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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


  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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