Programming a Computer for Playing Chess

This paper is concerned with the problem of constructing a computing routine or “program” for a modern general purpose computer which will enable it to play chess. Although perhaps of no practical importance, the question is of theoretical interest, and it is hoped that a satisfactory solution of this problem will act as a wedge in attacking other problems of a similar nature and of greater significance. Some possibilities in this direction are:

  1. Machines for designing filters, equalizers, etc.
  2. Machines for designing relay and switching circuits.
  3. Machines which will handle routing of telephone calls based on the individual circumstances rather than by fixed patterns.
  4. Machines for performing symbolic (non-numerical) mathematical operations.
  5. Machines capable of translating from one language to another.
  6. Machines for making strategic decisions in simplified military operations.
  7. Machines capable of orchestrating a melody.
  8. Machines capable of logical deduction.

It is believed that all of these and many other devices of a similar nature are possible developments in the immediate future. The techniques developed for modern electronic and relay type computers make them not only theoretical possibilities, but in several cases worthy of serious consideration from the economic point of view.