Kaissa …….

Event # Year Location Winner
1 1974 Stockholm Kaissa
2 1977 Toronto Chess 4.6
3 1980 Linz Belle
4 1983 New York, NY Cray Blitz
5 1986 Cologne Cray Blitz
6 1989 EdmontonCanada Deep Thought
7 1992 MadridSpain ChessMachine (Gideon)
8 1995 Hong Kong Fritz
9 1999 PaderbornGermany Shredder
10 2002 MaastrichtNetherlands Deep Junior
11 2003 GrazAustria Shredder
12 2004 Bar-Ilan UniversityRamat GanIsrael Deep Junior
13 2005 ReykjavíkIceland Zappa
14 2006 TorinoItaly Junior
15 2007 AmsterdamNetherlands Zappa
16 2008 BeijingChina HIARCS
17 2009 PamplonaSpain JuniorShredderSjeng
18 2010 KanazawaJapan Rondo, Thinker
19 2011 TilburgNetherlands Junior

Kaissa (the legendary goddess of chess) was a Soviet chess program that dominated international computer chess from 1974 to 1977. Kaissa made use of a pruning technique called “the method of analogies,” meaning postions that were so alike that the same score could be attributed to all. Kaissa was revolutionary in its use of analogous positions and tree searching methods for reductions of computational load. The original program was written by Vladimir Arlazasov, Alexander Bitman (Russian national chess master), Anatoly Uskov, Alexander Zhivotovsky, and later improved by Mikhail Donskoy (age 26).

Kaissa evolved from the Institute for Theoretical and Experimental Physics (ITEP) and the Institute for Systems Science in Moscow, headed by mathematician Georgi Adelson-Velskiy. The program had an Elo rating around 1600. Kaissa evolved from a chess program used in a USA-USSR computer chess match in 1967 in which the USSR program defeated the Stanford program. In 1971 Donskoy began work on the new program, written in Assembly.

Kaissa ran on a mainframe (British ICL System 4/70 computer) equipped with a 64-bit processor. 64 is also the number of squares on a chessboard, so it was possible to use a single memory word to represent a yes-or-no or true-or-false predicate for the whole board. This was called the bit board. The ICL 4/70 computer had 24,000 bytes of memory. It enabled the program to evaluate 200 positions per second. It could store 10,000 opening positions in its memory. The program was written in Assembly language. The Assembly code occupied 384K bytes (8-bit words). The Russians would have had a more powerful chess program if it had used an IBM machine, but they were not allowed to buy or use one. The speed of the ICL 4/70 was 900,000 instructions per second.

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