an American mathematician, chess player and IBM employee. Along with his colleagues Michael de V. Roberts, Timothy Arbuckle and Martin Belsky, Alex Bernstein was primary author of the Bernstein Chess Program for the IBM 704.
Chess programs catch some of the human chess playing abilities but rely on the limited effective branching of the chess move tree. The ideas that work for chess are inadequate for go. Alpha-beta pruning characterizes human play, but it wasn't noticed by early chess programmers - Turing, Shannon, Pasta and Ulam, and Bernstein. We humans are not very good at identifying the heuristics we ourselves use. Approximations to alpha-beta used by Samuel, Newell and Simon, McCarthy. Proved equivalent to minimax by Hart and Levin, independently by Brudno. Knuth gives details.
- Alex Bernstein, Michael de V. Roberts (1958). Computer vs. Chess-Player. Scientific American, Vol. 198, pp. 96-105. pdf from The Computer History Museum, reprinted 1988 in Computer Chess Compendium
- Alex Bernstein (1958). A Chess Playing Program for the IBM 704. Chess Review July 1958, pdf from The Computer History Museum
- Alex Bernstein, Michael de V. Roberts, Timothy Arbuckle, Martin Belsky (1958). A chess playing program for the IBM 704. Proceedings of the 1958 Western Joint Computer Conference, pp. 157-159, Los Angeles, California. pdf from The Computer History Museum
- Alex Bernstein from The Computer History Museum
- Photos by Andreas Feininger, Getty Images
- Chess Pieces - IBM Research the Deep Blue site
- Alex Bernstein: juega al ajedrez con un IBM 704 (Thinking Machines) YouTube Video
- Image captured from Alex Bernstein: juega al ajedrez con un IBM 704 (Thinking Machines) YouTube Video at 0:13