The Bernstein Chess Program

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Home * Engines * The Bernstein Chess Program

The Bernstein Chess Program,
was the first complete chess program, developed in 1957 at Service Bureau Corporation, Madison & 59th Street, Manhattan, New York City [2], by chess player and programmer at IBM, Alex Bernstein with his colleagues Michael de V. Roberts, Timothy Arbuckle and Martin Belsky, supported by chess advisor Arthur Bisguier [3], who became IBM employee at that time and in 1957 international chess grandmaster, and supervised by Nathaniel Rochester [4].

Shannon Type B

The Bernstein Chess Program was the prototype of a selective forward pruning, Shannon Type B program. On an IBM 704, one of the last vacuum tube computers, it searched four plies minimax in around 8 minutes, considering seven most plausible moves from each position and evaluated material, mobility, area control and king defense [5].


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