REPORT ON A MATING COMBINATIONS PROGRAM.
SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT CORP SANTA MONICA CALIF
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This paper describes a computer program that analyzes chess positions that contain checkmating combinations. Over the range of positions the program can handle, the program is viewed as a psychological model of human problem-solving behavior. The model has a set of mechanisms for generating a small, highly selective set of moves for analysis and a search strategy for conducting the chess analysis. These parallel the human chess players search behavior on several points particularly on the quality of the moves considered and on the heuristics and stop-rules for keeping the everbranching tree of move possibilities within manageable limits. Some specific hypotheses about the chessmasters perceptual abilities are offered to account for the quality of the moves that come under consideration while some hypotheses about uncertainty reduction and the nature of the constraints imposed by immediate memory are suggested to account for some of the structural facets of the thought process. These derive from the detailed process comparison of a humans behavior with the models. On a performance measure the program has discovered some of the most sparkling combinations in the chess literature, in positions requiring analyses ranging from two to eight moves in depth. Author