Alan Baisley

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Alan Baisley,
was an American chess master [1] and computer scientist. As MIT-student he was chess expert, tester, and book-author of Mac Hack [2] [3], and Tech, the Technology Chess Program by James Gillogly from Carnegie Mellon University. Tech 2 was Alan Baisley's own implementation, re-written and further developed in assembly language on a PDP-10 [4]. It gained about 25% in speed over the BLISS version on the same machine [5]. Tech 2 was runner-up at the ACM 1973, with Tech also competing [6], and further participated at the WCCC 1974 in Stockholm [7]. Alan Baisley transferred to Berkeley, where he became involved with the counterculture of the late 1960's and early 1970's. The word was that he died of a drug overdose while still a very young man [8].

Photos & Games

Robert Q

First tournament game by a computer, Carl Wagner (2190) - Mac Hack VI aka "Robert Q", January 21, 1967 [9]. "Robert Q", a computer programmed to play chess, was beaten in its first competition with a human, Carl Wagner. The computer, at MIT in Cambridge, Mass., was operated by Allen Moulton, and R. William Gosper, while Wagner made his moves several miles away in the YMCU in Boston. The moves were relayed into the computer by teletype operated by Alan Baisley. "Robert Q" was entered as an experiment, in the monthly Boylston Chess Club Tournament at the Young Mens Christian Union.


Carl Wagner and Alan Baisley (right) [10] [11]

[Event "Boylston Chess Club Tournament"]
[Site "YMCU, Boston"]
[Date "1967.01.21"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Carl Wagner"]
[Black "Robert Q"]
[Result "1-0"]

1.g3 e5 2.Nf3 e4 3.Nd4 Bc5 4.Nb3 Bb6 5.Bg2 Nf6 6.c4 d6 7.Nc3 Be6 8.d3 exd3
9.Bxb7 Nbd7 10.exd3 Rb8 11.Bg2 O-O 12.O-O Bg4 13.Qc2 Re8 14.d4 c5 15.Be3 cxd4
16.Nxd4 Ne5 17.h3 Bd7 18.b3 Bc5 19.Rad1 Qc8 20.Kh2 Ng6 21.Bg5 Re5 22.Bxf6 gxf6
23.Ne4 f5 24.Nf6+ Kg7 25.Nxd7 Qxd7 26.Nc6 Rbe8 27.Nxe5 Rxe5 28.Qc3 f6 29.Rd3 Re2
30.Rd2 Rxd2 31.Qxd2 Ne5 32.Rd1 Qc7 33.Bd5 Kg6 34.b4 Bb6 35.Qc2 Nc6 36.Be6 Nd4
37.Rxd4 Bxd4 38.Qxf5+ Kg7 39.Qg4+ Kh6 40.Qxd4 Qe7 41.Qh4+ Kg6 42.Bf5+ Kf7 43.Qxh7+
Kf8 44.Qh8+ Kf7 45.Qa8 Qc7 46.Qd5+ Kg7 47.Kg2 Qe7 48.h4 Kh6 49.g4 Kg7 50.h5 Qe2
51.h6+ Kf8 52.h7 Qxf2+ 53.Kxf2 Ke7 54.h8=Q a6 55.Qe6# 1-0

WCCC 1974

Kaissa Baisley Donskoy.jpg

Alan Baisley (left) faces Mikhail Donskoy, Round 2 WCCC 1974, Tech 2 vs Kaissa [12] [13]

[Event "WCCC 1974"]
[Site "Stockholm, Sweden"]
[Date "1974.08.06"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Tech 2"]
[Black "Kaissa"]
[Result "0-1"]

1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Nf6 3. Bb5+ Bd7 4. Bc4 Bg4 5. f3 Bc8 6. Nc3 Nbd7 7. Ne4 Ne5
8. Nxf6+ exf6 9. Qe2 Qe7 10. Bb5+ c6 11. dxc6 bxc6 12. Ba4 Ba6 13. Qe4 O-O-O
14. Ne2 Bxe2 15. Kxe2 Qd7 16. d3 Re8 17. Be3 Bd6 18. c3 Bb8 19. Bc2 Ng6
20. Qb4 Nf4+ 21. Kf2 Rxe3 22. Kxe3 Nd5+ 23. Ke2 Nxb4 24. cxb4 Qd4 25. Rab1 Re8+
26. Kf1 Qe3 27. d4 Qe2+ 28. Kg1 Qxc2 29. Kf1 Qxb1+ 30. Kf2 Qxb2+ 31. Kf1 Qe2+
32. Kg1 Qd1+ 33. Kf2 Re2# 0-1

External Links


  1. TCCR (1969). Baisley wins biggest California Open. The California Chess Reporter, Vol. XIX, No. 2 (pdf)
  2. Richard Greenblatt, Donald Eastlake, Stephen D. Crocker (1967). The Greenblatt Chess Program. Proceedings of the AfiPs Fall Joint Computer Conference, Vol. 31, reprinted (1988) in Computer Chess Compendium, pdf from The Computer History Museum or as pdf or ps from DSpace at MIT
  3. Jaap van den Herik (1992). An Interview with Richard D. Greenblatt. ICCA Journal, Vol. 15, No. 4
  4. CHESS.AKC(UP,DOC)7 from
  5. James Gillogly (1978). Performance Analysis of the Technology Chess Program. Ph.D. thesis, CMU-CS-78-189, Carnegie Mellon University, CMU-CS-77 pdf
  6. The eleventh ACM's North American Computer Chess Championship, Nashville, Tennessee October 26-28, 1980, pdf from The Computer History Museum, see History of ACM events pp. 11
  7. Alan Baisley's ICGA Tournaments
  8. I'll Never Forget the Brilliant NM Alan Baisley by Dan Heisman,, June 06, 2013
  9. MIT Computer Loses to Human in Chess. Sun Journal (Lewiston), January 23, 1967, Google News
  10. Richard Greenblatt, Donald Eastlake, Stephen D. Crocker (1967). The Greenblatt Chess Program. Proceedings of the AfiPs Fall Joint Computer Conference, Vol. 31, pp. 808
  11. Carl Wagner vs Robert Q from
  12. Kaissa at the 1st World Computer Chess Championship in Stockholm, Photo by Monroe Newborn, The Computer History Museum
  13. Stockholm 1974 - Chess - Round 2 - Game 5 (ICGA Tournaments)

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