chessgames.com
Members · Prefs · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

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

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Alan Turing
Search Google for Alan Turing


ALAN TURING
(born Jun-23-1912, died Jun-07-1954) 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-22-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: Oh what a legacy he left us! That we can even communicate like this is in no small part due to him.
Jun-23-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  brankat: Born 100 years ago!

R.I.P. Mr.Turing.

Jun-23-12  goodevans: There's an <Alan Turing> puzzle on the Google UK search page today, http://www.google.co.uk/. It took me a few minutes to crack it. Is it on all the Google search pages worldwide?
Jun-23-12  Gryz: The puzzle is on the Dutch www.google.nl too.
Jun-23-12  goodevans: <Gryz> Thanks. I pleased to hear his importance is being recognised outside his home country.

Did you manage to solve it?

Jun-23-12  LoveThatJoker: Alan Turing, today you are remembered!

:)

LTJ

Jun-23-12  TheTamale: Ruben Fine, I believe, once wrote an essay on the low incidence of homosexuality in chess players. If I remember correctly, which I may not, his explanation was that chess itself is replete with phallic and patricide imagery and essentially as such serves as an acceptable "substitute" for homosexual inclinations. Something like that. (I believe Fine was a psychotherapist by trade.)
Jun-23-12  TheTamale: In any event, Turing is something of an icon in the world of math geekery, and I add my voices to the others in lamenting the fear and intolerance that led to his tragic demise.
Jun-23-12  sorokahdeen: From the limits of computability to the threshold of consciousness. His contribution to the war-effort saved countless thousands of lives and all he asked in return was to be left alone with the right man or two.

I wonder what he would think if he could have known that the former vice-president of the United State's daughter had made an honest woman of her long-term partner today.

At what distance would he have held his own life? Would he have called himself a stepping stone or just a man?

Jun-23-12  Bratek: <It’s worth looking up Turing’s original article titled “Digital Computers applied to chess” (1951, published in 1953) on The Turing Digital Archive and admire the typewriter script and the manual corrections in the text. But it’s even more interesting to read what Turing wrote in the introduction:

When one is asked, “Could one make a machine to play chess?” there are several possible meanings which might be given to the words. Here are a few: –

i) Could one make a machine which would obey the rules of chess, i.e. one which would play random legal moves, or which could tell one whether a given move is a legal one?

ii) Could one make a machine which would solve chess problems, e.g. tell one whether, in a given position, white has a forced mate in three?

iii) Could one make a machine which would play a reasonably good game of chess, i.e. which, confronted with an ordinary (that is, not particularly unusual) chess position, would after two or three minutes of calculation, indicate a passably good legal move?

iv) Could one make a machine to play chess, and to improve its play, game by game, profiting from its experience? Nowadays, it’s hard to believe the first three questions were ever in any kind of doubt, but the fourth one is a different matter altogether.

As anyone in possession of a chess playing program or engine surely has experienced, one of the last shortcomings of such software is the ability to teach the machine anything – from a subtle little move in an opening variation to the concept of a fortress, to a particular maneuver in an elementary rook ending.Nowadays, it’s hard to believe the first three questions were ever in any kind of doubt, but the fourth one is a different matter altogether.

As anyone in possession of a chess playing program or engine surely has experienced, one of the last shortcomings of such software is the ability to teach the machine anything – from a subtle little move in an opening variation to the concept of a fortress, to a particular maneuver in an elementary rook ending.>http://www.chessvibes.com/columns/t...

Jun-23-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: <Ruben Fine, I believe, once wrote an essay on the low incidence of homosexuality in chess players. >

Fine lived in a different, more repressed era. I met several gay or bi players over the years and heard about others, so I doubt there is much difference between chess players and the general population.

Jun-23-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: <In spite of the extraordinary service he rendered his nation, Turing was subsequently prosecuted for "gross indecency" in having a consensual relationship with another man.>

I wonder if there is more to the story, like someone setting him up for some reason. I have read accounts of the life of John Maynard Keynes and other British intellectuals, and their numerous homosexual affairs which they seemed very open about.

Jun-23-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: <MarmotPFL>

It doesn't seem like he was set up. One of the links talks about how Turing had gone to the police station to report a problem, a burglary IIRC, and incautiously let them know he was having an affair with a man.

The police lost interest in his initial complaint and went after him.

Jun-24-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Boomie: <Marmot PFL: I have read accounts of the life of John Maynard Keynes and other British intellectuals, and their numerous homosexual affairs which they seemed very open about.>

Not to mention the British spies Kim Philby, Donald Maclean, Guy Burgess, and Anthony Blunt, who were all openly gay.

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?

Jun-24-12  King Death: < Boomie: Not to mention the British spies Kim Philby, Donald Maclean, Guy Burgess, and Anthony Blunt, who were all openly gay.>

About Guy Burgess and Blunt there isn't any doubt even though according to one source Blunt had some affairs with women. I've read evidence that Maclean expressed homosexual feelings at times but those may have been in the moment and they wouldn't make him "openly gay". When was Philby known to have been involved with men? If it happened in public school (like it did with so many) that doesn't confirm his orientation. By that criterion probably many if not most British boys going through public school would be gay.

Regardless Turing was a brilliant man that fell victim to the laws of his times.

Jun-24-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: Jack Copeland (who wrote his Centenary Conference bio that is partially copied into the bio here) is also speculating that he may not have suicided, and that based upon the evidence available, an open verdict should have been the outcome.

In other words, it might have been suicide, or it may have been an accident, or...it may have been murder as his mother asserted. The problem as Copeland sees it is that the investigation into his death was badly handled and the coroner jumped to conclusions about his state of mind that were unjustified.

While it's uncontested that he died of cyanide poisoning, the exact details of how this occurred were, and are still, murky.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-e...

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  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  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.

Jump to page #    (enter # from 1 to 3)
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
NOTE: You need to pick a username and password to post a reply. Getting your account takes less than a minute, totally anonymous, and 100% free--plus, it entitles you to features otherwise unavailable. Pick your username now and join the chessgames community!
If you already have an account, you should login now.
Please observe our posting guidelines:
  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, or duplicating posts.
  3. No personal attacks against other users.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
Blow the Whistle See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform an administrator.


NOTE: Keep all discussion on the topic of this page. This forum is for this specific player and nothing else. If you want to discuss chess in general, or this site, you might try the Kibitzer's Café.
Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of Chessgames.com, its employees, or sponsors.
Spot an error? Please suggest your correction and help us eliminate database mistakes!


home | about | login | logout | F.A.Q. | your profile | preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | new kibitzing | chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | privacy notice | contact us
Copyright 2001-2014, Chessgames Services LLC
Web design & database development by 20/20 Technologies