ACM 1970

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The First United States Computer Chess Championship was held from August 31 to September 02, 1970 at New York Hilton, New York City, New York, United States. The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) hosted the first major chess tournament for computers in 1970. The event was organized by Monty Newborn, who was at that time affiliated with Columbia University, New York City.

Final Standing


# Program 1 2 3 P SOS
1 Chess 3.0 3w1 4b1 5b1 3 4
2 Daly CP 5w1 3b0 6b1 2
3 Coko III 1b0 2w1 4w½
4 J. Biit 6b1 1w0 3b½
5 Schach 2b0 6w1 1w0 1 5
6 Wita [3] 4w0 5b0 2w0 0



Program Team Hardware Language
Chess 3.0 Ben Mittman, Keith Gorlen,
Larry Atkin, David Slate
CDC 6400 Fortran IV, COMPASS
Coko III Dennis Cooper, Ed Kozdrowicki IBM 360/65 Fortran IV
Daly CP Kenneth L. King, Chris Daly Varian 620/i IDIIOM Assembly
J. Biit Hans Berliner IBM 360/91 PL/I
Schach Dan D. Drew,
Rolf C. Smith, Franklin D. Ceruti
IBM 360/65 Fortran IV
Wita Tony Marsland Burroughs 5500 Algol

Photos & Games

First Round


Chess 3.0 - Coko III after 8. Qxd2, from left: Jacques Dutka (Tournament Director), unknown,
Keith Gorlen operating Chess 3.0, Monty Newborn, Steven M. Bellovin with phone, unknown back of head [5]

[Event "ACM 1970"]
[Site "New York USA"]
[Date "1970.08.31"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Chess 3.0"]
[Black "Coko III"]
[Result "1-0"]

1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.Nf3 Bc5 4.e3 d6 5.d4 Bb4 6.Bd2 Nf6 7.Nd5 Bxd2+
8.Qxd2 O-O 9.Nxf6+ Qxf6 10.dxe5 dxe5 11.Bd3 Bg4 12.Be4 Rad8 13.Qc2 h5
14.O-O Bxf3 15.Bxf3 h4 16.Rad1 Nb4 17.Qe4 Nxa2 18.Qxb7 Rxd1 19.Rxd1 Qb6
20.Ra1 Qxb7 21.Bxb7 Rb8 22.Rxa2 Rxb7 23.f3 Rb4 24.c5 c6 25.g3 hxg3
26.hxg3 Rc4 27.Rxa7 Rc1+ 28.Kf2 Rc2+ 29.Ke1 Rxb2 30.Rc7 Rg2 31.g4 e4
32.fxe4 Rxg4 33.Rxc6 Rxe4 34.Kf2 Kh8 35.Rc8+ Kh7 36.c6 g5 37.Kf3 f5
38.Kf2 f4 39.c7 fxe3+ 40.Ke2 Re7 41.Rh8+ Kxh8 42.c8=Q+ Re8 43.Qxe8+ Kg7
44.Qe6 1-0

First Prize

Newborn Matsa Slate Atkin Mittman.ACM 1970-2.jpg

David Slate accepts first prize from ACM president Sam Matsa for winning the 1st North American Computer Chess
Championship 1970 with his and Larry Atkin's Chess program. Monty Newborn (far left), Ben Mittman (far right) [6] .


How it Began

Tony Marsland's quote on how the ACM tournaments arose [7] :

At about the same time I wrote to Monty Newborn, who was working at Columbia University in Manhattan and was an organizer for the upcoming ACM Fall Joint Computer Conference, suggesting that we provide some kind of a Computer Chess Exhibit. I had in mind a demonstration of computer vs. human play. Instead, Monty came up with a better idea of a computer chess tournament and we met with Keith Gorlen and David Slate (North Western University) in a Howard Johnson's cafe on the Garden State Parkway and hammered out a proposal that Monty took to the ACM for their blessing - and history was made, since no less than 25 North American Computer Chess Championships followed. 

Brute Force

Quote by James Gillogly from the The Technology Chess Program [8] .

Until recently the main effort in chess programming has been to develop programs which selectively (and hopefully "intelligently") examine a small subset of the legal moves in any position. The surprising performance of the Varian minicomputer (programmed by K. King and C. Daly) in the First Annual Computer Chess Championship (New York 1970), although due primarily to good luck in the pairings, led to increased speculation about the possibility of playing respectable chess with an unselective "brute force" program. 



Chapter V. The First United States Computer Chess Championship

External Links


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