John Waldron

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John Waldron,
a British chess player, chess consultant and apparently opening book author of the Master chess playing program of Atlas Computer Laboratory and Harwell at Chilton, Oxfordshire, developed by Alex Bell, Peter Kent and John Birmingham.


Quote by Alex Bell from The Machine Plays Chess [1]:

In March 1974 David Levy, the regular referee and one of the organisers of the American ACM tournaments, rang me up - did I know of any good English chess programs? And, if so, would they like to enter the first IFIPS World Computer Chess Championship which would take place at Stockholm in August? So MASTER was entered, and for the first time we - John, Peter and myself - stopped developing the program sporadically ad hoc and seriously thought about how to improve it. One big problem was that none of us was (or is) a good chess player and by then the program was beginning to beat us occasionally.
So a fourth member of the team was recruited - John Waldron, a sound county level player. From this point MASTER slowly began to copy Waldron's style and, with the program now searching 6 plies deep plus a crude form of a new technique (feedover), it took part in the first World Championship. 



Chess on the 360/195. Alex Bell, Geoff Lambert, Peter Kent, John Birmingham and John Waldron [2]


  1. Alex Bell (1978). MASTER at IFIPS. from Atlas Computer Laboratory hosted by Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL), excerpt from A. G. Bell (1978). The Machine Plays Chess. Pergamon Press, ISBN-13: 978-0080212227, from amazon
  2. Slide 28: 23.08.74 to 01.11.74 from Rutherford's Photographic Section for the Atlas Computer Laboratory

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