What got you into computer chess?

Discussion of anything and everything relating to chess playing software and machines.

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Colin-G
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Re: What got you into computer chess?

Post by Colin-G » Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:43 am

My interest in computer chess really took off after I discovered Winboard and all the free chess engines in 2000.

Jouni
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Re: What got you into computer chess?

Post by Jouni » Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:54 am

It was 1982/83 when I played Sargon in my cousin's Commodore. It was amazing and I have not lost my interest so far.
Jouni

Dann Corbit
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Re: What got you into computer chess?

Post by Dann Corbit » Tue Oct 16, 2018 8:51 pm

Many things.

My dad taught me chess when I was fairly young.

The Fischer/Spassky match was riveting.

In 1976 someone brought a computer chess program to our high school as a demonstration. It played awful chess, but it was interesting that a machine could play chess.

In the mid 90's I fooled around with:
GnuChess
Crafty
Arasan

The Deep Blue match

Lots of other things.
Taking ideas is not a vice, it is a virtue. We have another word for this. It is called learning.
But sharing ideas is an even greater virtue. We have another word for this. It is called teaching.

George Sobala
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Re: What got you into computer chess?

Post by George Sobala » Tue Oct 16, 2018 9:01 pm

Read David Levy’s book on Computers and Chess in 1977 and was inspired to write an engine in Fortran, typed onto punched cards, to run on an IBM 370, 5 seconds of compute per move.

CRoberson
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Re: What got you into computer chess?

Post by CRoberson » Tue Oct 16, 2018 9:42 pm

I learned to play chess when I saw two other people playing an interesting looking game but yet unknown to me in 1969.
They said they were playing chess and one of them said he couldn't teach me because I was too dumb to learn chess.
We were in the elementary school library, so I read the chess sections in Compton's Encyclopedia, Collier's Encyclopedia and Encyclopedia Britanica.
After that I played chess weekly from about a month or two until the teachers took the chess sets away. They didn't like us playing chess.

In the early 1980s in undergrad, I had an AI class which was fascinating. Normal programming and programming problems were boringly easy but AI
required you to really turn your head upside down to get an elegant solution. At that time, I was reading the game code of several games that
came with the universities PDP-11/34 minicomputer. That stuff was cool. Also, I got into playing chess again after undergrad in the late 1980's
and humans could be the best computers - CXG Super Enterprise - I bought one then and it still works, Fidelity Excellence....
Also, BattleChess and ChessMaster for the Nintendo along with Sargon for the PC. That put the icing on the cake. Why could humans
beat computers? Were humans really searching that deep? So, I started reading chess books on strategy and positional chess. I did this for
a decade and read dozens of books.

While in grad school, I studied all the required classes OS, Compilers, Computability Theory/Algorithms and CPU design. Also, I took classes in other areas like Neural Networks. I immediately thought of Neural Nets as a position eval and other things for chess programs. I did some
experimental work and it was a bust. My 25 MHz 386 SX with a Cyrix math coprocessor was not fast enough to ever be effective. So that was abandoned.

When I wrote Noonian in the 1990s it had a huge position evaluator which caused it to be very slow. It played the opening and early middlegame
very well but would loose to speed after that.

Since then, I still spend most of my computer chess programming time working on the position eval. That is where the real AI is. That is where you
give the program a personality and style.

kasinp
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Re: What got you into computer chess?

Post by kasinp » Tue Oct 16, 2018 9:43 pm

DBTundra wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:08 am
What got you into computer chess? Battle Chess, a love of programming, and no chess set.
Tim Krabbe's (https://timkr.home.xs4all.nl/chess/chess.html) unforgetable:

"The moment was still there when he had seen two boys playing chess,
and there had been an explosion of certainty that he wanted that too, forever,
whatever it would turn out to be."

In my case it happened when I decided to pit Fidelity Sensory 9 against Cyrus running on Spectrum ZX.
PK

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MikeGL
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Re: What got you into computer chess?

Post by MikeGL » Tue Oct 16, 2018 9:53 pm

Almost similar here, Dann.
Except it was my mom who taught me as my dad is always busy with other stuff like work and automobile tinkering.

The Fischer/Spassky match was riveting.
I bought one of those New York Times' Match of the Century book, Fischer-Spassky match.

In 1976 someone brought a computer chess program to our high school as a demonstration.
In my case around 1993, IT professor (at our provincial campus, it was not even called IT at
that time but computer) had ChessMaster 2100 in an intel 286 [60 Mhz] and he gave me a copy for training because I was the top player at campus and was the schools representative in strong chess tourns against other provinces.
Having that ChessMaster 2100 made me hooked into computers and MS-DOS 5.0 environment and simple BASIC and batch programming.

I only fooled around with Crafty during the mid 90's (not with GnuChess nor others), and self-studied C programming just to understand prof. Bob Hyatt's code around 1998.

What a strange parallel on how we got hooked into computers and chess.
I told my wife that a husband is like a fine wine; he gets better with age. The next day, she locked me in the cellar.

S.Taylor
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Re: What got you into computer chess?

Post by S.Taylor » Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:53 pm

DBTundra wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:08 am
What got you into computer chess? Battle Chess, a love of programming, and no chess set.
In addition to my deeper answer, ok yes. It was chess by psion by richard lang which my brother had on his computer, which first impressed ME.

ernest
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Re: What got you into computer chess?

Post by ernest » Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:59 pm

At the end of the 70's I assembled a Nascom computer (Z80) mostly to be able to run the Sargon program on it !

Later I very actively followed Chrilly Donninger's efforts to be able to play automatic games between 2 computers (linked by RS-232 serial cable).

Those were fun days !!!

Ras
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Re: What got you into computer chess?

Post by Ras » Tue Oct 16, 2018 11:32 pm

I just wanted to gather some hands-on experience with ARM Cortex-M microcontrollers and found a nice Cortex-M4 board, so I needed some project idea what to do with it. Building a dedicated chess computer was the best I could come up with. Especially since I had a Mephisto MM4 back in the ´80s, but this machine is better.
Rasmus Althoff
https://www.ct800.net

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