Book Id: 46526 Programming a Computer for Playing chess. Offprint from the Philoosphical Magazine, 41, (March 1950), 256-275. Claude Shannon.

Programming a Computer for Playing chess. Offprint from the Philoosphical Magazine, 41, (March 1950), 256-275

Shannon, Claude E. (1916-2001). Programming a computer for playing chess. Offprint from Philosophical Magazine, ser. 7, 41 (1950). 256-275pp. 253 x 173 mm. Original printed self-wrappers. Light toning, a few faint smudges but very good. From Shannon’s library, with letter attesting to the provenance.

First Edition, Offprint Issue of the first technical paper on computer chess. “Shannon pioneered computer chess as we know it today, and his ideas have been employed in almost every chess program ever written” (Levy, p. 1). Shannon’s paper was first presented at the National IRE Convention on 9 March 1949; he submitted it to the Philosophical Magazine in November 1949, which published the paper in the March 1950 issue. The offprint has the misspelling “computor” on the front wrapper; the word is spelled correctly on the paper’s first page.

In their paper on “Chess-playing programs and the problem of complexity,” (1958) Newell, Shaw and Simon had this to say about Shannon’s paper: The relevant history [of chess-playing programs] begins with a paper by Claude Shannon in 1949. He did not present a particular chess program, but discussed many of the basic problems involved. The framework he introduced has guided most of the subsequent analysis of the problem . . . The basic framework introduced by Shannon for thinking about chess problems consists of a series of questions:

1. Alternatives

Which alternative moves are to be considered?

2. Analysis

a. Which continuations are to be explored and to what depth?

b. How are positions to be evaluated strategically—in terms of their patterns?

c. How are the static evaluations to be integrated into a single value for an alternative?

3. Final choice procedure

What procedure is to be used to select the final preferred move?

We would hazard that Shannon’s paper is chiefly remembered for the specific answers he proposed to these questions: consider all alternatives; search all continuations to fixed depth, n; evaluate with a numerical sum; minimax to get the effective value for an alternative; and then pick the best one (Newell and Simon, pp. 42–44).

Newell and Simon, “Chess-playing programs and the problem of complexity” [1958], reprinted in Feigenbaum, E. A. and Feldman, J., Computers and Thought (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1963): 39–70. Origins of Cyberspace 882. Sloane and Wyner, Claude Elwood Shannon: Collected Papers, no. 54.

Book Id: 46526

Price: $10,000.00

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