Nimrod Computer Chess was developed by Christopher Strachey in 1951 on the Ferranti Mark I computer. It was one of the earliest known computer games, and it was also one of the first computer programs to play a game against a human opponent. Nimrod was not a very good chess player, but it was a significant achievement for its time. It showed that computers could be programmed to play games, and it paved the way for the development of more sophisticated computer chess programs.
Nimrod was not the first computer program to play a game. That honor belongs to Nimatron, which was developed by John S. Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert in 1940. Nimatron played the game of Nim, and it was also displayed at the 1951 Festival of Britain. However, Nimrod was the first computer program to play a game against a human opponent.
Nimrod was a simple program, and it did not use any sophisticated chess algorithms. It simply tried to keep its pieces alive and to capture its opponent’s pieces. However, it was still a challenge to beat Nimrod, and it was a popular attraction at the Festival of Britain.
Nimrod was not the last computer chess program to be developed on the Ferranti Mark I computer. In 1952, another program called Chesster was developed by Alick Glennie. Chesster was a much better chess player than Nimrod, and it was able to beat some human players.
The development of Nimrod and Chesster showed that computers had the potential to be very good chess players. In the years since, computer chess programs have continued to improve, and they are now able to beat even the best human players.