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Home * Engines * Machiavelli

Il Principe, 1532 [1]

a chess program developed in 1947-1948 by Donald Michie and Shaun Wylie which was a rival "paper machine" of Alan Turing's and David Champernowne's Turochamp. Turing began programming both at University of Manchester but never completed them and they never played each other [2].

In their 1961 article Machines that play games [3], John Maynard Smith and Donald Michie elaborate the evaluation features of their one-ply analyzers SOMA and Machiavelli, to consider material, center and neighboring king square control, pieces en-prise, swap-off values and other tactical and strategical considerations. Later, John Maynard Smith built a SOMA-Machiavelli hybrid named SOMAC (SOMA with features taken from the Machiavelli) [4]. This machine, when allowed a lookahead of two, has a standard of play equal to that of a mediocre human player ... [5] [6] .

SOMA - Machiavelli

Following game between SOMA and Machiavelli was played, with the conclusion that it seems unlikely that a one-ply analyzer would beat any but the most inexperienced human player.

[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "1961.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "SOMA"]
[Black "Machiavelli"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]

1.e3 e5 2.d4 Nc6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 e4 5.Ne5 Bb4 6.Nxc6 bxc6 7.Bd2 Nf6 8.a3 Bd6 9.h4
Bg4 10.Be2 Qd7 11.O-O O-O-O 12.f3 Bf5 13.fxe4 Bxe4 14.Ba6+ Kb8 15.Nxe4 Nxe4 16.Qe2
Qe6 17.Ba5 Ng3 18.Qf3 Nxf1 19.Rxf1 f6 20.Rd1 Qe4 21.Qxe4 dxe4 22.d5 cxd5 23.Rxd5
Be5 24.Rb5+ Ka8 25.Bb7+ Kb8 26.Bxe4+ Kc8 27.Bf5+ Rd7 28.Bxd7+ Kxd7
1/2-1/2 {agreed}


External Links

Discourses on Livy from Wikipedia
The Art of War (Machiavelli) from Wikipedia
The Prince from Wikipedia


  1. The Prince from Wikipedia
  2. Chronology of Computing compiled by David Singmaster
  3. John Maynard Smith, Donald Michie (1961). Machines that play games. New Scientist, 12, 367-9. google books
  4. Donald Michie (1966). Game Playing and Game Learning Automata. Advances in Programming and Non-Numerical Computation, Leslie Fox (ed.), pp 183-200. Oxford, Pergamon. » Includes Appendix: Rules of SOMAC by John Maynard Smith
  5. Leslie Fox (1966). Advances in programming and non-numerical computation. Pergamon
  6. Donald Michie (1974). On Machine Intelligence. Edinburgh: University Press, ISBN 10: 085224262X, ISBN 13: 9780852242629,,,
  7. see Swap-off by Helmut Richter

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