Dietrich Prinz

From Chessprogramming wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Home * People * Dietrich Prinz

Dietrich G. Prinz, (March 29, 1903 - December 1989)
was a German computer scientist and pioneer, who developed the first limited chess program in England 1951 [2]. The computer, a Ferranti Mark 1, was not powerful enough to play a full game but could find the best move if it was only two moves away from checkmate, known as the Mate-in-two problem.

Dietrich Prinz was educated at Berlin University, where his teachers included Planck and Einstein, and graduated with a Ph.D. in Philosophy. As Jewish scientist, Prinz escaped Nazi-Germany in 1938 [3] and settled in England [4]. In collaboration with the University of Manchester, Prinz worked as a research scientist at Ferranti Ltd in 1947, and became involved in the firm's work with the Manchester Mark series of computers. His interest in computer chess was likely influenced by his colleague Alan Turing [5] [6], and like Michie, Strachey, and others, by an important article published in 1950 by Donald Davies, A Theory of Chess and Noughts and Crosses [7] [8] .



Germany, 1951, Nimrod [9] versus Ludwig Erhard, Prinz and Adenauer watching [10] [11] [12]

See also

Selected Publications

[13] [14]

External Links


  1. Dr. Dietrich Prinz loading chess program into a Ferranti Mark I computer, 1955, Courtesy of Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS, Dietrich Prinz from History of Computer Chess, The Computer History Museum
  2. B. Jack Copeland, Diane Proudfoot (2011-2012). Turing, Father of the Modern Computer. The Rutherford Journal - The New Zealand Journal for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, Vol. 4 » with photos of Alan Turing, John von Neumann, Dietrich Prinz, Christopher Strachey, Jack Good, Arthur Samuel, Herbert Simon, Allen Newell, ...
  3. confirmed by Daniela Derbyshire, daughter of Dietrich Prinz, January 2012
  4. History of Computer Chess and Programmer Dietrich Prinz by Mary Bellis,
  5. Dietrich Prinz from History of Computer Chess, The Computer History Museum
  6. Early AI Programs from by B. Jack Copeland
  7. Donald Davies (1950). A Theory of Chess and Noughts and Crosses. Science News, 16, 40
  8. The First Working Chess Programme, Chapter 16 Chess, Introduction, in Alan Turing, B. Jack Copeland (editor) (2004). The Essential Turing, Seminal Writings in Computing, Logic, Philosophy, Artificial Intelligence, and Artificial Life plus The Secrets of Enigma. Oxford University Press, amazon, google books
  9. Welcome to... NIMROD!
  10. Heise News, June 23, 2006, (German) Question 3: Who is the man with the glasses?
  11. Heise News, July 24, 2006, (German) Answer: Dietrich Prinz
  12. Heise News, October 06, 2001, (German) The second photo shows Prinz left of Minister of Economics and later Chancellor of West Germany, Ludwig Erhard, playing a game of Nim against the special purpose machine Nimrod, Photo with Courtesy of the Heinz Nixdorf MuseumsForum
  13. Papers of Dr Dietrich G. Prinz - ELGAR: Electronic Gateway to Archives at Rylands The John Rylands University Library The University of Manchester
  14. UK National Archive for the History of Computing - Draft Catalogue Version 1.0, August 15, 2005 (pdf)

Up one level