Martin Bryant (programmer) - Computer Draughts

Computer Draughts

After chess, Bryant's interests turned to computer draughts. His program, Colossus Draughts, won the West of England championship in June 1990, thus becoming the first draughts program to win a human tournament. In August of the same year it won the gold medal at the 2nd Computer Olympiad, beating Chinook, a strong Canadian program, into second place.

Chinook's developers, headed by Jonathan Schaeffer, recognized Colossus' opening book as its major strength; it contained 40,000 positions compared to Chinook's 4,500, and relied on Bryant's research that had found flaws in the established draughts literature. In 1993, an agreement was made to trade Colossus' opening book for the Chinook's six-piece databases; Bryant also accepted the offer to join the Chinook development team. In August 1994, Chinook played a match against World Champion Marion Tinsley and world number two Don Lafferty (after Tinsley's withdrawal due to illness), earning the title of Man-Machine World Champion.

Bryant continued work on Colossus Draughts in the early 1990s, and in 1995 released an updated commercial version called Colossus '95, as well as draughts database programs DraughtsBase and DraughtsBase 2.

Bryant currently lives in the Manchester area and works for Hewlett-Packard.

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