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Mikhail Romanovich Shura-Bura, (Михаил Романович Шура-Бура, October 21, 1918 - December 14, 2008)
was a Soviet and Russian outstanding computer pioneer, applied mathematician, scholar, and the patriarch of domestic programming, who has made significant contributions to the establishment and development of software in the USSR [1] .
Mikhail R. Shura-Bura [2]


Mikhail R. Shura-Bura studied at the Institute of Mathematics at Moscow State University under the guidance of Pavel Alexandrov, where he researched on general topology and submitted a candidate dissertation thesis in 1947 on Projection Spectra of Bicompact Spaces, and in 1952 he defended a doctoral dissertation on The Questions of Solving Mathematical Problems Involving a Large Number of Operations [3] . In 1952, he co-authored the first Soviet textbook on programming [4] . Mikhail R. Shura-Bura was head of the Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics, Moscow Academy of Sciences, and professor of the department of system programming, Moscow State University, head of its Software Engineering Chair, and since 1994 Professor Emeritus at MSU. Two times Mikhail Romanovich Shura-Bura was awarded with the USSR State Prize, in 1955 for his contribution in the Soviet atomic bomb project, and in 1978 for the development of computer software [5] .


During the mid 50s, Mikhail R. Shura-Bura was involved in the software development for the Strela computer, where he developed programs for the calculation of the energy of nuclear explosions, and trajectory optimizations.


In 1958, Mikhail R. Shura-Bura became chief developer of the M-20 computer under Sergey Alexeyevich Lebedev [6] [7], where he designed the instruction codes, and took the most active part in developing the operating system IS-2, a library of standard programs, Algol [8] and Fortran compilers, a chess playing program, and further continued working on trajectory optimizations for satellites, also used for Yuri Gagarin's first journey into outer space, when his Vostok spacecraft completed an orbit of the Earth on April 12, 1961.

Computer Chess

Shura-Bura's chess playing program, presumably for the M-20, was developed in 1961 by a team headed by Shura-Bura [9] [10] [11] [12].


from The Early Development of Programming in the USSR [13].


Machine representation of sets i.e. foundation of Bitboards and Piece-Sets [14] [15]
In 1952, Shura-Bura proposed a universal method for machine representation of sets which are subsets of some general enumerated set {m1,...,mn}. Each such subset {mi1, ... ,mik} is represented by a binary vector |β1,...,βn| where βi1 = βi2 = ... = βik = 1 while the other elements are all equal to zero. Such a vector is called a "logical scale". Computing the cardinality of such sets and other set theoretic operations are rather conveniently reduced to machine instructions such as shift, normalization and bitwise logical operations.

Computerized Chess

Study since 1958 [16]
At the end of the 1950's a group of Moscow mathematicians began a study of computerized chess. Sixteen years later, the studies would lead to victory in the first world chess tournament for computer programs held in Stockholm during the 1974 IFIP Congress. An important component of this success was a deep study of the problems of information organization in computer memory and of various search heuristics. G. M. Adelson-Velsky and E. M. Landis invented the binary search tree ("dichotomic inquiry") and A. L. Brudno, independent of J. McCarthy, discovered the (α,β)-heuristic for reducing search times on a game tree.

Selected Publications

[17] [18] [19]

External Links


  1. ^ Mikhail Romanovich Shura-Bura from the Russian Virtual Computer Museum
  2. ^ Mikhail Romanovich Shura-Bura from the Russian Virtual Computer Museum
  3. ^ The Editorial Board (2009). To the Memory of Mikhail Romanovich Shura-Bura. Programming and Computer Software, Vol. 35, No. 4, pp. 181–182. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., Original Russian Text © Editorial Board, published in Programmirovanie, Vol. 35, No. 4, pdf
  4. ^ Lazar A. Lyusternik, Aleksandr A. Abramov, Victor I. Shestakov, Mikhail R. Shura-Bura (1952). Programming for High-Speed Electronic Computers. (Программирование для электронных счетных машин)
  5. ^ Выдающиеся программисты и математики-программисты (Outstanding programmers and mathematicians)
  6. ^ M-20 Computer from Russian Virtual Computer Museum
  7. ^ Gregory D. Crowe, Seymour E. Goodman (1994). S.A. Lebedev and the Birth of Soviet Computing.IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, Vol. 16, No. 1, pdf
  8. ^ Трансляторы с Алгола-60 - № 45, 1999 Computerworld Россия (Russian)
  9. ^ V. Tomanov (1961). The best move in 58 seconds. in the 8th Bulletin of the Botvinnik Tal 1961 revenge-match (Russian)
  10. ^ Jaap van den Herik (1983). Computerschaak, Schaakwereld en Kunstmatige Intelligentie. Ph.D. thesis, Delft University of Technology. Academic Service, The Hague. ISBN 90 62 33 093 2 (Dutch), 2.2.9. Sjoera-Boera - translation from Russian by J.P. Warris, Russian teacher at TH Delft
  11. ^ Schachcomputer - Geschichte - 6 by Karsten Bauermeister (German)
  12. ^ Computerschach - ein Überblick von Mathias Grontzki (German)
  13. ^ Andrey Ershov, Mikhail R. Shura-Bura (1980). The Early Development of Programming in the USSR. in Nicholas C. Metropolis (ed.) A History of Computing in the Twentieth Century. Academic Press, pp. 137-196
  14. ^ preprint pp. 43
  15. ^ Lazar A. Lyusternik, Aleksandr A. Abramov, Victor I. Shestakov, Mikhail R. Shura-Bura (1952). Programming for High-Speed Electronic Computers. (Программирование для электронных счетных машин)
  16. ^ preprint pp. 44
  17. ^ Persons: Shura-Bura Mikhail Romanovich
  18. ^ Academician A. Ershov's archive | Documents associated with Michael R. Shura-Bura
  19. ^ dblp: Mikhail R. Shura-Bura

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