Los Alamos chess

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a b c d e f
6 a6 black rook b6 black knight c6 black queen d6 black king e6 black knight f6 black rook 6
5 a5 black pawn b5 black pawn c5 black pawn d5 black pawn e5 black pawn f5 black pawn 5
4 a4 b4 c4 d4 e4 f4 4
3 a3 b3 c3 d3 e3 f3 3
2 a2 white pawn b2 white pawn c2 white pawn d2 white pawn e2 white pawn f2 white pawn 2
1 a1 white rook b1 white knight c1 white queen d1 white king e1 white knight f1 white rook 1
a b c d e f
Los Alamos chess setup

Los Alamos chess (or Anti-clerical chess[citation needed]) is a chess variant played on a 6×6 board without bishops. This was the first chess-like game played by a computer program. This program was written at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory by Paul Stein and Mark Wells for the MANIAC I computer[1] in 1956. The reduction of the board size and the number of pieces from standard chess was due to the very limited capacity of computers at the time.

Game rules[edit]

The starting position is illustrated. All rules are as in chess except:

Los Alamos trials[edit]

The computer played three games. The first it played against itself. The second one was against a strong human player, who played without a queen. The human player won. In the third game, MANIAC I played against a female laboratory assistant who had been taught the rules of chess in the preceding week specifically for the game. The computer won, marking the first time that a computer had beaten a human player in a chess-like game.[1][2]

The third game[edit]

a b c d e f
6 a6 b6 c6 black king d6 e6 f6 6
5 a5 b5 c5 black knight d5 e5 white knight f5 5
4 a4 black rook b4 c4 black pawn d4 white queen e4 f4 black pawn 4
3 a3 b3 c3 black pawn d3 white pawn e3 f3 3
2 a2 b2 c2 white pawn d2 e2 white pawn f2 2
1 a1 b1 white rook c1 d1 white king e1 f1 white rook 1
a b c d e f
Final position after 23.Ne5#

White: MANIAC I   Black: Beginner
1.d3 b4 2.Nf3 d4 3.b3 e4 4.Ne1 a4 5.bxa4 Nxa4 6.Kd2 Nc3 7.Nxc3 bxc3+ 8.Kd1 f4 9.a3 Rb6 10.a4 Ra6 11.a5 Kd5 12.Qa3 Qb5 13.Qa2+ Ke5 14.Rb1 Rxa5 15.Rxb5 Rxa2 16.Rb1 Ra5 17.f3 Ra4 18.fxe4 c4 19.Nf3+ Kd6 20.e5+ Kd5 21.exf6=Q Nc5 22.Qxd4+ Kc6 23.Ne5# 1–0[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Pritchard (1994), p. 175
  2. ^ Pritchard (2007), p. 112
  3. ^ Pritchard (1994), p. 176


Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]