216, # 4553, Jun 25, 1982, p. 1392)
In June 1982, FIDE recognized the International Computer Chess Association (ICCA).
In August 1982, CHAOS played in the U.S. Open. It lost four games on time. BELLE finished 2nd in the U.S. Open speed championship. (source: Chess Life, Jan 1983, p. 6)
In September 1982, ADVANCE 2.4 won the 3rd European Microcomputer Chess Championship in London, which scored 6 out of 7 (5 wins, 2 draws, no losses). The other microcomputers were La Regence, Philidor, Bogol, Mark 5.01, White Knight, President Turbo, Cyrus II, MicroMurks, Gambiet 82, Conchess, Spectrum Chess, and Chess '86. The tournament director was Stuart Reuben.
In September 1982, Donald Michie wrote an article called "Computer Chess and the Humanization of Technolgy." He included a short history of computer chess. Chess provided the opportunity for studying the representation of human knowledge in machines, but it took more than a century since its conception for chess playing by machines to become a reality. The World Computer Chess Championship and other computer chess tournaments where program is matched against program occur regularly. The author asks, "How far can the less clever but more intelligent human master rely on the computer's brute force technology?" (source: Nature, Vol. 299, Sep 30, 1982, pp. 391-394)
By 1982 computer chess companies were topping $100 million in sales. (source: Chess Life, Oct 1982, p. 19)
In October 1982, BELLE won the 13th ACM NACCC computer championship, held in Dallas in tie-breaks over CRAY BLITZ, NUCHESS, and CHAOS. The other programs were BEBE, ADVANCE 2.4, SAVANT X, FIDELITY 10, OSTRICH, SCHACH 2.6, SFINKS X, PHILIDOR, PION, and CHATURANGA 2.0. (source: Chess Life, March 1983, p. 22)
At the 1982 North American Computer Chess Championship (NACCC), Monroe Newborn predicted that a chess program could become world champion within five years; tournament director and International Master Michael Valvo predicted ten years; the Spracklens predicted 15 years; Adrian de Groot predicted the year 2000; Ken Thompson predicted more than 20 years; and others predicted that it would never happen. The most widely held opinion, however, stated that it would occur around the year 2000.
In December 1982, New Scientist stated in 1982 that computers "play terrible chess ... clumsy, inefficient, diffuse, and just plain ugly", but humans lost to them by making "horrible blunders, astonishing lapses, incomprehensible oversights, gross miscalculations, and the like" much more often than they realized; "in short, computers win primarily through their ability to find and exploit miscalculations in human initiatives. (source: New Scientist, Dec 1982, pp. 827-830).
In 1983, SciSys signed an agreement with Garry Kasparov to endorse their programs. This enabled SciSys to establish the Kasparov brand name on their computers.
In 1983, Sargon III was written for the 6502 assembler and was commercially published by Hayden Software. Sargon III was the first third-party executable software for the Macintosh.
In 1983, Monty Newborn was elected president of the International Computer Chess Association (ICCA). He was its president from 1983 to 1986.
In April 1983, the USCF rating list had the following computers: Bee Bee at 1869; Belle at 2119; Chess Champion at 1848; Cray Blitz at 2123; Cube at 1484; Duchess 6 at 1855; Elite at 2032; Fidelity SC9 at 1765; Morphy Master at 1353; Nuchess at 2054; Prestige Challenger at 1870; and Chaos at 1714.
In August 1983, Belle competed in the U.S. Open, where it scored 8.5/3.5 with a performance rating of 2363.
In 1983, the first chess microcomputer beat a master in tournament play. BELLE became the first chess computer to attain a master's rating when, in October 1983, its USCF rating was 2203. A Fredkin Prize of $5,000 was presented to Ken Thompson and Joe Condon for their work on the first computer to earn a USCF master rating.
On Oct 2, 1983, ADVANCE 3.0 won the 4th European Microcomputer Championship, held in London. It scored 7.5 out of 9. The other microcomputers were Chess 2001, Constellation, Cyrus 2.5, White Knight, Cyrus I.S., Colossus Chess, Caesar, Mephisto Experimental, Spectrum Chess II, Merlin, Cyrus Dragon, Albatross, and Chessnut.
On October 19, 1983, Fidelity Elite Auto Sensory (A/S) won the 3rd World Microcomputer Chess Championship, held in Budapest. There were 17 other participants: Mephisto X, Novag X, Super Constellation (David Kittinger), Prestige Challenger, Chess 2001, Gedeon X, Chess 2001 X, Mephisto Y, Mephisto Excalibur, Constellation, Sensory 9, Superstar X, Micromurks II, LogiChess 2.2, Chess-Master, 65 Cyrus X, and Labirint 64.
On October 25, 1983, CRAY BLITZ won the 14th ACM tournament in New York, scoring 4.5 out of 5 (drawing with Nuchess). Cray Blitz had a performance rating of 2418. BEBE and AWIT tied for 2nd place. This was also the 4th World Computer Chess Championship (WCCC), so CRAY BLITZ also became the world computer chess champion. The program ran on a Cray X-MP, the world's fastest supercomputer at the time, and searched over 30 million positions in 3 minutes of think time. There were 22 participants. One of the other chess programs was Patsoc, written by Hans Berliner, which did not perform very well. In 1983, the programs were master strength. In October 1983, BELLE was rated 2203, the first program to be rated master strength. (source: Chess Life, Jan 1984, p. 9 and Chess Life, Feb 1984, p. 32)
In November 1983, Computer Chess Digest rated the following computers: Prestige-B (1904), Prestige (1875), Elite A/S (1839), Constellation (1816), Sensory 9-B (1813), Elite (1801), Super 9 (17888), Superstar (1770), Mephisto II (1751), Steinitz (1743), Sensory 9 (1737), Mephisto III (1732), Conchess (1694), Philidor (1683), Champion (1674), Scisys Mark IV (1671), Master Trio (1653), and Savant (1651).
In 1984, Stuart Cracraft began working on writing GNU Chess, a free software chess engine.
In 1984, the concept of computer-assisted chess tournaments originated in science fiction, notably in The Peace War written by Vernor Vinge.
In 1984 a microcomputer won a tournament for the first time against mainframes, held in Canada.
In 1984, SPOC (Selective Pruning Optimization Chess) was a state-of-the-art chess program for the IBM PC with a USCF rating of 1700. It was written in 8086 assembly by Jacques Middlecoff.
On April 17-18, 1984, the 4th Advances in Computer Chess Conference was held at Brunel University in London. David Levy gave a lecture called "Chess Master versus Computer." Hans Berliner presented a paper called "Five Year Plan for Computer Chess at Carnegie Mellon University." Robert Hyatt gave a lecture on Cray Blitz. During the conference, David Levy beat Cray Blitz 4-0.
On September 15, 1984, the 4th World Microcomputer Chess Championship (WMCCC) there was a 4-way tie between Fidelity Elite X, Mephisto, Princhess X, and Psion. There were 12 participants, played in Glasgow.
In October 1984, CRAY BLITZ won the 15th ACM tournament in San Francisco. The other programs were BEBE, FIDELITY, CHAOS, BELLE, NUCHESS, PHOENIX, NOVAG, INTELLIGENT, SCHACH 2.7, OSTRICH, AWIT, MERLIN, and XENARBOR.
In 1984, the USCF Computer Rating Agency (CRA) was established that provided an official USCF rating of chess computers. The first machine submitted to the CRA was the Novag Super Constellation. It received a USCF rating of 2018. (source: Chess Life, Nov 1985, p. 40)
In 1984, the Swedish Chess Computer Association, Svenska schackdatorfoereningen (SSDF), published their first computer rating list. The top commercial computer was the Novag Super Constellation running on a 6502 4 MHz processor, with an SSDF rating of 1631.
In 195, the computer chess magazine, Selective Search, was first published.
In 1985, ChipTest was built by Feng-hsiung Hsu, Thomas Anantharaman, and Murray Campbell at Carnegie Mellon University. It is the predecessor of Deep Thought, which evolved into Deep Blue. ChipTest was based on a special VLSI-technology move generator chip, controlled by a Sun-3/160 workstation. It was capable of searching 50,000 moves per second.
In 1985, Robert Hyatt, Harry Nelson, and Albert Gower wrote an article on Cray Blitz, the 1984 World Computer Chess Program. The program has also played in human chess tournaments and was a chess master. At speed chess, where its ability to perform very accurate analysis was particularly important, it has maintained a performance rating of over 2600 for the past two years. This indicated that at speed chess, the program was one of the top players, electronic or human, in the world. It ran on a Cray XMP-48 computer system and has was designed around the parallelism that the XMP architecture provides. (source: Telematics and Informatics, Vol. 2, # 4, 1985, pp. 299-306)
On May 25, 1985, HITECH made its debut in human chess tournaments.
On June 6, 1985, Garry Kasparov played 32 of the top chess computers in Hamburg, Germany and won every game, with the score of 32-0. Four computer companies provided 8 chess computers each.
By September 1985, HITECH at Carnegie-Mellon University had played 21 tournament games against human competition, scoring 16.5-4.5. It achieved a USCF rating of 2233, the highest ever achieved by a computer.
On September 15, 1985, the 5th World Microcomputer Chess Championship (WMCCC) was held in Amsterdam. It was won by Mephisto/Nona (Richard Lang) scoring 8 out of 8. There were 6 participants.
On October 13-15, 1985, HITECH, developed by Hans Berliner at Carnegie-Mellon, won the 16th ACM NACCC tournament in Denver, scoring a perfect 4-0. HITECH used specially designed VLSI circuitry attached to a SUN processor and searched 175000 nodes per second. HITECH achieved a performance rating of 2530 and became the first computer rated over 2400. The other programs were BEBE, INTELLIGENT, PHOENIX, CRAY BLITZ, CHAOS, LACHEX, SPOCK, OSTRICH, and AWIT. (sources: ICCA Journal, Vol. 8, #4, Dec 1985, pp. 240-247 and Scientific American, Feb 1, 1986)
In November-December, 1985, the Fredkin Masters Invitational Tournament was held in Pittsburgh. It consisted of 8 masters and HTECH. 15-year-old Vivek Rao (2400) won the event with an 8-0 score. HITECH took 3rd place, scoring 5.5 out of 8. Its only loss was to Rao. (source: ICCA Journal, Vol. 8, #4, Dec 1985, pp. 256-259)
In December 1985, the SSDF top commercial chess computers were Mephisto Amsterdam 12 MHz (2066), Conchess (1869), Excellence (1860), Turbostar 432 (1839), Private Line (1819), Elegance (1819), Mephisto MM (1814), and Super Constellation (1811). (source: ICCA Journal, Vol. 8, #4, Dec 1985, p. 261)
On January 1, 1986 Chessmaster 2000 was released by Software Toolworks. The chess engine was written by David Kittinger.
By 1986, the strongest Canadian chess program was PHOENIX (University of Alberta), a multiprocessor-base system using workstations.
In 1986, Fidelity Electronics came out with the Fidelity Par Excellence. The USCF rated it at 2100.
In February 1986, in Scientific American, there was a column called "Computer Recreations: The King (A Chess Program) is Dead, Long Live the King (A Chess Machine)" by Alexander Dewdney. It was an article about the 1985 North American Computer Chess Championship, held in Denver. The computers were: Awit, Bebe, Chaos, Cray Blitz, Hitech, Intelligent Software, Lachex, Ostrich, Phoenix, and SPOC. Hitech won that year. (source: Scientific American, Feb 1, 1986)
In March 1986, the first SSDF rating list of the year came out. The top commercial computers were Mephisto Amsterdam (2003), Avant Garde (1946), Conchess Plymate (1917), Expert (1907), and Excellence (1899). (source: ICCA Journal, Vol. 9, # 1, March 1986, p. 56)
On March 14-15, 1986, the 3rd International Symposium on ‘Artificial Intelligence and the game of Chess' was held in Milan, Italy. The topics covered ranged from chess databases to knowledge representation in chess and problem solving. (source: ICCA Journal, Vol. 9, # 2, June 1986, pp. 114-115)
In April 1986, HITECH was USCF-rated 2352. Since September 1985, when the last major hardware change was made, HITECH had beaten every player below 2250 that it had played, a total of 21 games.
In 1986, Fidelity was the only U.S. manufacturer of chess microcomputers. (source: Chess Life, July 1986, p. 30)
On June 15, 1986 CRAY BLITZ won the 5th World Computer Chess Championship (WCCC), held in Cologne, on Buchholz tiebreak points over HITECH, Bebe, and Sun Phoenix. There were 22 participants. (sources: ICCA Journal, Vol. 9, # 2, June 1986, pp. 92-110, and Chess Life, Nov 1986, p. 14)
In 1986, the first Aegon Man-Machine tournament was held in The Hague. The Aegon insurance company hosted the tournaments. In 1986, 11 humans played against 11 chess computers. Rebel was the best program, scoring 4.5 out of 7, finishing 5th.
On July 20, 1986, the 2nd U.S. Open Computer-Chess Championship was held in Mobile, Alabama. Fidelity Challenger N and Fidelity Private Line tied for 1st place. Fidelity Challenger N won the Best New Program. Fidelity Private Line was dubbed Best Micro Computer. The Best PC Program was Chess Master 2000 for Apple. There were 18 participants. (source: ICCA Journal, Vol. 9, #3, Sep 1986, pp. 158-159)
On August 3-15, 1986, the US Open was held in Somerset, New Jersey. In the event, International Master David Strauss (1946- ), rated 2533, became the first International Master to lose to a computer in tournament competition. He lost to a Fidelity 16 MHz chess computer. 8 chess computers participated in the event. (source: ICCA Journal, vol. 9, # 3, Sep 1986, p. 164)
Fidelity CC — David Strauss, Somerset, NJ, 1986 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Nf6 3.d4 Nxd5 4.c4 Nb6 5.Nf3 g6 6.Nc3 Bg7 7.h3 0—0 8.Be3 Nc6 9.Qd2 e5 10.d5 Ne7 11.g4 f5 12.0—0—0 fxg4 13.Ng5 g3 14.c5 g2 15.Bxg2 Nc4 16.Qe2 Nxe3 17.Qxe3 Nf5 18.Qd2 Bh6 19.Nce4 Nh4 20.Rhg1 Bf5 21.Bh1 b6?! [21...Rc8] 22.d6 c6 23.Qe3 bxc5 24.Nxc5 Qb6? [24...Rb8] 25.Nb3 [25.Qc3] 25...Qa6 26.Qc3 Qxa2 27.Bxc6 Rad8? [27...Be6] 28.Bd5+ Kh8 29.Nc5 Qb1+ 30.Kd2 Nf3+?? [30...Bxg5+ 31.Rxg5] 31.Bxf3 Rxd6+ 32.Ke2 Rxd1 33.Rxd1 Qc2+ 34.Qxc2 Bxc2 35.Rg1 Bf5 36.h4 Rb8 37.b3 Rc8 38.Nf7+ Kg7 39.Nd6 Rf8 40.Ra1 Kh8 41.Rxa7 Bf4 42.Nf7+ Kg8 43.Bd5 Kg7 44.Ng5+ [44.Ng5+ Kf6 (44...Kh6 45.Rxh7#; 44...Kh8 45.Rxh7#) 45.Nxh7#] 1—0
In September 1986, Nona won the 6th Netherlands Computer-Chess Championship. There were 16 participants. (source: ICCA Journal, Vol. 9, #3, Sep 1986, pp. 160-163)
On November 1-6, 1986, the 6th World Microcomputer Chess Championship (WMCCC) was held in Dallas. It was won by Mephisto, scoring 6 out of 7. There were 14 participants using 6 different programs (Mephisto, Fidelity, Cyrus, Recon, Monster, and Kempelen). (source: ICCA Journal, vol. 5, # 4, Dec 1986, pp. 214-225 and Chess Life, June 1987, p. 18)
On November 2-6, 1986, the 17th ACM NACCC computer-chess championship tournament was held in Dallas. BELLE won the event 5-0. The other programs were LACHEX, NOVAG, BEBE, PHOENIX, MEPHISTO, CHALLENGER, RECOM, CYRUS, FIDELITY, CHIPTEST, MERLIN, VAXCHESS, OSTRICH, WAYCOOL, and REX. HITECH did not play as it was under reconstruction. Cray Blitz could not get sufficient machine time. (source: ICCA Journal, vol. 5, # 4, Dec 1986, pp. 206-213 and Chess Life, June 1987, p. 18)
In December 1986, the SSDF rating list was published. The top 10 commercial chess computers were Mephisto Amsterdam (2000), Avant Garde (1927), Mephisto Rebel (1910), Par Excellence (1895), Conchess Plymate 5.5 MHz(1878), Excellence (1860), ConstellationForte (1859), Super Mondial (1853(, Constellation Expert (1845), and Conchess Plymate 4 MZ (1839). (source: Journal, vol. 5, # 4, Dec 1986, pp. 226).
In 1987, the 2nd Aegon Man-Machine tournament was held in The Hague. The best program was Mephisto Dallas, scoring 4.5 out of 6 and taking 3rd place.
In 1987, a chess computer Usenet newsgroup (rec.games.chess.computer) was created.
In January 1987, the first ChessBase database was built for Garry Kasparov on an Atari ST. Kasparov was using it to prepare for a special simultaneous chess exhibition against a strong professional German league chess team. The database of games was written by Frederic Friedel and Matthias Wullenweber. (source: Deep Thinking by Garry Kasparov, p. 43)
On March 1, 1987, the U.S. Amateur Championship became the first national championship to be directed by a computer program.
On April 27-28, 1987, the 5th Advances in Computer Chess conference was held in De Leeuwenenhorst, the Netherlands. Hans Berliner gave a lecture on some innovations introduced by Hitech. Adrian de Groot gave a lecture called, "Some Special Benefits of Advances in Computer Chess."
In August 1987, the top 10 commercial chess computers on the SSDF rating list were: Mephisto Dallas 68020 (2102), Mephisto Dallas 68000 (2043), Mephisto Amsterdam (1995), Excellence (1958), Psion Atari (1956), Expert (1935), Avant Garde (1914), Forte B (1896), Par Excellence (1894), and Mephisto Revel (1893). (source: ICCA Journal, Vol. 10, # 3, Sep 1987, pp. 157)
In August-September 1987, Hitech won the Pennsylvania State Chess Championship, scoring 4.5 out of 5 and winning on tiebreak points after a 4-way tie. The tournament had 76 players, including 15 masters. Its performance rating was 2550. Hitech defeated Senior Master Allan Savage (2412). (source: ICCA Journal, Vol. 10, # 3, Sep 1987, pp. 155-156)
Allan Savage — HITECH, State College, PA, 1987 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.0—0 f6 6.d4 Bg4 7.c3 Bd6 8.dxe5 fxe5 9.Qb3 Bxf3 10.gxf3 Ne7 11.Be3 Qd7 12.Qxb7 0—0 13.Qb3+ Kh8 14.Nd2 Rxf3 15.Kh1 [15.Nxf3? Qg4+ 16.Kh1 Qxf3+ 17.Kg1 Qg4+ 18.Kh1 Qxe4+] 15...Rff8 16.Rg1 Ng6 17.Qc4 Nf4 18.Rg3 a5 19.b3 [19.Rd1] 19...Be7 20.Rag1 Nh3 21.Rxh3?! [21.Nf3 Nxg1 22.Nxe5] 21...Qxh3 22.Qxc6 Rad8 23.Rg3 Qd7 [23...Qc8] 24.Qxd7 Rxd7 25.Nc4 Rd3 26.Nxe5 Rxc3 27.Bd4 Rc2 28.Nd7?! [28.Nd3] 28...Rf7 29.Ne5 Rf4 30.Nd3 Rxe4 31.Bxg7+ Kg8 32.Bc3+ Kf8 33.Bxa5 Ba3 [33...Bd6] 34.b4 [34.Kg2] 34...Re7 35.Rf3+ [35.Kg2] 35...Kg7 36.Nc5?! [36.Kg2] 36...Rxa2 37.Na6? [37.Kg2] 37...Ree2 [37...Rf7] 38.Nxc7? [38.Kg2] 38...Rxf2 39.Ne6+?? [39.Rxf2 Rxf2 40.Nb5 Bb2] 39...Kg6 40.Rxf2 Rxf2 41.Kg1?? Rb2 42.Nf4+ Kf5 43.Nd3 Rd2 44.Nf2 Kf4 45.Kg2 Rb2 46.Bc7+ Kf5 47.Bd6 Bxb4 48.Bg3 Bc5 49.Kf3 Rb3+ 50.Kg2 Bd4 51.Bd6 Be5 52.Bc5 Rb2 53.Be3 h5 54.Bc5 Kf4 55.Ba7 Rd2 56.Bb6 Bd4 57.Bxd4 Rxd4 58.Nh1 Rd2+ 59.Nf2 h4 0—1
On September 14-20, 1987, the 7th World Microcomputer Computer Chess Championship (WMCCC) was held in Rome. It was won by Mephisto/Psion. There were 7 participants: Psion, Cyrus 68, Plymate, Mephisto Experimental, Pandiz, Kempelen, and Chat. (source: ICCA Journal, Vol. 10, # 3, Sep 1987, pp. 146-154)
In October 1987, the 7th Dutch Computer Chess Championship was won by Rebel, scoring 7 out of 7. There were 16 participants. (source: ICCA Journal, Vol. 10, # 4, Dec 1987, pp. 211-212)
On October 24-28, 1987, the 18th ACM NACCC computer chess championship was held in Dallas. It was won by CHIPTEST-M, developed by Feng Hsu, scoring 4-0. CHIPTEST caused hash tables to be standard for chess programs. The other programs were CRAY BLITZ, SUN PHOENIX, LACHEX, CRYUS 68K, BEBE, NOVAG, BELLE, WAYCOOL, GNU CHESS, BP, OSTRICH, and GRECO. (source: ICCA Journal, Vol. 10, # 4, Dec 1987, pp. 199-204)
In 1988, Fidelity Chessmaster 2100 was published for the Apple IIGS.
In 1988, Battle Chess was first released by Interplay Entertainment for the Amiga. The game has an opening library from over 30,000 moves.
In 1988, Grandmaster Jan Donner (1927-1988) was asked how he would prepare for a chess match against a computer. Donner replied: "I would bring a hammer."
In 1988 HITECH won the Pennsylvania State Chess Championship for the second year in a row after defeating International Master Ed Formanek (2485).
In 1988, FIDE allowed seventy-five moves in endgames for KBBKN, KNNKP, KQKBB, KQKNN, KRBKR, and KQPKQ with the pawn on the seventh rank, because tablebases from computer analysis had uncovered positions in these endgames requiring more than fifty moves to win.
In March 1988, the 10 ten commercial chess computers on the SSDF rating list wereL MM4Turbo (2137), Mephisto Dallas 68020 (2096), Mephisto Roma 68000 (2080), Mephisto Roma 68020 (2072), Mephisto Dallas 68000 (2033), Leonardo Maestro (2025), Mephisto Amsterdam (1994), Mephisto MM4 (1973), and Expert (1968). (source: ICCA Journal, Vol. 11, #1, March 1988, p. 44)
On September 25, 1988, HITECH defeated Grandmaster Arnold Denker, age 74, in a match played in New York. The computer won 3 games, and 1 game was drawn. It was the first time a chess program had beaten a grandmaster. The purse of $7,00 won by Hitech went into a trust fund established by Carnegie Mellon University. (source: New York Times, Sep 26, 1988)
On October 1, 1988, the 8th World Microcomputer Chess Championship (WMCCC) was held in Almeria, Spain. It was won by Mephisto.
In November 1988, Deep Thought (2551) and Grandmaster Tony Miles shared first place in the Software Toolworks Open, Long Beach, each scoring 6.5 out of 8. DEEP THOUGHT had a 2745 performance rating. Deep Thought was named after the quirky computer in Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. At the tournament, Bent Larsen (2580) became the first GM to lose to a computer in a major tournament - the American Open. (source: Chess Life, March 1989, p. 26)
In 1988, DEEP THOUGHT 0.02 (2550) won the 19th ACM tournament in Orlando. The other programs were CHALLENGER, MEPHISTO, CRAY BLITZ, HITECH, SUN PHOENIX, BEBE, NOVAG, BP, CRYUS 68K, AI CHESS, and WAYCOOL.
In 1988, the 3rd Aegon Man-Machine tournament was held in The Hague. The best program was Mephisto Mega 4, which scored 4 out of 6, taking 7th place.
At the end of 1988, FIDE no longer accepted human-computer results in their rating lists.
In 1989, DEEP THOUGHT (Feng-Hsiung Hsu) won the 6th World Computer Chess Championship (WCCC) in Edmonton, Alberta, with a 5-0 score. There were 24 participants. It also won the Shannon Trophy, given to the world computer chess champion. (source: Chess Life, Sep 1989, p. 17)
DEEP THOUGHT defeated Grandmaster Robert Byrne (1930-2016) in a match game.
In March 1989, Garry Kasparov defeated Deep Thought in a match by winning 2 games.
In 1989, Deep Thought developers claimed a computer would be world chess champion in three years.
In April 1989, in Scientific American, there was an article called "Deep Thought." (source: Scientific American, Apr 1, 1989, Vol. 260, # 4)
On September 16, 1989, the 9th World Microcomputer Chess Championship (WMCCC) was held in Portoroz, Slovenia. It was won by Mephisto. There were 9 participants.
In 1989 IBM started working on 'Big Blue' and later Deep Blue. Some of the funding for Deep Blue was provided by DARPA.
In 1989, Hitech, rated 2413, won the Pennsylvania State Chess Championship for the 3rd year in a row.
In 1989, ZUGZWANG chess program was created by Rainer Feldmann and Peter Mysliwietz at the University of Paderborn. It ran on 1024 processors.
In 1989, the 4th Aegon Man-Machine tournament was held in The Hague. The best program was Chess Challenger, which scored 3.5 out of 6, taking 8th place.
In 1989, Monroe Newborn wrote an article called, "Computer Chess: Ten Years of Significant Progress." Since 1979, there have been a number of new developments including special-purpose hardware, parallel search on multiprocessing systems, windowing techniques, and increased use of transposition tables. The article described these advances. It reviewed various search techniques that improved chess programs: the minimax algorithm; depth-first search and the basic data structures for chess trees; the alpha-beta algorithm; move generation, the principal continuation, and the killer heuristic; pruning techniques and variable depth quiescence search; transposition tables; iterative deepening; windows, parallel search techniques; special-purpose hardware; and time control and thinking on the opponent's time. The article also presented a brief history of computer chess play and relation between computer speed and program strength — faster computers play better chess. (source: Advances in Computers, vol. 29, 1989, pp. 197-250)
On May 28, 1989, the World Computer Chess Championship, sponsored by AGT, was held in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. See here for the tournament program brochure.
In August 1989, Greg Wilson wrote an article called "Chess Computers Make Their Move." He predicted in a few years, a machine could be the world chess champion. He noted that chess computers were finally capable of beating all but the world's best chess players. The best chess programs were written for microcomputers, supercomputers, or those machines built using special circuitry. (source: New Scientist, Aug 5, 1989, pp. 50-53)
In August 1989, a $10,000 Fredkin Prize was awarded th the Deep Thought team (Hsu, Anantharaman, Campbell, and Nowatzyk) for the first computer to achieve a USCF rating of 2500 (Grandmaster strength).
On August 9-15, 1989 the first Computer Chess Olympiad was held at the Park Lane Hotel in London. The gold medal went to Rebel (Ed Schroeder), the silver went to Mephisto (Richard Lang), and the bronze went to Fidelity (Dan and Kathe Spracklen). The other participants were Pandix, Chess Player 2150, HIARCS, Echec 1.5, E6P, and Woodpusher. Claude Shannon served in the award ceremony.
In October 1989, the first Harvard Cup Man versus Computer Chess Challenge was organized by Harvard University. Four grandmasters took on four computers. The humans won 13.5 to 2.5. The participants were Boris Gulko, Michale Rohde, Maxim Dlugy, Lev Alburt, Deep Thought, Hitech, Mephisto Portorose, and Chiptest. The best program was Deep Thought, which scored 1 point.
In November 1989, HITECH and DEEP THOUGHT tied for first place with 4 points in the 20th ACM tournament held in Reno. MEPHISTO X (best small computing system) and BEBE tied for 3rd place. The other programs were REBEL, CRAY BLITZ, PHOENIX, BP, NOVAG, and ZARKOV. In 1989, the programs were Grandmaster strength.
In December 1989, Deep Thought easily beat International Master David Levy in an exhibition match with 4 wins. Deep Thought ran on 4 processors in parallel and searched over 700,000 positions per second, or over 100 million positions in 3 minutes. The speed came from special-purpose VLSI chips, with the main program running off a Sun 4 workstation. The program was written in C with 100,000 lines of code. The Deep Thought team won the $5,000 Omni challenge bet made in 1978 to be given to the authors of the first chess program to beat Levy in a chess match.
In 1990, Feng-hsiung Hsu, Carnegie-Mellon University, wrote his dissertation called "Large Scale Parallelization of Alpha-Veta Search: an Algorithmic and Architectural Study with Computer Chess."
In 1990 World Champion Anatoly Karpov lost to MEPHISTO in a simultaneous exhibition in Munich. MEPHISTO also beat grandmasters Robert Huebner and David Bronstein. MEPHISTO won the German blitz championship and earned an International Master norm by scoring 7-4 in the Dortmund Open.
A PC version of Kaissa was developed in 1990. It took 4th place in the 2nd Computer Olympiad in London in 1990.
In 1990, the 10th World Microcomputer Chess Championship was held in Lyon. It was won by Mephisto. There were 12 participants.
In April 1990, H. Berliner, G. Goetsch, M. Campbell, and C. Ebeling wrote an article called, "Measuring the Performance Potential of Chess Programs." Chess programs can differ in depth of search or in the evaluation function applied to leaf nodes or both. Over the past 10 years, the notion that the principal way to strengthen a chess program is to improve its depth of search has held sway. Improving depth of search undoubtedly does improve a program's strength. However, projections of potential gain have time and again been found to overestimate the actual gain. The authors examined the notion that it is possible to project the playing strength of chess programs by having different versions of the same program (differing only in depth of search) play each other. Their data indicated that once a depth of "tactical sufficiency" was reached, a knowledgeable program could beat a significantly less knowledgeable one almost all of the time when both are searching to the same depth. This suggested that once a certain knowledge gap has been opened up, it could not be overcome by small increments in searching depth. The conclusion from this work was that extending the depth of search without increasing the present level of knowledge would not in any foreseeable time lead to World Championship level chess. (source: Artificial Intelligence, Vol. 32, # 1, April 1990, pp. 7-20)
In April 1990, Helmut Horacek wrote a paper called, "Reasoning with Uncertainty in Computer Chess." This paper aimed at an improvement of decision making under conditions of uncertainty. An overall analysis was given of how manifestations of uncertainty are dealt with in the field of computer chess. A new method of expressing uncertainty was presented which is done on the basis of a pair of point values associated with a weighting factor that indicated a preference between them. The reasoning process aiming at decisions among problem states associated with such a weighted pair is embedded in a traditional environment which required point values. Essential components of this process are the overall (general) state of the critical position in terms of the degree of advantage and the competence of the system to judge the category of the domain-specific feature which causes the uncertainty. Finally, the author presented further improvements of the reasoning process which can be achieved when the requirement to back up point values is removed. (source: Artificial Intelligence, Vol. 32, # 1 (special issue on computer chess), April 1990, pp. 37-56).
On August 15-21, 1990, the second Computer Olympiad was held at Queen Mary & Westfield College, London. In the chess section, the gold went to Mephisto (Lang) with a perfect 7-0 score, the silver went to Rebel (Schroeder), and the bronze went to Zugzwang (Mysliwietz and Feldman). The other participants were Kaissa, Echec, Woodpusher, Brainstorm, Chess Player 2175X, HIARCS, Nightmare, and Chess Guru.
On August 23-24, 1990, the 6th Advances in Computer Chess conference was held at Queen Mary & Westfield College in London. Hans Berliner, Danny Kopec (1954-2016), and Ed Northam gave a lecture called "A Taxonomy of Concepts for Evaluating Chess Strength: Examples from Two Difficult Categories." Michael Schlosser gave a lecture about using a computer to compose chess problems.
In October 1990, there was a Scientific American article called "A Grandmaster Chess Machine" by Hsu, Anantharaman, Campbell, and Nowatzyk. It is about Deep Though, a chess-playing machine using a combination of software and customized hardware. The conclusion of the authors was that the system would be strong enough, by virtue of its speed alone, to mount a serious challenge to the world champion. They further believed that the addition of a long list of other planned improvements would enable the machine to prevail, perhaps as soon as 1992. (source: Scientific American, Oct 1, 1990, Vol. 263, # 4)
In 1990, GM David Bronstein lost a computer match, held in the Netherlands, with Hitech.
In 1990, the 5th Aegon Man-Machine tournament was held in The Hague. The tournament was won by Hitech, which score 5 out of 6. The humans scored 47 points and the computers scored 37 points.
In 1990 World Champion Anatoly Karpov lost to MEPHISTO in a simultaneous exhibition in Munich. MEPHISTO also beat grandmasters Robert Huebner and David Bronstein. MEPHISTO won the German blitz championship and earned an International Master norm by scoring 7-4 in the Dortmund Open.
In November 1990, DEEP THOUGHT/88 (rated over 2500) took 1st place in the 21st ACM tournament. DEEP THOUGHT beat David Levy 4-0 in a match. The other programs were MEPHISTO, HITECH, M-CHESS, ZARKOV, BEBE, BELLE, NIGHTMARE, and NOW. Up until 1990, games were played with a time control of 40 moves in two hours, then 20 moves an hour after that. Games lasted as long as eight hours. In 1990, each side was given two hours to make all its moves. In 1990 an Endgame Championship was added to the tournament. (source: Chess Life, Feb 1991, p. 47)
In 1990, the market for high-priced dedicated chess computers collapsed. The cause was the growth of high-performance 386 PCs and the availability of newly developed low-cost strong chess software for PCs.
In 1991, HIARCS went commercial and HIARCS 1.0 was released for PCs and the MS-DOS operating system.
In 1991, Frederic Friedel asked a number of experts when a chess computer would defeat a reigning world chess champion. Monroe Newborn said 1992; John McCarthy said 1993; Hans Berline, Marty Hirsch, and Feng-hsiung Hsu said 1994. Claude Shannon and Frederic Friedel said 1999. Robert Hyatt and Jaap van den Herik aid 2000; John Nunn said 2001; Julio Kaplan said 2002; Richard Lang said 2005; Harry Nelson aid 2008; Garry Kasparov said 2010; Dieter Steinwender said 2012; David Levy said 2014; Ken Thompson said 2018; Tony Marsland said 2020; Frans Morsch said 2030; and Jonathan Schaeffer said 2040. (source: ChessBase Online, June 22, 2010)
In April 1991, Tony Marsland, of the University of Alberta, wrote an article called "Computer Chess and Search." (source: Encyclopedia of Artificial Intelligence, 1992)
On May 9, 1991, the 11th World Microcomputer Chess Championship (WMCCC) was held in Vancouver, British Columbia. It was won by the ChessMachine (Gideon). There were 15 participants.
In May 1991, the 2nd Harvard Cup was played. The humans won 12 to 4. The participants were Maxim Dlugy, Michael Rohde, Patrick Wolff, Boris Gulko, Alpha, Fidelity Mach IV, Rex Chess, and Mephisto Lyon. The best program was Heuristic Alpha, which scored 2 points. (source: Chess Life, Aug 1991, p. 47)
In August 22-28, 1991, the 3rd Computer Olympiad was held in Maastricht, The Netherlands. In the chess section, the gold medal went to The ChessMachine WK-version (Schroeder), the silver went to The ChessMachine King (J. de Koning), and the bronze went to Chessplayer 2175 (Whittington). The other participants were Nightmare, Nimzo, Dappet, and Touch.
In 1991, the 6th Aegon Man-Machine tournament was held in The Hague. The best program was MChess, which scored 4 out of 6, taking 8th place. (source: Chess Life, Sep 1991, p. 39)
On September 7, 1991 Botvinnik was awarded an honorary degree in mathematics of the University of Ferrara (Italy) for his work on computer chess.
In November 1991, DEEP THOUGHT II won the 22nd ACM tournament in Albuquerque. The other programs were M-CHESS, CRAY BLITZ, MEPHISTO, HITECH, CHESSMACH, ZARKOV, SOCRATES, BP, LACHEX, BEBE, and DELICATE BRUTE.
In November 1991, In Scientific American, an article by Lewis Stiller showed that a computer found a solution of a king, rook, and bishop checkmating a king and two knights in 223 moves. The computer worked 5 hours, considering 100 billion moves by retrograde analysis — working backward from a winning position. (source: Scientific American, Nov 1, 1991)
In 1992, ChessGenius 1 was written by Richard Lang. ChessGenius was the first computer to beat a world champion (Garry Kasparov) at a non-blitz time limit.
In 1992, a Turbo C version of Kaissa was released.
In 1992, FIDE canceled certain endgame exceptions and restored the fifty-move rule to its original standing. This despite that the latest 6-man chess endgame results from computers confirmed that there were many deep forced mates beyond the 50-move rule. (source: Haworth, "Strategies for Constrained Optimisation," ICGA Journal, March 2000)
In 1992 Kasparov played Fritz 2 in a 5-minute game match in Cologne, Germany. Kasparov won the match with 6 wins, 1 draw, and 4 losses. This was the first time a program defeated a world champion at speed chess.
In 1992, the 3rd Harvard Cup was played. The humans won 18 to 7. The participants were Michael Rohde, Sergey Kudrin, Socrates, Patrick Wolff, Maxim Dlugy, John Fedorowicz, Mephisto RISC, KnightStalker, Chessmaster 3000, and Fidelity Elite Premiere. The best program was Socrates, which scored 3 points. (source: Chess Life, Nov 1992, p. 35)
In 1992, the 7th Aegon Man-Machine tournament was held in The Hague. The best program was Mephisto 68030, which score 4 out of 6, taking 8th place.
In 1992 Kasparov played Fritz 2 in a 5-minute game match in Cologne, Germany. Kasparov won the match with 6 wins, 1 draw, and 4 losses. This was the first time a program defeated a world champion at speed chess.
In August 5-11, 1992, the 4th Computer Olympiad was held at the Park Lane Hotel in London. In the chess section, three programs were all awarded the gold medal: HIARCS 6.72 (Uniacke), The King (Koning), and Genesis (Riet Paap). All scored 5 out of 6. The other participants were Woodpusher, Duck, Touch, and Ananse. The event was organized by David Levy.
On November 27, 1992, the ChessMachine (Gideon 3.1), a microcomputer by Ed Schroeder from the Netherlands, won the 7th World Computer Chess Championship (WCCC), held in Madrid. There were 22 participants.
In 1993, Shredder, a commercial chess program and engine, developed in Germany by Stefan Meyer-Kahlen, was initially released.
In February 1993, SOCRATES II, a program that ran on an IBM PC, won the 23rd ACM tournament in Indianapolis. The other programs were CRAY BLITZ, *TECH, B*HITECH, ZARKOV, CHESSMACH, KALLISTO, BP, NOW, MCHESS, BEBE, and INNOVATION.
In March 1993, GM Judit Polgar (1976- ) lost to Deep Thought in a 30 minute game.
In 1993, the 8th Aegon Man-Machine tournament was held in The Hague. The best program was The King, which scored 5 out of 6, taking 3rd place.
On July 1-2, 1993, the 7th Advances in Computer Chess conference was held at the University of Limburg in the Netherlands. Mikhail Botvinnik gave a lecture called, "Solving Shannon's Problem: Ways and Means." John Nunn gave a lecture on extracting information from endgame databases.
In July 1993, an unrated black player named John von Neumann was playing at the World Open in Philadelphia and scored 4/5 out of 9 in the Open section, including a draw with a grandmaster (Helgi Olafsson) and a win against a 2350-rated player. He wore a large pair of headphones and seemed to have something in his pocket that buzzed at critical points of the game. When quizzed by Bill Goichberg, the tournament director, von Neumann was unable to demonstrate very much knowledge about simple chess concepts, and was disqualified and received no prize money. It appeared he was using a strong chess computer to cheat and play his games. It was alleged that he was entering moves on a communication device whose signal was being sent up to a hotel room where an accomplice was operating a chess computer. Von Neumann has never been seen or heard from since. John von Neumann is the same name as the noted mathematician and pioneer in artificial intelligence.
On November 6, 1993, the 4th Harvard Cup was played. The humans won 27 to 9. The humans scored 27-9. The participants were Joel Benjamin, Alexander Ivanov, Patrick Wolff, Boris Gulko, Ilya Gurevich, Socrates Exp, ChessSystem R30, Michael Rohde, MChess Professional 3.42, BattleChess 4000 SVGA, Renaissance SPARC, and Kasparov's Gambit. The best program was Socrates, which scored 3 points. (source: Chess Life, Feb 1994, p. 49)
On November 6, 1993, the 12th World Microcomputer Chess Championship (WMCCC) was held in Munich. It was won by HIARCS. There were 28 participants.
In 1993, JUNIOR was written by the Israeli programmers Amir Ban and Shay Bushinsky. GM Boris Alterman assisted in the opening book.
In 1994, the Chess Engine Communication Protocol was designed by Tim Mann, author of XBoard. It was initially intended to communicate with the GNU Chess engine, which only accepted text input and produced text output. The protocol was called Winboard for Windows systems and XBoard for Unix systems.
In March 1994, Linda Hope wrote an article called, "Mission Possible: Computers in Chess and A-Level Mathematics." The author discussed whether a computer defeating the world chess champion made chess obsolete for humans. (source: Mathematical Gazette, Vol. 78, # 481, March 1994, pp. 11-17)
In October 1994, the 5th Harvard Cup was played in Boston. The humans scored 29.5-18.5. The participants were Joel Benjamin, Boris Gulko, Alex Yermolinsky, WChess, Patrick Wolff, Michael Rohde, Chessmaster 4000 Turbo, Socrates 4.0, Alex Shabalov, HIARCS Master 3.0, NOW, MChess Professional 3.85X, Rebel 6.0, and Zarkov X. WCHESS became the first computer to outperform grandmasters at the Harvard Cup. In a play-off match, Benjamin beat WChess 4-1. (source: Chess Life, Feb 1995, p. 50)
In 1994 Kasparov lost to Fritz 3 in Munich in a blitz tournament. The program also defeated Anand, Short, Gelfand, and Kramnik. Grandmaster Robert Huebner refused to play it and lost on forfeit, the first time a GM has forfeited to a computer. Kasparov played a second match with Fritz 3, and won with 4 wins, 2 draws, and no losses.
At the 1994 Intel Speed Chess Grand Prix in London, Kasparov lost to Richard Lang's Chess Genius 2.95 (Mephisto London) in a 25-minute game. This eliminated Kasparov from the tournament. This was the first time a computer had defeated the world champion in an official game, albeit at rapid time controls. Anand beat Chess Genius in the next round.
In 1994, the 9th Aegon Man-Machine tournament was held in The Hague. The best program was Gideon, which scored 4.5 out of 6, taking 5th place. The humans scored 114 points and the computers scored 114 points total.
In 1994, the chess engine was designed. The Chess Engine Communication Protocol was designed by Tim Mann, author of XBoard. It was initially intended to communicate with the GNU Chess engine, which only accepted text input and produced text output. The protocol was called Winboard for Windows systems and XBoard for Unix systems.
In 1994, the last ACM chess tournament was held in Cape May, New Jersey. The 24th ACM tournament was won by DEEP THOUGHT II. The other programs were ZARKOV, STAR SOCRATES, NOW, MCHESS PRO, CRAY BLITZ, WCHESS, EVALATOR, INNOVATION II, and SPECTOR.
In 1995, Lewis Stiller published a thesis with research on six-piece tablebase endgames. His thesis, from Johns Hopkins University, was titled "Exploiting symmetry on parallel architectures."
In 1995, the ACM chess events were cancelled as DEEP BLUE was preparing for the first match against world chess champion Garry Kasparov.
On May 30, 1995, the 8th World Computer Chess Championship (WCCC) were held in Hong Kong. The event was won by Fritz, after it won a playoff game against StarSocrates. There were 24 participants. (source: Chess Life, Sep 1995, p. 34)
In the October 1, 1995 issue of Scientific American, there was an article called "The Never-Ending Chess Game" by Ian Stewart. It talks about recent computer analysis that can force a win in the endgame, but involves making more than 50 moves without capturing any pieces or moving pawns.
On October 15, 1995, the 13th World Micro Computer Chess Championship (WMCCC) was held in Paderborn, Germany. It was won by MChess Pro 5.0 (by Marty Hirsch) after a playoff with Chess Genius (by Richard Lang). There were 33 participants.
In November 1995, Kasparov beat Fritz 4 in London with a win and a draw. He then played Genius 3.0 in Cologne and won the match with one win and one draw.
In 1995, the 10th Aegon Man-Machine tournament was held in The Hague. The best program was Hiarcs, which score 5 out of 6, taking 2nd place. The humans scored 132 points and the computers scored 155 points.
In December 1995, tThe 6th Harvard Cup Human Versus Computer chess challenge was held in New York. The Grandmasters won with a score of 23.5 to the computers 12.5 score. The computers scored 35%, a slight decrease in performance from 1994. Joel Benjamin and Michael Rohde had the best human scores with 4.5 out of 6. The best machine was Virtual Chess (I-Motion Interactive) with 3.5 out of 6. The participants were Joel Benjamin, Michael Rohde, Boris Gulko, Virtual Chess, Gregory Kaidanov, Ilya Gurevich, Patrick Woff, Chessmaster 4000, M Chess Pro, WChess, Socrates 95, and Junior.
In February 1996, Garry Kasparov beat IBM's DEEP BLUE chess computer 4-2 in Philadelphia. Deep Blue won the first game, becoming the first computer ever to beat a world chess champion at tournament level under serious tournament conditions. Deep Blue was calculating 50 billion positions every 3 minutes. Kasparov was calculating 10 positions every 3 minutes. DEEP BLUE had 200 processors.
Deep Blue — Kasparov, game 1, Feb 10, 1996, 1.e4 c5 2.c3 d5 3.exd5 Qxd5 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3 Bg4 6.Be2 e6 7.h3 Bh5 8.0-0 Nc6 9.Be3 cxd4 10.cxd4 Bb4 11.a3 Ba5 12.Nc3 Qd6 13.Nb5 Qe7 14.Ne5 Bxe2 15.Qxe2 0-0 16.Rac1 Rac8 17.Bg5 Bb6 18.Bxf6 gxf6 19.Nc4 Rfd8 20.Nxb6 axb6 21.Rfd1 f5 22.Qe3 Qf6 23.d5 Rxd5 24.Rxd5 exd5 25.b3 Kh8 26.Qxb6 Rg8 27.Qc5 d4 28.Nd6 f4 29.Nxb7 Ne5 30.Qd5 f3 31.g3 Nd3 32.Rc7 Re8 33.Nd6 Re1+ 34.Kh2 Nxf2 35.Nxf7+ Kg7 36.Ng5+ Kh6 37.Rxh7+ 1 — 0
In March 1996, in Scientific American, there was an article called "The Deep Blue Team Plots Its Next Move" by John Horgan. Horgan interviewed the Deep Blue team at IBM for Scientific American. (source: Scientific American, Mar 8, 1996)
On April 10-17, 1996, The 11th AEGON Computer Chess Tournament (Mankind vs. Machine) was held in The Hague, Netherlands. There were 50 masters, International Masters, and Grandmasters and 50 computers (most playing on HP Pentium-166 machines with 16MB of RAM). Yasser Seirawan won the event with 6 straight wins and no losses. The best computer was QUEST, with 4.5/6 and a 2652 performance rating. The machines won with 162.5 points versus the humans with 137.5 points.
In June 1996, the 8th Advances in Computer Chess Conference was hosted by the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands. Invited speaker Ken Thompson talked about 6-piece endgames. GM David Bronstein was an invited speaker and told of his experiences with chess computers.
On October 15, 1996, the 14th World Microcomputer Chess Championship (WMCCC) was held in Jakarta. It was won by SHREDDER, followed by FERRET. At this event, the Israeli team Junior was denied entry to Indonesia and some other teams dropped out in protest.
In 1997, the 12th and final Aegon Man-Machine tournament was held in The Hague. The best program was Kallisto, which scdored 4.5 out of 6, taking 4th place. The humans scored 148.5 points and the computers scored 151.5 points.
In April 1997, in Scientific American, there was an article by Corey Powell called "Kasparov vs. Deep Blue." The latest Deep Blue computer was an IBM RS/6000 SP* that incorporated 32 processors effectively functioning as 512; the company claimed an evaluation speed of 200 million moves per second. In a further attempt to humanize the computer's chess moves, the Dee Blue team brought in GM Joel Benjamin, a former U.S. champion, as a consultant and mentor. His strategic advice was being folded into the computer's updated software in an attempt to blunt the intuitive skills that enabled Kasparov to defeat the computer last time around. Before the match, Kasparov said, "The computer will calculate better than any human being in the world. But there is something beyond calculation--it's your understanding of the nature of chess." (source: Scientific American, Apr 21, 1997)
On May 11, 1997, DEEP BLUE defeated Garry Kasparov in a 6 game match held in New York. This was the first time a computer defeated a reigning world champion in a classical chess match. DEEP BLUE had 30 IBM RS-6000 SP processors coupled to 480 chess chips. It could evaluate 200 million moves per second.
On November 2, 1997, Junior won the 15th World Micro Computer Championship (WMCCC). The event was held in Paris with 34 participants.
In 1997, the Allen Newell Medal for Research Excellence went to several people involved in computer chess. Ken Thompson and Joe Condon won for their pioneering work on Belle, the first master in 1983. Richard Greenblatt won for having developed MacHack VI in 1967, the first Class C chess computer. Lawrence Atkin and David Slate won for developing CHESS 4.7, the first Class B and first Expert chess computer from 1970 to 1978. Murray Campbell, Carl Ebeling, and Gordon Goetsch won for developing Hitech, the first Senior Master computer in 1988. Hans Berliner won for all his work in computer chess. Feng Hsu won for developing Deep Thought, the first chess computer that performed at a Grandmaster level in 1988. Thomas Anantharaman, Michael Browne, Murray Campbell, and Andreas Nowatzyk won for their work on Deep Thought in 1997. Murray Campbell, A. Joseph Hoane, Jr, and Feng Hsu won for their work on Deep Blue which defeated Garry Kasparov in 1997.
In 1997 the $100,000 Fredkin Award went to the inventors of Deep Blue - Feng Hsu, Murray Campbell, and Joseph Hoane, of IBM. Their program defeat Kasparov.
In 1998, Eugene Nalimov (1965- ) wrote a tablebase generator which included many different endgames.
In 1998, Rebel 10 defeated Viswanathan Anand, who at the time was ranked second in the world, by a score of 5—3. However most of those games were not played at normal time controls. Out of the eight games, four were blitz games (five minutes plus five seconds Fischer delay for each move); these Rebel won 3—1. Two were semi-blitz games (fifteen minutes for each side) that Rebel won as well (11/2-1/2). Finally, two games were played as regular tournament games (forty moves in two hours, one hour sudden death); here it was Anand who won 1½—½. In fast games, computers played better than humans, but at classical time controls — at which a player's rating is determined — the advantage was not so clear.
In 1998, Garry Kasparov developed Advanced Chess, where a human plays against another human, and both have access to computers to enhance their strength. The resulting "advanced" player was argued by Kasparov to be stronger than a human or computer alone.
In June 1998, the first Advanced Chess event has held in Leon, Spain. It was played between Garry Kasparov using Fritz 5 against Veselin Topalov, using ChessBase 7.0. The match ended in a 3-3 tie.
From June 16-18, 1999, the 9th Advances In Computer Chess Conference (now changed to Advances in Computer Games Conference) was held in Paderborn, Germany. Lectures included variable depth search in chess computers, writing multiprocessor chess programs, cheating in chess, and machine learning.
In 1999, Frank Quisinsky founded the Winboard Forum.
In 1999, the G 6 Gruppo Scacchi e Informatica Italian Computer Chess Association was founded.
From June 14, 1999 to June 19, 1999, the 9th World Computer Chess Championship (WCCC) was held in Paderborn, Germany. The winner was Shredder. This was also the 16th World Microcomputer Chess Championship, won by Shredder. There were 30 chess programs in the world computer championship and 18 microcomputers in the microcomputer championship.
From June 14, 1999 to June 19, 1999, the 16th World Microcomputer Chess Championship (WMCCC) was held in Paderborn. It was won by Shredder. There were 30 participants.
In 1999 the highest rated chess computer is Hiarcs 7.0, followed by Fritz 5.32, Fritz 5.0, Junior 5.0, Nimzo 98, Hiarcs 6.0, Rebel 9.0, MChess Pro 7.1, Rebel 8.0, and MChess Pro 6.0 (based on SSDF ratings as of Jan 28, 1999).
In 1999 the highest rated chess computer is Hiarcs 7.0, followed by Fritz 5.32, Fritz 5.0, Junior 5.0, Nimzo 98, Hiarcs 6.0, Rebel 9.0, MChess Pro 7.1, Rebel 8.0, and MChess Pro 6.0 (based on SSDF ratings as of Jan 28, 1999).
On February 6, 2000, Crafty won Computer Chess Tournament (CCT) 1. The tournament was organized by Steve Mc Riley and played via the Internet Chess Club (ICC). There were 22 participants.
In August 2000, Deep Junior took part in the Super-Grandmaster tournament in Dortmund. It scored 50 percent and a performance rating of 2703.
On August 25, 2000, the 17th World Microcomputer Chess Championship (WMCCC) was held in London. It was won by Shredder. There were 14 participants.
On November 5, 2000, Shredder won Computer Chess Tournament (CCT) 2. It was organized by Will Singleton and played via the Internet Chess Club (ICC). There were 21 participants.
In November 2000, the UCI (Universal Chess Interface), a rival to the older XBoard/WinBoard Communication protocol, was developed. The standard was worked out by Stephan Meyer-Kahlen (1968- ), a German programmer. The UCI standard was presented by Rudolf Huber, a German computer scientist. The UCI protocol, a rival to the older XBoard/WinBoard Communication protocol, was used by only a few programs until ChessBase began to support this protocol in 2002.
On May 27, 2001, Ferret and Deep Fritz tied for 1st in Computer Chess Tournament (CCT) 3. The tournament was organized by James Swafford and played via the Internet Chess Club (ICC). There were 32 participants.
On August 23, 2001, Deep Junior won the 18th World Micro Computer Championship (WMCCC). The event was held in Maastricht, the Netherlands with 18 participants.
In 2002, Eugene Namimov received a ChessBase award for his work on a tablebase generator.
In 2002, the computer chess engine Zappa was created by Anthony Cozzie and initially released on February 2, 2005.
In January 2002, Chessbase began supporting the UCI protocol, which soon became the standard.
In January 2002, ChessBrain was founded. It was the world's largest leading distributed chess project. There were 2,070 individual contributors from 56 countries that were involved.
In 2002, the International Computer Chess Association was renamed the International Computer Games Association.
On January 27, 2002, Deep Junior 7 won the Computer Chess Tournament (CCT) 4. There were 46 participants.
In 2002, Hydra was developed by a team with Dr. Christian "Chrilly" Donninger, Dr. Ulf Lorenz, GM Christopher Lutz, and Muhammad Nasir Ali. Hydra was under the patronage of the PAL Group and Sheikh Tahnoon Bin Zayed Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi, UAE.
From May 13 to May 18, 2002, a match between Grandmaster Mikhail Gurevich and Junior 7 was held in Greece. Junior won with 3 wins and 1 draw.
On July 6-11, 2002, the 10th World Computer Chess Championship (WCCC) was held in Maastricht, Netherlands. The winner was Deep Junior after a playoff with Shredder (+7 =0 -1). There were 18 participants.
In October 2002, Vladimir Kramnik drew a match with Deep Fritz in Bahrain with a 4-4 score. Kramnik won games 2 and 3. Deep Fritz won games 5 and 6. The rest of the games (1, 7, and 8) were drawn.
In October 2002, Dr. L. Stephen Coles wrote an article called "Computer Chess: The Drosophila of AI." (source; Dr. Dobbs, Oct 30, 2002)
On January 19, 2003, Crafty, Yace, and Ruffian tied for 1st in Computer Chess Tournament (CCT) 5. There were 45 participants.
From January 26 to February 7, 2003, Garry Kasparov played Deep Junior 7 in New York City. The match ended in a draw. Kasparov won game 1. Deep Junior won game 3. The rest of the games (games 2, 4, 5, and 6) were drawn. This was the first time that a man/machine competition was sanctioned by FIDE. Deep Junior took 10 years to program by Tel Aviv programmers Amir Ban and Shay Bushinksy. It can evaluate 3 million moves a second, and positions 15 moves deep. The match was televised by ESPN2 and was watched by up to 300 million people.
In 2003, IM Vasik Rajlich (1971- ) started working on his chess program, later called Rybka ("little fish" in Czech and other Slavic languages).
In May 2003, David Gleich wrote a paper called "Machine Learning in Computer Chess: Genetic Programming and KRK." The author described genetic programming as a machine learning paradigm and he evaluated its results in attempting to learn basic chess rules. When applied to king vs rook and king chess endgame problems, genetic programming showed promising sesults in spite of its lack of significant chess knowledge.
On November 11-18, 2003, Kasparov played X3D Fritz in New York. The match was tied 2-2. Fritz won the 2nd game. Kasparov won the 3rd game. Games 1 and 4 were drawn. It was the first official world chess championship in total virtual reality, played in 3-D. Kasparov made his moves on a floating virtual reality chess board.
In November 2003, Celete Biever wrote a news article called, "Man Versus Machine Chess Match Drawn." The article was about the match between former world champion Garry Kasparov and the chess program X3D Fritz. The match score between the two was 2 — 2. (source: New Scientist, Nov 19, 2003)
From November 24-27, 2003, the 10th Advances in Computer Games (ACG) Conference took place in Graz, Austria. Lectures included computer chess evaluation functions and minimax on rook endgames. There were 6 research papers on chess and 6 research papers on Go.
From November 22-30, 2003, the 11th World Computer Chess Championship (WCCC) was held in Graz. It was won by Shredder after a play-off with Deep Fritz (+9 =1 -1). 3rd place went to Brutus, which evolved into Hydra. There were 16 participants.
In 2003 the top chess computers were Shredder 7.04 (2810), Shredder 7.0 (2770), Fritz 8.0 (2762), Deep Fritz 7.0 (2761), Fritz 7.0 (2742), Shredder 6.0 (2724), and Chess Tiger 15.0 (2720).
In 2004, Eiko Bleicher published a paper on an endgame analysis tool (Freezer) for chess, called "Building Chess Endgame Databases for Positions with Many Pieces using A-priori Information."
In 2004, Tristan Caulfiled, University of Bath, published a thesis called "Acquiring and Using Knowledge in Computer Chess."
In January 2004, Rybka participated in the 6th Programmers Computer Chess Tournament (CCT6) and took 53rd place out of 54 competitors. It won 1 game, lost 5, and drew 3.
On February 1, 2004, Crafty, HIARCS, and Zappa tied for 1st in Computer Chess Tournament (CCT) 6. The event was organized by Volker Richey played via the Internet Chess Club. (ICC). There were 54 participants.
In April 2004, Rybka participated in Chess War V, finishing 23rd.
In April 2004, Rybka participated in the Swiss System 3 by Claude Dubois and took 71st with 6 wins, 6 losses, and 6 draws.
In April 2004, Naum, a computer chess engine by Canadian programmer Aleksandar Naumov, was initially released. In 2012, the development of Naum was discontinued.
From July 4-12, 2004, the 12th World Computer Chess Championship (WCCC) was held at Bar-llan University in Ramat-Gan, Israel. It was won by Deep Junior (programmed by Amir Ban and Shay Bushinsky), scoring 7 wins and 4 draws.. Shredder took 2nd place, followed by Diep. Shredder won the 12th World Computer Speed Chess Championship. Crafty took 2nd place. There were 14 participants.
In 2004, the ChessBrain project was a chess program that distributed the search tree computation through the Internet.
On January 30, 2004, GM Peter Heine Nielsen (1973- ) played ChessBrain, a networked chess computer consisting of 2,070 computers across 56 countries, which simultaneously combined their processing power. The game, played in Copenhagen, ended in a draw after 34 moves.
In 2004, Hydra, a dedicated chess computer with custom hardware and 64 processors, defeated GM Evgeny Vladimirov with 3 wins and 1 draw. It then defeated former FIDE world champion Ruslan Ponomariov (rated 2710) in a 2-game match, winning both games.
In 2004, Fritz Reul made his M.Sc on computer chess and developed the computer chess engine LOOP. He then started his Ph.D. project "New Architectures in Computer Chess."
On Feb 13, 2005, Zappa won Computer Chess Tournament (CCT) 7. There were 44 participants.
In May 2005, ZackS [Zackary Stephen (1381), Steven Cramton (1685) and their Dell Pentium computers (running Shredder 8, Fritz 8, Junior 7, Gambit Tiger, and an Endgame table) ]won the first PAL/CSS Freestyle chess tournament, played on the ChessBase playchess.com site. The PAL/CSS tournaments are sponsored by the PAL Group/Consolidated Shipping Services (CSS) in Abu Dhabi, UAE. (source: ChessBase Online, June 22, 2005)
In June 2005, Hydra beat Michael Adams, the 7th ranked chess player in the world. Hydra won 5 games and drew one game.
From August 13-21, 2005, the 13th World Computer Chess Championship (WCCC) was held at Reykjavik University in Iceland. It was won by Zappa (programmed by Anthony Cozzie), scoring 10 wins and 1 draw. 2nd place went to Fruit. Shredder won the speed championship, followed by Zappa. There were 12 participants.
In 2005, a team of computers (Hydra, Deep Junior, and Fritz) beat Vesilin Topalov, Ruslan Ponomariov, and Sergey Karjakin (average rating 2681) in a match by the score of 8.5 to 3.5.
In 2005, Graham Banks, Ray Banks, Sarah Bird, Kirill Kryukov, and Charles Smith founded the CCRL (Computer Chess Rating Lists)
In 2005, the Chess Engines Grand Tournament (CEGT) was founded and hosted by Heinz van Kempen.
On September 6-8, 2005, the 11th Advances in Computer Games (ACG) Conference was held in Taipei, Taiwan. There were lectures on opening-book handling, endgame databases, and automatic generation of search engines.
On December 2, 2005, the first Rybka beta was released. In a December 5, 2008, interview, Rajlich said, "…the publication of Fruit 2.1 was huge….I went through the Fruit 2.1 source code forwards and backwards and took many things."
In December 2005, Rybka participated in the 15th International Paderborn Computer Championship. Rybka took 1st place with a score of 5.5 out of 7.
In 2006, Marc Bourzutschky and Yakov Konoval started working on 7-man endgame tablebases. Yakov wrote a generator for 7-man endgame tablebases, and Marc wrote the verification program.
On February 26, 2006, Rybka won the Computer Chess Tournament (CCT) 8 with a score of 8 out of 9. Zappa, Junior, HIARCS, and The Baron tied for 2nd. There were 38 participants.
In April 2006, a team of Zor-champ, located in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) won the 2nd PAL/CSS Freestyle Chess Tournament. The team was driven by the program Hydra, which ran on multi-processor special-service hardware. 2nd place went to International Master Vasik Rajlich, assisted by his own program, Rybka. There were about 150 participants from 37 countries. (source: ChessBase Online, April 16, 2006)
In May 2006, Rybka took 1st at the 6th Leiden ICT with a score of 8.5 out of 9.
In May 2006, Marc Bourzutschky and Yakov Konoval discovered a KQNKRBN position that took 517 moves to checkmate. Later, when the Lomonosov 7-piece tablebase was being completed, a position was found with a depth-to-mate (DTM) of 546. (source: Chess Life, April 2013, p. 44)
From May 24 to June 1, 2006, the 14th World Computer Chess Championship (WCCC), and 11th Computer Olympiad, was held in Turin, Italy. It was won by Junior, rated at 2800, with a score of 9 out of 11. 2nd place went to Shredder (2810), followed by Rajlich (later called Rybka) (2820). There were 18 chess programs in this event (2 did not show up and 2 more withdrew for private reasons). The other participants were Shredder (2810), Rajlich (2820), Zappa (2830), Spike (2760), DIEP (2680), Jonny (2650), Crafty (2700), Ikarus (2660), IsiChess (2500), Delfi 4.6 (2450), Chiron (2400), ParSos (2620), Uragano3d (2100), Chaturanga (1900), LION 1.5 (2670), FIBChess (2000), and ETABETA (1440).
In June 2006, the Swedish Chess Computer Association, Svenska schackdatorfoereningen (SSDF) computer rating list was released. Top ranked Rybka 1.2 256MB Athlon 1200 MHz was rated with an estimated Elo rating of 2902. It was the first time a program on the list has passed the 2900 mark.
In July 2006, at the World Open in Philadelphia, two players were accused of cheating in chess by using computer assistance. One player was found to be using a wireless transmitter and receiver called "Phonito." He had a wireless device in his ear, claiming it was a hearing aid. He was disqualified from the event. The other player, wearing a hat, was suspected of cheating. The tournament director wanted to search this person. The suspect agreed, but first ducked into a bathroom. Although no device was found, there were suspicions that he used the bathroom visit to dispose of a miniature wireless receiver that might have been hidden in the hat he wore.
On July 16, 2006, Rybka, playing under the handle Rajlich (IM Vasik Rajlich and IM IwetaRadzievicz), tied for 1st (with Intagrand) at the 3rd PAL/CSS Freestyle main tournament. It then took clear 1st place in the final, a point ahead of the 2nd place finisher. The tournament was played on the ChessBase Playchess server.
In 2006, at a New Delhi tournament, an Indian player was caught using a chess computer via a Bluetooth-enabled device which as sewn in his cap. He had a Bluetooth headset sewn into the cap which he typically pulled down over his ears. An accomplice had been communicating with him outside the playing location. He was relaying moves from a computer chess program. The player was banned from competitive chess in India for 10 years.
In the 2006 Dutch open computer chess championship, Rybka 2.2 took 1st place with a score of 9 out of 9.
On October 22, 2006, Xakru (Jiri Dufek and Roman Chytilek from the Czech Republic) won the 4th PAL.CSS Freestyle tournament, held on the playchess.com server.
In December 2006, Rybka took 1st at the 16th International Paderborn Computer Chess Championship, with a score of 6.5 out of 7.
In December 2006, world champion Vladimir Kramnik was defeated by Deep Fritz, which won with a 4-2 score (2 wins and 4 draws). The match was played in Bonn, Germany.
In December 2006, HIARCS 11 was released and was the first version to support multiprocessing.
On February 18, 2007, Rybka won the Computer Chess Tournament (CCT) 9 event with a score of 6 out of 7, played via the Internet Chess Club (ICC). HIARCS, Scorpio and Skipe tied for 2nd. There were 52 participants.
On March 25, 2007, "Flying Saucers" (Dagh Nielsen from Denmark) won the 5th PAL.CSS Freestyle chess tournament. The event was played on the ChessBase Playchess server.
In May 2007, Rybka took 1st at the 7th Leiden ICT with a score of 7.5 out of 9.
In May 2007, a new chess engine called Strelka (Russian for "arrow") was introduced, written by Yuri Osipov. It was alleged that it was a reverse-engineered clone of Rybka 1.0 beta. Osipov, however, stated that Strelka was based on Fruit, not Rybka. When Strelka 2.0 beta was released, it included the source code. Rajlich claimed that the source code was his own and he wanted to re-release the program under his own name, although he never did. Fruit author Letouzey statd that Strelka 2.0 beta was a derivative of his Fruit program.
On June 18, 2007, the 15th World Computer Chess Championship (WCCC) was held in Amsterdam and sponsored by the International Computer Games Association (ICGA). The winner was the USA program Rybka ("little fish"), programmed by International Master Vasik Rajlich, with a score of 10 out of 11 (defeating Shredder in the last round). 2nd place went to the USA program Zappa, programmed by Anthony Cozziem with 9 points. 3rd place went to Loop (Reul), with 7.5 points. Defending champion Junior, nor Fritz, did not participate. The German program Shredder won the blitz world championship. Rybka was later disqualified and the title went to Zappa. There were 12 participants.
In June, 2007, the "Ultimate Computer Challenge" was held in Elista. Deep Junior defeated Deep Fritz with the score of 4-2 (2 wins, 4 draws).
In June 2007, Rybka, playing under the handle Rajlich (Vasi Rajlich and IM Iweta Rajlich), won the 6th PAL/CSS Freestyle final. The event was played on the ChessBase Playchess server. There were 118 participants.
In August 2007, Grandmaster Joel Benjamin played a match with Rybka in which Rybka played without one of its pawns (pawn odds). Rybka won the match 4.5 - 3.5 (2 wins, 1 loss, 5 draws for Rybka).
In 2007, Rybka won the Dutch open computer chess championship with a score of 8 out of 9.
In September 2007, Zappa defeated Rybka in a match, 5.5-4.5. Rybka moved a pawn to avoid a draw under the 50-move rule, and lost after 180 moves.
On September 16, 2007, Ibermax (Anson Williams, England) won the 7th PAL/CSS Freestyle chess tournament. There were 95 participants.
In 2007, Rybka won the computer Chess960 tournament in Mainz.
In December 2007, HIARCS won over tie breaks against Rybka, with a score of 5.5 out of 7 at the 17th International Paderborn Computer Chess Championship.
In 2007, Rybka 2.3.1 Arena 256MB Athlon 1200 MHz was rated #1 in the world by SSDF with an estimated Elo rating of 2935.
On January 27, 2008, Rybka tied for with Naum (Aleksandar Naumov) 1st at the Computer Chess Tournament (CCT) 10 with the score of 5.5 out of 7. There were 36 participants.
In January 2008, Rybka defeated GM Joel Benjamin (1964- ) with a 6-2 score. Joel had White in every game. Also, every draw was scored as a win for Benjamin.
In March 2008, Rybka and Roman Dzindzichashvili (1944- ) drew 4-4 in their match. Rybka won 2, lost 2, with 4 draws. Dzindzichashvili had White every game and Rybka played without one of its pawns in every game.
From April 25-27, 2008, the 8th PAL/CSS Freestyle Tournament was played in the ChessBase playchess server. It was won by Ultima (Eros Riccio, Italy). There were 92 participants from 25 countries. The rapid event was won by Ultima. The tournament director was martin Fischer.
In 2008, at the Dubai Open, an Iranian player was caught receiving suggested moves by text message on his mobile phone. The game was being relayed live over the Internet and a friend was following it and guiding the player using a computer. The player was caught when he was looking into his mobile handset. When confronted, he immediately dropped his cell phone. On examining the handset, it was found that he had received SMS instructions in Farsi.
In August 2008, Paul Stevens of the University of Arizona began working on his computer chess program called PaulChess. It was written in Java.
On September 26, 2008, the SSDF computer rating list was released with Deep Rybka 3.2 GB Q660 2.4 GHz leading with an estimated Elo rating of 3228.
In September-October 2008, Rybka won the 16th World Computer Chess Championship (WCCC), held in Beijing, China, scoring 8 out of 9 (7 wins, 2 draws, no losses). HIARCS took 2nd and Junior took 3rd. Later, Rybka was disqualified, and HIARCS became the champion. There were 10 chess computers in this event.
In October 2008, Rybka was rated top in the CCRL, CEGT (Chess Engine Grand Tournament), CSS, SSDF, and WBEC rating lists.
In November 2008, Rybka won the 27th Open Dutch Computer Chess Championship, held in Leiden, with a score of 9 out of 9.
On November 2, 2008, Stockfish, a free and open-source UCI chess engine, was initially released. It is developed by Marco Costalba, Joona Kiiski, Gary Linscott and Tord Romstad, with many contributions from a community of open-source developers. It is the strongest free chess engine (https://stockfish.org/).
In 2009, chess engines running on average hardware reached grandmaster level playing strength.
In 2009, Novag was sold to Solar Wide Industrial Ltd, which continued manufacturing Novag chess computers until 2014.
In 2009, IPON, the first pure chess engine rating list, was founded and hosted by Ingo Bauer. It is a German site for rating chess engines.
On March 2009 22, Rybka (Vasik Rajlich) won Computer Chess Tournament (CCT) 11, played via the Internet Chess Club with the score of 7.5 out of 9. There were 32 participants. Fruit and Bright tied for 2nd place.
In May 2009, Paul Stevens of the University of Arizona submitted his Computer Science thesis called "Computer Chess: Exploring Speed and Intelligence." The thesis presented a description of his computer chess program called PaulChess.
In May 2009, the chess program IPPOLIT was release by a team of anonymous programmers. In October 2009, Rajlich stated that IPPOLIT was a decompiled version of Rybka.
On May 11-13, 2009, the 12th Advances in Computer Games (ACG) Conference was held in Pamplona, Spain. There were lectures in chess tablebases and search-extension features.
In May 2009, the 17th World Computer Chess Championship (WCCC) was held in Pamplona, Spain and won by Rybka (scoring 8 out of 9), followed by a 3-ways tie for 2nd between Shredder, Junior, and Deep Sjeng. Rybka was later disqualified and Shredder, Junior, and Deep Sjeng all tied for 1st. There were 10 participants.
In June 2009, all work with the Hydra chess computer was discontinued. The UAE sponsors decided to end the project.
In 2009, Deep Rybka 3.2 GB Q660 2.4 GHz was ranked #1 in the world by the SSDF with an estimated Elo rating of 3232.
On August 14, 2009, Pocket Fritz 4 on the mobile phone HTC Touch HD, won the Copa Mercosur chess tournament with a 9.5 out of 10 score. Pocket Fritz 4 searches less than 20,000 positions per second, as compared to Deep Blue, which searched 200 million positions per second. (source: chess.co.uk, Sep 30, 2011)
In 2009, chess engines running on slower hardware reached the grandmaster level.
In 2009, a computer created the longest solution to a composed chess program, requiring 545 moves.
During 2009-10, Rybka won the World Computer Speed Chess Championship. There were 28 participants.
In 2010, Hannibal chess engine was released, developed by Sam Hamilton ad Edsel Apostol.
In January 2010, Komodo, a UCI chess engine developed by Don Dailey, Mark Lefler, and Larry Kaufman, was initially released. Versions 8 and older are free. Later versions are commercial. (http://komodochess.com).
On Feb 21, 2010, Deep Sjeng won the Computer Chess Tournament (CCT) 12, organized by Peter Skinner. It was played over the Free Internet Servers (FICS). From September 24 to October 2, 2010, the 18th World Computer Chess Championship (WCCC) was held in Kanazawa, Japan and won by Rybka, followed by Rondo and Thinker. The blitz tournament was also won by Rybka with 8/9 score. Rajlich received 1,000 euros ($1,593 USD) for his victory. Later, Rybka was disqualified, and Rondo and Thinker tied for 1st place. There were 10 chess computers in this event.
From September 24 to October 2, 2010, the 1st World Chess Software Championship (WCSC) was held in Kanazawa, Japan and won by Shredder (Stefan Meyer-Kahlen). Shredder won 7 and drew 2, losing none. There were 9 participants. The rules for the World Chess Software Championship stated that competing programs must run on machines with identical hardware specifications. Time control was game in 45 minutes with 15 second increment. All the programs were hosted on and Intel quad core Xeon 2.66 GHz, 8MB Hash machine. The other programs were Rondo, Thinker, Pandix, Deep Junior, Jonny, Darmenio, Fridolin, and Hector. The event was sponsored by the ICGA.
In 2010, Rybka won the 30th International Computer Chess Championship in Leiden (scoring 8 out of 9), followed by Spike, Deep Sjeng and Hiarcs.
Rybka 4 was released on May 26, 2010. Rybka 4 is a normal UCI engine, without copy protection.
Rybka won the 30th Dutch Computer Chess Championship in Leiden, followed by Spike, Deep Sjeng and Hiarcs.
On March 21, 2010, the latest SSDF computer rating list was released. Deep Rybka 3.2 GB Q660 2.4 GHz was ranked #1 with a rating of 3227.
On May 15, 2010, the UCI-protocol chess engine Houdini, developed by Belgian programmer Robert Houdart, was first released. It was influenced by open source engines IPPOLIT, Stockfish, and Crafty. The code was written in C++. Versions less than 2.0 were free. Later versions, 2.0 and onwards, are commercial.
In 2010, the Thoresen Chess Engine Completion (TCEC), now known as the Top Chess Engine Championship (renamed in 2014), was started. It is the de facto world chess championship for computers.
In February 2011, Houdini 1.5a defeated reigning computer chess champion Rybka 4.0 in a 40-game match. It was part of Season 1 of the TCEC tournament.
In April 2011, TCEC Season 2 was won by Houdini 1.5a. There was no Season 3.
In June 2011, the International Computer Games Association (ICGA) stripped Rybka of all its World Computer Chess Championship titles after discovering that Vasik Rajlich, who programmed Rybka, incorporated and plagiarized elements of older programs (Crafty and Fruit), without attribution. Rajlich violated the rule that each program must be the original work of the entering developers. Programming teams whose code from others must name all other authors, or the source of such code, in their submission details.
On June 29, 2011, after a 5-0 vote, Rybka was stripped of its titles, and Rajlich has now been banned for life in playing in computer chess championships. The ICGA disqualified and banned Rybka ants its programmer, Rajlich, from previous and future World Computer Chess Championships. Rajlich has denied using other code, saying that Rybka is 100% original at the source code level.
In September 2011, Cem Ozturan wrote his thesis "Chess Mentor: A Model of Chess Developed with Empirical Modelling Concepts" for his M.Sc. in Computer Science at the University of Warwick. The thesis aimed to create a practical and useable product called Chess Mentor and compare traditional approaches and empirical modelling solutions in a practical model.
On November 20-22, 2011, the 13th Advances in Computer Games (ACG) conference was held at Tilburg University. There were lectures on distributions of chess performances and position criticality in chess endgames.
In November 2011, the 19th World Computer Chess Championship (WCCC), held in Tilburg, was won by Junior. Shredder and HIARCS tied for 2nd. The other participants were Jonny, Pandix, The Baron, Booot, Rookie 3.4, and woodpusher 1997.
In November 2011, the 2nd World Chess Software Championship (WCSC) was held in Tilburg. It was won by HIARCS. Junior took 2nd place. The other participants were Pandix, Jonny, and Shredder.
In 2012, Critter chess engine was developed by Richard Vida. It is the top chess engine from Slovakia.
In 2012, Marjus Esser, Maastrich University, wrote a M. Sc. of Artificial Intelligence thesis called "Best-Reply Search in Multi-Player Chess." The author proposed four variants of the multi-player search algorithm best-reply search.
In June 2012, Garry Kasparov gave a lecture on the Turing "Paper Machine" at the University of Manchester's Alan Turing Centenary Conference. After the lecture, Kasparov actually played a chess game against the reconstructed version of Turing's chess program "Turbochamp." He played the first public game by a chess professional against the reconstructed Turing Paper Engine, which was operated by Frederic Friedel of ChessBase. Kasparov won in 16 moves. (source: ChessBase online, June 27, 2012)
In July 2012, Vladimir Makhnychev and Victor Zakharov from Moscow State University, completed 4+3 Depth to mate (DTM)-tablebases (525 endings including KPPPKPP). The tablebases were named Lomonosov tablebases, after a supercomputer called Lomonosov used in the calculations. The next set of 5+2 DTM-tablebases (350 endings including KPPPPKP) was completed during August 2012.
As of 2012, all 7 and fewer piece (2 kings and up to 5 other pieces) endgames have been solved. The size of the seven-man (2 kings and 5 other pieces and/or pawns) is about 140 terrabytes.
In 2013, the Fast GMs Rating List (FGRL), hosted by Andreas Strangmueller, was founded to rate chess computers.
In 2013, the G 6 rating list for computers was founded by Luca Lissandrello.
In January 2013, the movie Computer Chess, directed by Andrew Bujalski was released. It was about computer chess programmers in the early 1980s. The film won the 2013 Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize.
In April 2013, Syzygy tablebases were developed by Ronald de Man, in a form optimized for use by a chess program during search. Syzygy tablebases are available for all 6 piece endings and some 7 piece endings, and are now supported by many top engines, including Komodo, Deep Fritz, Houdini, and Stockfish.
In May 2013, TCEC Season 4 was won by Houdini 3.
From August 12-17, 2013, the 20th World Computer Chess Championship (WCCC) was held at Keio University in Yokohama. It was won by Junior, scoring 7.5 out of 10 (6 wins, 3 draws, 1 loss). There were 6 participants: Junior, Jonny, HIARCS, Pandix, Shredder, and Merlin. The speed championship was won by Shredder, scoring 4.5 out of 6. (source: Haworth, Krabbenbos & van den Herik, "WCCC 2013: the 20th World Chess Software Championship," ICGA Journal, Vol 36, # 3, 2013, pp. 151-158)
From August 12-18, 2013, the 3rd World Chess Software Championship (WCSC) was held in Yokohama. It was won by HIARCS, scoring 7-2 (5 wins, 4 draws, and 1 loss). There were 6 participants, all using the same platform. The platform was an HP ELITEBOOK 8570W, with 16GB of RAM, 500GB HDD, and a 4-coreIntel i7 3740QM Ivy Bridge processor supporting a potential 8 threads of activity. The other participants were Pandix, Junior, Jonny, Shredder, and Merlin. (source: Haworth, Krabbenbos & van den Herik, "WCSC 2013: the 3rd World Chess Software Championship," ICGA Journal, Vol 36, # 3, 2013, pp. 159-165)
In December 2013, TCEC Season 5 was won by Komodo 1142.
U. Chakraborty and D. Sharma published a paper called "An Improved Chess Machine base on Artificial Neural Networks." (source: International Journal of Computer Applications, 2014)
In 2014, the top chess engines were: Komodo 8 (3322), Stockfish 5 (3300), Houdini 4 (3297), Gull 2.8b (3221), Equinox 3.20 (3201), Critter 1.6a (3188), and Rybka 4.1 (3175).
On May 12, 2014, Frank Quisinsky started the FCT computer rating list.
In May 2014, TCEC Season 6 was won by Stockfish 170514.
Kieran Greer published "Dynamic Move Chains and Move Tables in Computer Chess" archived at the Cornell University Library, March 2015.
Abdullah Al-Saedi and Alu Mohammed published a paper called "Design and Implementation of Chess-Playing Robotic System." (source: International Journal of Computer Science & Engineering Technology, Vol 5, Issue 5, pp. 90-98, May 2015)
On July 1-3, 2015, the 14th Advances in Computer Games (ACG) conference was held at Leiden University.
From June 29 to July 3, 2015, the 21st World Computer Chess Championship (WCCC) was held at Leiden University. It was won by Jonny, scoring 7 out of 8 (6 wins, 2 draws, and no losses). There were 9 participants: Jonny, Komodo, HIARCS, Protector, Shredder, Ginkgo, The Baron, Maverick, and Fridolin. (source: Haworth, Krabbenbos & van den Herik, "WCCC 2015: the 21st World Computer Championship," ICGA Journal, Vol 38, # 2, 2015, pp. 102-113)
On July 5, 2015, Shredder won the 4th World Chess Software Championship (WCSC), held at Leiden University. The other participants were Ginkgo, Komodo, Protector, HIARCS, Jonny, Maverick, and Fridolin. participants. The hardware was an Intel quad core i7 processor. Shredder and Ginkgo tied for 1st, but Shredder on the blitz play-off. (source: Haworth, Krabbenbos & van den Herik, "WCSC 2015: the World Chess Software Championship," ICGA Journal, Vol 38, # 2, 2015, pp. 114-122)
In 2015, BootChess was created by French assembly coder Olivier Poudade, and uses only 487 bytes. It is the world's smallest chess program ever. It The previous record holder for the smallest chess program was the 672 byte 1K ZX Chess, built by David Horne in 1982 for a Sinclair computer. BootChess runs on windows, Linux, OS X, DOS or BSD, but lacks a graphical chessboard. Instead, the board squares are a grid of periods and the pieces are represented as PNBRQK.
In 2015, Super Micro was the smallest computer implementation of chess on any platform at a size of only 455 bytes.
In 2015, chess engine Komodo played a series of handicap matches with GM Sergej Movsesian, GM Martin Petr, GM Petr Neuman, FM Victor Bolzoni, FM John Meyer, Mark Gray and FM Larry Gilden. These games included one pawn, two pawns, exchange (rook for knight), and knight odds. Komodo fared well in all of these games, drawing a majority but winning at least one in all configuration.
In November 2015, TCEC Season 8 was won by Komodo 9.3x.
In February 2016, Stockfish was the top-rated chess program on the IPON rating list.
In 2016, the Swedish Chess Computer Association rated computer program Komodo at 3361.
From June 27 to July 1, 2016, the 22nd World Computer Chess Championship (WCCC) was held at Leiden University. It was won by Komodo after a tiebreak match (5 draws and 1 won) against Jonny. The other participants were Shredder, GridGinkgo, HIARCS, and Raptor. (source: Haworth, Krabbenbos & van den Herik, "WCCC 2016: the 22nd World Computer Chess Championship," ICGA Journal, Vol 39, # 1, 2017, pp. 47-59)
From July 2-3, 2016, the 5th World Chess Software Championship (WCSC) was held at Leiden University. It was won by Komodo (4 wins, 2 draws, no losses). There were 7 participants: Komodo, Jonny, Shredder, Raptor, HIARCS, Grid, Ginkgo, and The Baron (Richard Pijl). (sources : ChessBase Online, July 5, 2016, and Haworth, Krabbenbos, & van den Herik, "WCSC 2016: the 6th World Chess Software Championship," ICGA Journal, Vol 39, # 2, 2017, pp. 151-159)
In July 2016, the World Speed Computer Championship (WSCC) was held at Leiden University. The games were played with a 5-minute time control, plus 5 seconds per move added. Jonny and Shredder tied with 6.5 out of 10. The other participants were Komodo, HIARCS, Raptor, and GridGinkgo. (source: Haworth, Krabbenbos, & van den Herik, "WSCC 2016: the World Speed Computer Chess Championship," ICGA Journal, Vol 39, # 2, 2017, pp. 160-162)
In September 2016, TCEC Season 9 Rapid match was won by Houdini 200716 over Komodo 1691.19.
In December 2016, TCEC Season 9 was won by Stockfish 8.
In 2017, some dedicated chess computers were being advertised and sold. The Millennium Chess Master II Chess Computer (USCF 1600) sold for $59.95. The Millennium Karpov Chess School Chess Computer (1600) sold for $69.95. The Millennium ChessGenius Chess Computer (2200) sold for $149.95. The Millennium ChessGenius Pro Chess Computer (2400) sold for $219.95. The Millennium ChessGenius Exclusive Chess Computer (2600) sold for $699.95. (source: Chess Life, May 2017)
In 2017, the top chess engines were Komodo 10.4 (3392), Stockfish 8 (3391), and Houdini 5.01 (3388).
In 2017, Komodo 10.1 64-bit 4CPU had an Elo rating of 3377.
In 2017, a computer engine called Zor won the freestyle Ultimate Chess Challenge tournament. The best human plus computer player came in 3rd place.
The May 14, 2017 Owl Computer Chess Engines Rating List included Stockfish 8 (3535), Houdini 5.01 (3513), Komodo 10.4 (3503), Shredder 13 (3357), Fire 5 (3320), Gull 3 (3273), Andscacs (3255), Critter (3248), Equinox (3229), Fizbo 1.9 (3233), and Fritz 15 (3212).
From July 1-2, 2017, the 6th World Chess Software Championship (WCSC) took place at Leiden University. The winner was Shredder. The other participants were Komodo, Jonny, Chiron, The Baron, Ziggurat, and Chess Ebbiz 9.
On July 3-5, 2017, the 15th Advances in Computer Chess (ACG) conference was held at Leiden University.
From July 3-7, 2017, the 23rd World Computer Chess Championship (WCCC) was held at Leiden University. The winner was Komodo on a 6-game tiebreak match over Jonny. There were 4 participants: Komodo, Jonny, Shredder, and Chiron. (source: Haworth, Krabbenbos, & van den Herik, "WCCC 2017: the 23rd World Computer Chess Championship," ICGA Journal, Vol 39, # 3-4, 2018, pp. 210-221)
In November 2017, chess.com held an open tournament of the ten strongest chess engines, leading to a "Super final" tournament between the two finalists - Stockfish and Houdini. In the 20-game Super final, Stockfish won over Houdini with a score 10.5-9.5. Five games were decisive, with 15 ending in a draw.
In December 2017, AlphaZero defeated Stockfish with 28 wins, no losses, and 72 draws. AlphaZero was calculating 80,000 positions per second, while Stockfish was calculating 70 million positions per second. (source: ChessBase Online, Dec 6, 2017)
On December 5, 2017, the Google DeepMind group of London published a paper called "Mastering Chess and Shogi by Self-Play with a General Reinforcement Learning Algorithm." Starting from random play, and given no domain knowledge except the game rules, AlphaZero achieved within 24 hours a superhuman level of play in chess and shogi, and convincingly defeated a world champion program in each case.
In December 2017, Houdini 6.03 won the Premier Division of the "Top Chess Engine Championships" (TCEC), Season 10. Komodo 11 took 2nd place. Houdini beat Komodo in a 100-game match, scoring 53-47. (source: ChessBase, Dec 13, 2017)
In 2018, chess.com closed over 163,000 accounts for cheating by using chess computers and chess engines. Some of the excuses were: "Yes, I had a chess engine open, but it was only checking on a previous game I played," or "My engine was only running in background to prepare my openings," or "I was sure others were using [chess engines] too." (source: Chess Life, Feb 2018, p. 25)
In 2018, the top chess engines were Stockfish 9 (3444), Houdini (3407), Komodo (3407), Fire (3296), Deep Shredder (3291), Fizbo (3282), Andscacs (3252), Booot (3226), Fritz 16 (3203), and Chiron (3201).
On May 14, 2018, Komodo 12, its latest version, was released.
On June 3, 2018, Zor won the 33rd Engine Masters Chess Tournament.
On June 13, 2018, Komodo 12 won the Premier Division of the "Top Chess Engine Championships" (TCEC), Season 12. Stockfish took 2nd place. (source: ChessBase, June 19, 2018)
In July 2018, the 24th World Computer Chess Championship (WCCC) was held in Stockholm. The winner was Komodo. There were 8 participants. The event was sponsored by the International Computer Games Association (ICGA).
In July 2018, the 7th World Chess Software Championship (WCSC) was held in Stockholm. It was won by Komodo. There were 9 participants. All programs ran on an Intel quad core i7, 1.8 GHz machine with 16MB of hash memory.
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