Computer Chess Club Archives




Subject: Re: Alan Turing's program

Author: Frederic Friedel

Date: 02:09:27 04/22/00

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On April 21, 2000 at 10:32:34, guy haworth wrote:

>Turing actually played a game against someone, manually calculating the
>position-scores and emulating the 'program' himself.  [ He lost quite quickly. ]

The game was against Alick Glennie in Manchester 1952. The paper engine with
Turing as the CPU was searching three ply and lost in 29 moves.

>Yes, it would be fun to have this 'program' functionally recreated:  it must be
>quite trivial with the Crafty infrastructure.

We have reconstructed the engine, which I have on my hard disk as turing.eng for
Fritz and ChessBase. It was done by Ken Thompson and Mathias Feist. We are still
in the process of checking it. Apparently the Turing CPU made some errors during
the game, most remarkably by playing 1.e4. If you look at the rules carefully
(they are posted somewhere below) you will see that the first move should be
1.e3. At least that is what we think.

The engine plays an interesting amateur game. If you allow it to go more than
three ply (which was the artificial limit set by Turing) it would easily beat

If anyone is interested it taking an indepth look at the reconstruction of the
Turing engine please contact me.

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