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Home * People * Paul Rushton

Paul Gerald Rushton, (born April 15, 1949)
a English-born, Canadian mathematician, chemist, computer scientist and chess programmer. He holds undergraduate degrees from Dalhousie University in mathematics, chemistry and education, and a M.Sc. in computing science from University of Alberta, with a thesis titled A Critique of Programming Techniques for Playing Chess [1] [2]. As a graduate student he started to write his first chess-playing program, and continued his research on techniques for chess and game playing programs of that time, and published several papers on that topic along with Tony Marsland.

Early Research

Beside the ideas and incomplete programs by Jack Good [3] and Mikhail Botvinnik [4], following chess programs were investigated by Paul Rushton and Tony Marsland as published in 1973 [5].


Paul Rushton went into business for 27 years but returned to teaching computing at University of the Fraser Valley in 2000, where he restarted his chess research and the development of a goal-directed knowledge-based chess-playing program that learns, which he continues after his retirement in 2010 [11].

Selected Publications



  1. Keith Smillie (1990). The Department of Computing Science: The First Twenty-Five Years. pdf
  2. Paul Rushton (1972). A Critique of Programming Techniques for Playing Chess. M.Sc. thesis, University of Alberta
  3. Jack Good (1968). A Five-Year Plan for Automatic Chess. Machine Intelligence Vol. 2 pp. 110-115
  4. Mikhail Botvinnik (1970). Computers, Chess and Long-Range Planning. Springer-Verlag, New York
  5. Paul Rushton, Tony Marsland (1973). Current Chess Programs: A Summary of their Potential and Limitations. INFOR Journal of the Canadian Information Processing Society Vol. 11, No. 1, pdf
  6. David Slate, Larry Atkin, Keith Gorlen (1971). CHESS 3.5 User Guide. Northwestern University
  7. Edward W. Kozdrowicki, John S. Licwinko, Dennis W. Cooper (1971). Algorithms for a minimal chess player: A blitz player. International Journal of Man-Machine Studies, Vol 3, 2
  8. Richard Greenblatt, Donald Eastlake, Stephen D. Crocker (1967). The Greenblatt Chess Program. Proceedings of the AfiPs Fall Joint Computer Conference, Vol. 31, pp. 801-810. Reprinted (1988) in Computer Chess Compendium, pdf from The Computer History Museum or as pdf or ps from DSpace at MIT
  9. Allen Newell, Cliff Shaw, Herbert Simon (1958). Chess Playing Programs and the Problem of Complexity. IBM Journal of Research and Development, Vol. 4, No. 2, pp. 320-335. Reprinted (1963) in Computers and Thought (eds. Edward A. Feigenbaum and Julian Feldman), pp. 39-70. McGraw-Hill, New York, N.Y.
  10. James Gillogly (1971). The Technology Chess Program. Carnegie Mellon University, CS-17-109
  11. personal communication of Paul Rushton with the editor, November 2012
  12. ICGA Reference Database (pdf)

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