Kotok-Mc Carthy - Match With ITEP

Match With ITEP

In 1965, McCarthy, by then at Stanford University, visited the Soviet Union. A group using the M-2 computer at Alexander Kronrod’s laboratory at the Moscow Institute for Theoretical and Experimental Physics (ITEP) challenged him to a match. Kronrod considered Kotok-McCarthy to be the best program in the United States at the time. Although some of its faults were known in 1965 and were corrected in the Greenblatt program at MIT Project MAC, Kotok-McCarthy was no longer in development and was three years out of date.

Georgy Adelson-Velsky, Vladimir Arlazarov, Bitman, Anatoly Uskov and Alexander Zhivotovsky won the correspondence match played by telegraph over nine months in 1966-1967. The Kotok-McCarthy program lost the match by a score of three to one and the first two games were played with a weak version. The ITEP group was advised by Russian chess master Alexander R. Bitman and three-time world champion Mikhail Botvinnik. According to the Computer History Museum, McCarthy "used an improved version" in 1967 but what improvements were made is unknown.

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