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The Kotok-McCarthy-Program, also known as "A Chess Playing Program for the IBM 7090 Computer" was the first computer program to play chess convincingly. Between 1959 and 1962, while student of John McCarthy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Alan Kotok and his fellows Elwyn Berlekamp, Michael A. Lieberman, Charles Niessen and Robert A. Wagner wrote a chess program for the IBM 7090. Based on Alex Bernstein's 1957 program and routines by McCarthy and Paul W. Abrahams, they added alpha-beta pruning to minmax, at McCarthy's suggestion. The Kotok-McCarthy-Program was written in Fortran and FAP, the IBM 7090 macro assembler.

Type B

The program was selective Shannon Type B. It considered only a few plausible moves as function of increasing ply:

{4, 3, 2, 2, 1, 1, 1, 1, 0, 0}

and therefor had some tactical flaws.

Stanford-ITEP Match

see main article Stanford-ITEP Match

After graduated from MIT, Kotok lost interest in computer chess but his program remained alive. When McCarthy left MIT to take charge of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at Stanford, he took Kotok's program with him and improved it's searching. At the end of 1966 a four game match began between the Kotok-McCarthy program, running on a IBM 7090 computer, and a program developed at the Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Physics (ITEP) in Moscow which used a Soviet M-2 computer [1]. The match played over nine months was won 3-1 by the The ITEP program, despite playing on slower hardware.

See also


External Links


  1. ^ The Fast Universal Digital Computer M-2 by the Russian Virtual Computer Museum
  2. ^ Re: Old programs CHAOS and USC by Dann Corbit, CCC, July 11, 2015

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