The Fox

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The Fox,
an early chess program written in APL by Charlie Wilkes from The College of William & Mary and his father and IBM-employee Charles F. Wilkes, who were inspired by the George R. R. Martin essay The Computer Was A Fish in Analog Science Fiction and Fact, August 1972 [2] concerning the early ACM Tournaments. They soon started to write an own chess program, without knowledge of how others had to that point programmed. They invented their own equivalent to alpha-beta pruning. The Fox was a Shannon Type B program, were one may alter depth and width. In tournament mode, it made all possible moves for the first two plies, it then evaluated and pruned to the best three apparent moves for three more plies, for a total depth of five plies. The Fox went wider at the second ply level in case of loss of material [3].

Tournament Play

The Fox played the 4th ACM 1973 on an IBM 370/145 with a win against Tech 2 in the first round, but suffered from too many users on their timesharing system on Monday, where they lost both games due to time forfeit.

Selected Games

ACM 1973, round 1, The Fox - Tech 2

[Event "ACM 1973"]
[Site "Atlanta USA"]
[Date "1973.08.26"]
[Round "1"]
[White "The Fox"]
[Black "Tech 2"]
[Result "1-0"]

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Nc3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Nxe4 6.O-O Bc5+ 7.d4 Nxc3 8.bxc3 Bd6 
9.Qe2+ Qe7 10.Bd2 O-O 11.Qxe7 Nxe7 12.Rfe1 Nc6 13.Bd3 f6 14.Rab1 Rd8 15.Rb5 g5 
16.Rf5 Be7 17.Rb5 d5 18.Rbb1 Bd6 19.h3 Kg7 20.Re2 Rb8 21.Kf2 g4 22.Ng1 Bd7 23.hxg4 
Bxg4 24.Nf3 Rd7 25.Rh1 f5 26.Re6 1-0 {time}

External Links

The Fox



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