Turochamp was a chess program developed by Alan Turing and David Champernowne in 1948. It was the first computer program capable of playing a full game of chess, albeit at a low level of play. Turochamp was not a video game, but it was an early example of computer-generated gameplay.
The program was implemented as a “paper machine”, meaning that it was not run on a computer. Instead, Turing and Champernowne manually calculated the moves for each game. This made the program very slow, with each move taking around half an hour to calculate.
Despite its limitations, Turochamp was a significant achievement. It showed that it was possible to create a computer program that could play chess, and it paved the way for the development of more advanced chess programs.
In 1952, Turochamp played a match against one of Turing’s colleagues, Alick Glennie. The match was recorded, and Turochamp lost to Glennie in 29 moves. However, the program did win an earlier game against Champernowne’s wife, who was a beginner at chess.
Turochamp was not the first computer program to be developed, but it was one of the earliest programs to be designed for entertainment. It was also one of the first programs to use a heuristic algorithm to make decisions. Heuristic algorithms are rules of thumb that can be used to make decisions in situations where it is not possible to calculate the optimal solution.
Turochamp was a significant achievement in the field of computer science. It showed that it was possible to create a computer program that could play chess, and it paved the way for the development of more advanced chess programs. Turochamp is also an early example of computer-generated gameplay, and it helped to lay the foundation for the video games that we enjoy today.