James Mundstock

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E. James Mundstock,
an American computer scientist and early chess programmer. In the early 70s, while affiliated with University of Minnesota and its computer center under directorship of Marvin L. Stein [1], James Mundstock was co-author of the MNF (Minnesota Fortran) Fortran compiler for the CDC 6600 mainframe computer [2].

Chess Programmer

Along with Gary Boos, James Mundstock developed the chess programs Mr. Turk and Iron Fish. Mr Turk did not use alpha-beta, but a search based on a Multipurpose, Theorem-Proving Heuristic Program as described by James R. Slagle and Philip Bursky in 1968 [3], and competed at ACM 1971. Iron Fish played the ACM 1975.

Ostrich Effect

Quote by Gary J. Boos on Mr. Turk from Ben Mittman's 1971 Panel [4] [5]:

Mundstock noticed an article by Slagle and Bursky in the Journal of the ACM, that pointed toward an algorithm that seemed better than alpha-beta pruning. Based upon this article, and guided by Mundstock, I wrote a lookahead routine whose main theme is that the best line is analyzed until it is shown that it is no longer the best line.
This process eliminates many common problems that accompany a fixed depth search, one of which is the Ostrich Effect which existed in even Northwestern University's  Chess 3.0. Tests showed that in a small set of positions, Mr. Turk could find the main variation on the first try. We believe that the basic theme of our lookahead routine is better than alpha-beta pruning. ... 




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