Don Beal

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johnhamlen65
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Joined: Fri May 12, 2023 10:15 am
Full name: John Hamlen

Don Beal

Post by johnhamlen65 »

Dear CCC Community,
Is anyone still in touch with Don Beal?
He was my MSc supervisor at Queen Mary College in 1989 and ignited my interest in computer chess, but I lost touch a long time ago :-(
Don was at the inaugural WCCC in Stockholm in 1974 with his eponymous chess program, Beal.
With the 50th anniversary, and final, WCCC on the horizon in October, how wonderful would it be for him to attend! :D
Jonathan Schaeffer and I have been unable to track him down, and everyone we've spoken with so far lost touch a decade or more ago. The good news is that he's not showing up in any obituaries. Plenty of Don Beals, but none of them "our" Don Beal. So hopefully he is alive and well, but just been out of the loop for a while.
Can anyone help?
Many thanks in advance,
John
https://www.chessprogramming.org/John_Hamlen
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towforce
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Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 12:57 am
Location: Birmingham UK

Re: Don Beal

Post by towforce »

He used to be a regular in CCC. I still consider his paper about learning from an opponent who knows less than oneself to be one of the most enlightening papers I have ever read - link. (spoiler: you can learn from opponents who know less than yourself, but you have to work harder).
The simple reveals itself after the complex has been exhausted.
johnhamlen65
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri May 12, 2023 10:15 am
Full name: John Hamlen

Re: Don Beal

Post by johnhamlen65 »

Agreed!

Also Don deserves much of the credit for investigating, improving, and popularising null move pruning https://www.chessprogramming.org/Null_Move_Pruning.

He and his programs were there at all of the first 5 WCCC (1974-1986). It would be amazing to have him there in 2024!
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donbeal
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Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2024 11:39 am
Full name: Donald Beal

Re: Don Beal

Post by donbeal »

Hello John,
Many thanks for your post! Great to hear from you.
I am pleased to report that rumours of my non-existence have been greatly exaggerated.
Hello to all my old friends who might still be members of this forum, and particular thanks to those who keep it running.
I have emailed Jonathan Schaeffer to let him know my current email.
How is Woodpusher?
Best regards to all,
Don Beal
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mclane
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Location: US of Europe, germany
Full name: Thorsten Czub

Re: Don Beal

Post by mclane »

Welcome Back !
What seems like a fairy tale today may be reality tomorrow.
Here we have a fairy tale of the day after tomorrow....