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A Turing 
 
Alan Turing
Number of games in database: 1
Years covered: 1952

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ALAN TURING
(born Jun-23-1912, died Jun-07-1954, 41 years old) United Kingdom

[what is this?]
Alan Mathison Turing was born in London, England and during World War II, he contributed greatly to the defeat of Hitler using his remarkable insights into the science of cryptanalysis to crack most of the Nazis' encrypted communications.

He is widely regarded as the father of modern computer science, largely due to his mathematical contributions which formalized the concept of the computer algorithm, and hypothetical computation engines (now known as Turing Machines), even before computers were a technological reality. According to Jack Copeland:*

"At a time when the term 'computer' meant nothing more than a human clerk who sat at a desk doing calculations with paper and pencil, Turing envisaged a 'universal computing machine', whose function could effortlessly be transformed from word processor to desk calculator to chess opponent—or anything else that we have the skill to pin down in the form of a program. Like many great ideas, this one now seems as obvious as the wheel and the arch, but with this single invention, the stored program universal computer, Turing changed the world.

In 1945 Turing went on to design a vast stored-program electronic computer called the Automatic Computing Engine—or ACE. The name was an homage to 19th century computing pioneer Charles Babbage, who proposed giant mechanical calculating 'engines'. Turing's sophisticated ACE design found commercial success in the English Electric Company's DEUCE, one of the earliest electronic computers to go on sale. The DEUCE became a foundation stone of the fledgling British computer industry, and, together with a small handful of other mark 1 computers—all in one way or another profoundly influenced by Turing's ideas—the DEUCE propelled the nation into the Computer Age. Turing also contributed to the triumph at Manchester, where Tom Kilburn and Freddie Williams built the first computer with memory stored programs, which can be considered as a universal Turing machine realised in electronic hardware. Their 'Baby', the world's first modern computer, came to life in June 1948, the same year that Turing joined the Computing Machine Laboratory at Manchester. He remained at The University of Manchester for the rest of his life."

In 1948, working with his former undergraduate colleague, D.G. Champernowne, Turing began writing a chess playing algorithm. In 1952, lacking a computer powerful enough to execute the program, Turing played a game against Alick Glennie, in which he simulated the computer, taking about 30 minutes per move. The program lost that game, although it is reported that it scored a victory against Champernowne's wife.

In the early 1950s, Turing was persecuted for his homosexuality, and prosecuted under British law. In 1954, Turing died from cyanide poisoning*, his death being ruled to have been suicide. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown released a statement on 10 September 2009 apologising and describing Turing's treatment as "appalling".

The 100th anniversary of his birth was celebrated at The Alan Turing Centenary Conference.**

Sources * http://www.economist.com/blogs/babb... ** http://www.turing100.manchester.ac....

Wikipedia article: Alan Turing


 page 1 of 1; one game  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. A Turing vs A Glennie 0-129 1952 Friendly gameC26 Vienna
 

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-24-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  pawn to QB4: <This maybe implies that there is more to this story than we know. Instead of intervening on Turing's behalf, the government chose to let him hang. Why? Did Turing, one of the great geniuses of the 20th century, know too much?>

Not necessarily. UK public attitudes to homosexuality back then were roughly what they are to paedophilia today. No contribution to society was great enough to excuse it. Nobody could be seen to intervene in the legal process to rescue a man accused of it. Probably half the politicians, lawyers and police shared the public prejudice anyway.

Fortunately we've moved on. You can drive along Alan Turing Way in Manchester. The mother-in-law commented "who's he? another town councillor naming the city after himself?" Still some way to go.

Jun-26-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  jahhaj: An excerpt from the lecture GK gave about Turing and computer chess. Includes a game by GK against Turing's algorithm. Turing didn't last long.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/0...

Aug-05-13  thomastonk: From "The Times" June 24, 1949: Under the titel "WORK OF COMPUTING MACHINES - NON-MATHEMATICAL USES" an article on "mechanical brains" published in to-day's (?) "British Medical Journal" written by Professor M.H.A. Newman, Manchester University, is reviewed. One quote: "For example, the playing of a legally correct game of bridge, poker, or chess could certainly be coded for the Manchester machine, and in this sense the machine could play these games."

So, I wonder whether the statement "In 1952, lacking a computer powerful enough to execute the program, Turing played a game against Alick Glennie, ..." (quoted from the biography above) is correct.

Aug-05-13  niemzo: Ruben Fine's remarks make you realize what nonsense even intelligent people used to believe in the past. I wonder if things we now hold as common sense will seem so bizarre to future generations.
Dec-24-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: <Alan Turing granted Royal pardon by the Queen>

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/...

Dec-24-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: One wrong of those repressed times finally put right in some small way....
Jun-23-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: R.I.P. Computer pioneer Alan Turing.
Jun-23-14  zborris8: T = s, Q = v, N = d :

"CMLCKM HL UELS FLHEDFO

EZT MQMV EXCCMFMN XZFFLH

IFNMVTHZFN HEM IFDSCLVHZFXM

LY MQMFHT."

- H. T. MKDLH

Jun-23-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Rookiepawn: Mr Alan Turing needs no pardon since he did no wrong. It is adding insult to injury to "pardon" someone you should apologize to.

Ms. Windsor may stick her ludicrous pardon up her pocket.

Jul-22-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: http://www.networkworld.com/article...
Feb-11-15  DiscoJew: Just saw the movie "The Imitation Game", featuring Turing. Highly recommended, it made me proud to be a chess player, and to realize how important chess players brains actually were in cracking Enigma and ending World War, saving undoubtably millions of lives. A toast to Turing, Alexander and others!
Feb-11-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: <DiscoJew> If there are no disco dancing in the movie, I am not watching it!!
Feb-11-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  waustad: When doing lectures on the history of computing it was always a question how to deal with different people involved in porgramming. There have been times I mentioned some of the social issues involved with Turing, but usually I stuck to him as a mathematician and spent more time on Bletchley Park. I gave them lists of web sites that told much more detail that I could in class. A beginning Java class for non-majors didn't seem to be the place for that discussion.

One reason I did history for the first few days was that there were so many adds and drops that having something they could just read for the first few days meant that I didn't have to repeat as much as I would have had I started out with programming syntax. Besides, I find it interesting.

Feb-12-15  HeMateMe: How could a nation like GB, which holds it's war heroes in such high esteem, have been so cruel to Turing? Could it be that the general public didn't have knowledge of his aid in defeating the Enigma code? Had they known, surely public opinion could have saved him from harassment? Helpful newspaper articles?

Think of how many allied merchant sailors and navy members he and his code breakers saved--surely a government would be appreciative of such a thing? Not a monster like Stalin, but a responsible government like that of England?

I can't wait to rent the movie when it comes around on Net flix or cable tv. I wonder if it was political--maybe he embarrassed or was going to embarrass someone in high places, maybe the royal family, and that's why they crushed him?

Feb-12-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  waustad: <HHM>Much of what was done at Bletchley Park was secret until much later. When the court cases involving ENIAC vs the Atanasoff and Berry computer were being tried in 1973, the British "first electronic computer," Colossus, was still secret. Turing's work was involved with espionage so making it public would have been against the official secrets act, about which you've probably read in Flemming or Le Carre novels.
Feb-12-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Colossus... The names of early computers showed off their ever-increasing size. In the 1980s there was the opposite effect - micro- and mini- were the prefixes to impress.
Feb-12-15  HeMateMe: Turing's work had huge repercussions in North Africa, too. The British had been pushed all the way to Cairo by Rommel's Afrika Corp, despite having numerical superiority in men and tanks. The British historian David Irving wrote a very descriptive book about Rommel in WWII.

He was a master of deception and movement. His staff would create an array of card board tanks, to fool British spotter planes. The real tanks would be hidden by camouflaged netting. Then, the real tanks would show up by surprise in another sector and win a battle. Or, the German trucks would be put in front of tanks, to create a sand block out of the sun. Then, the tanks would attack by surprise at Montgomery's positions.

It all changed when the Enigma code was broken. Rommel was in the habit of sending out hourly messages to Berlin and Italy, regarding his situations and timetable for battle and supplies. Suddenly the British knew exactly where and when he was going to attack. They knew the delivery times of oil tankers and spare tank parts from Italy, and those boats were duly sunk by the RAF. Without ammunition and enough oil to maneuver, Rommel was slowly ground down.

It wasn't Bernard Law Montgomery who was the biggest hero of North Africa; it was the breaking of the Enigma code.

Feb-12-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: "To ture" is a very rare old English verb. It means

<verb, intransitive: to offer toast to a group of people on a large silver platter or trencher (rare)>.

Apr-19-15  kamagong24: the code breaker!
Apr-19-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: Although I enjoyed Benedict Cumberbatch's performance, I found the movie The Imitation Game too inaccurate for my tastes. The most glaring inaccuracy is that the movie portrayed Turing building the machine from scratch. In fact he improved upon the Polish BOMBE computer, which was actually successful for a short period before the Nazis made some changes to the Enigma machine.

Also, no effort was made to explain what his ideas really were. The concept of a computer with its software stored in memory, as opposed to being "hardwired", was not once mentioned. (The idea, actually, is credited to John von Neumann although some scholars say that others had the notion before him.) Nor did we hear Turing talk about matters which were dear to his heart: algorithms, the halting problem, uncomputable numbers, or anything at all to do with computer science.

I realize that movie producers don't want the dialogue to go over the heads of the viewers, but why not? It's realistic. If you could travel back in time and have lunch with Alan, I'm sure half of what he said would go over your head.

And the kicker was the scene where Turing and his colleagues had to make a decision as to whether or not to act on decoded message regarding an attack on a English city. The dilemma was that if the Allies prevented the attack the Germans would know that their code was broken, but on the other hand one of the team had family in that city. These were real problems that the British military intelligence had to cope with, but they certainly weren't left up to Turing's group to decide. Once Turing's group was able to decode the messages their job was done.

Apr-19-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Sneaky> It is of course true that Turing, Welchman, Alexander et al did not begin at the beginning, but their work was of immense importance in the service of their country.
Apr-19-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <hemateme>

<It all changed when the Enigma code was broken. Rommel was in the habit of sending out hourly messages to Berlin and Italy, regarding his situations and timetable for battle and supplies. Suddenly the British knew exactly where and when he was going to attack. They knew the delivery times of oil tankers and spare tank parts from Italy, and those boats were duly sunk by the RAF. Without ammunition and enough oil to maneuver, Rommel was slowly ground down,>

That sounds like a load of crap, frankly, Two things happened before Rommel started getting beaten: Montgomery took over the army, and the British got hundreds of new tanks. I suspect that had a lot more to do Rommel losing than Enigma -- particularly the new tanks.

I don't think Rommel even knew when tankers were coming in.

Apr-19-15  HeMateMe: Well, I'm mostly quoting from British historian David Irving's book about Rommel. I've read two other books about 'Hitler's favorite general.' All the books concur in that Rommel was winning against the British 8th army, even when he was outnumbered in men, tanks and planes, until a few things happened: 1)the enigma code was broken, and now his advance battle plans were known by the British high command and 2) The RAF air force was strong in the Mediterranean, and their navy outclassed anything Italy had in the area. This meant that increasing numbers of German supply ships to north Africa were being captured or sunk by England. This occurred on an accelerated basis. You can't fight a war without supplies.

But, the key point that we seem to be debating is why Rommel was winning--he was simply a better general than Montgomery. Monty was the bonehead who forced Operation Market Garden down the throats of the allied high command, a poorly conceived strategy that got 10,000 men killed or captured, with all of their equipment lost. Rommel was the one whose tank division ran wild in France, during the 40 day defeat of the Third Republic, before being promoted to general.

It might also be that Germany had better tanks for sand use in the early desert war, better than what England had. Maybe the new British tanks were better than what Germany was using, better for warfare on hard sand? Hard to say. I've never heard anyone say that American or British tanks were better than what Germany was using during WWII. Perhaps there was some aspect of desert fighting that made the Brit tanks better for desert fighting? I don't know.

I wasn't implying that cracking enigma was the only factor in Rommel's defeat in North Africa, but it took away his ability to attack with surprise, which had carried the day for a year in North Africa, and drove the Brits almost all the way to Cairo.

You omit to mention that the American landings in north Africa put Rommel in a tight squeeze, and gave him even less room to maneuver. There was a point in North Africa where the Germans were outnumbered 20-1 in manpower. Subsequent victories are really nothing Bernard Law Montgomery should hang his hat on, IMO.

Perhaps the Windsors should have asked their Hohenzollern cousins to let up a bit?

Apr-19-15  devere: <Sneaky: And the kicker was the scene where Turing and his colleagues had to make a decision as to whether or not to act on decoded message regarding an attack on a English city. The dilemma was that if the Allies prevented the attack the Germans would know that their code was broken, but on the other hand one of the team had family in that city. These were real problems that the British military intelligence had to cope with, but they certainly weren't left up to Turing's group to decide. Once Turing's group was able to decode the messages their job was done.>

You are correct. That kind of decision was probably made by Winston Churchill.

Alan Turing was one of the primary innovators of computer science, and his name has been memorialized by the Association for Computing Machinery's A.M. Turing Award, which since 1966 has effectively served as the "Nobel Prize" in Computer Science.

Apr-20-15  Troller: <British historian David Irving> is a known WW2-revisionist. He also denies Holocaust. Luckily for him "historian" is not a protected title, as he never completed any education AFAIK.

He is knowledgeable on the Nazi Regime, but I would take his analysis with a grain of salt.

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