Tom Truscott

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Tom Truscott [1]

Thomas R. (Tom) Truscott,
an American computer scientist, best known for creating the Usenet along with Jim Ellis [2] and Steven M. Bellovin [3]. As graduate student at the Duke University in the 70s, Truscott was early Checkers and chess programmer. The Duke program was a Checkers player written along with his fellow Eric Jensen and advisor Alan Biermann, which defeated Samuel's program in a 2-game match [4] [5] [6]. Along with Eric Jensen and Bruce Wright, Tom Truscott wrote the chess program Duchess, which competed at ACM North American Computer Chess Championships from 1974 to 1979 and 1981, and the 2nd and 3rd World Computer Chess Championship in Toronto 1977 and Linz 1980 [7]. Tom Truscott now works for SAS [8], an analytics software company [9] .


Chaos vs Duchess.ACM 1979.jpg

CHAOS vs. Duchess at the ACM 1979 [10] David Cahlander, William Toikka, Fred Swartz and Tom Truscott

Chess Pioneers Mittman Newborn Marsland Slate Levy Shannon Thompson Truscott.c1980.102665753.lg.jpg

Chess pioneers in Sacher Hotel Vienna, Austria 1980: Ben Mittman, Monty Newborn, Tony Marsland,
Dave Slate, David Levy, Claude Shannon, Ken Thompson, Betty Shannon, Tom Truscott [11]


From Michael and Ronda Hauben's netbook Netizens: On the History and Impact of Usenet and the Internet [12]:

Truscott and Wright continued to participate in the Chess Tournaments and in 1980 they competed in the 3rd world Computer Chess Championship held in Linz, Austria. Thompson and Joe Condon, who was a researcher at Bell Labs, were also in the competition. Truscott notes that Thompson and Condon "had completed their hardware chess machine and snagged first place. Duchess came in third. And Claude Shannon was in attendance, and even handed out the trophies at the awards ceremony. Afterwards we all went over to a TV studio to watch a West German TV special on computer chess and the championship. Claude Shannon and his wife were very engaging people. Someone took a photo of all of us, I have a copy buried somewhere". 


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