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Alick Glennie
Number of games in database: 1
Years covered: 1952

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(born 1925, died 2003, 78 years old) United Kingdom

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Alick Glennie wrote the first computer compiler, dubbed Autocode. He worked with the legendary genius Alan Turing on several projects and in 1952 he played what is generally considered the first ever game of computer chess against a program devised by Turing. Because the computers of the day were not fast enough to calculate the algorithms, Turing used a pen and paper to decode the program calculations. The match took several weeks to complete at the end of which Alick came out the victor. The game is linked below in the games section.

Wikipedia article: Alick Glennie

 page 1 of 1; one game  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. A Turing vs A Glennie 0-1291952Friendly gameC26 Vienna

Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
Mar-26-12  waustad: It is interesting that there are several people who "wrote the first compiler" like there were several "first electronic computers". On the other side of the pond this achievement is usually credited to Grace Hopper. It usually comes down to how one chooses to define the words.
Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: Or how one defines a "computer" let alone a "compiler".
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: To me, a compiler takes the code (pascal, possibly C/C++ especially) and turns it into a chip dependent program. Big/Little Endian was big when I was in school (Shows you how old I am...)

I had some friends who took upper level under graduate class(es) in compiler writing, that would maximize the code, and handle the 'stupidity' of people's codes.

As an example:

int a = 1, b = 0 c = 0;

if ((b != c) && (a > b)) this code would automatically fail on first comparison, and not bother with second...

I have often written spaghetti code, and hit 'compile', and let the compiler tell me what I did wrong. However, this would only take care of the syntax of the code, e.g. if (a = b) then c = d.

This is wrong, the correct syntax is if (a == b), but this did cut down my time when I am facing deadlines and I can get something running and then debug the finer points later.

A computer, is a machine, that encompasses CPU(s), RAMs, sound card, etc... I am old enough to remember, that to get a x386 chip with a math o-processor was a big deal, I paid 1300$ US for my first x386 with 4k of RAM and 3M of hard drive, dot matrix printer (Yes, you have rip the edges off the paper) and a 56k baud modem.)

Man, chicks loved me!! (Okay, maybe that's not so true...)

Also played with Apple IIe in school, Tandy computers, remember using casette tapes for storage, then floppy (big) disk, and then came the mini-disks...

You, youn'ns, y'all have no idea what we have to deal with, your basic cell phones (not even smart phone!) have more than I ever had!

Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: <WannaBe> So was Glennie's Autocode the first compiler? BTW, I bet I'm older than you, and I don't mean in dog years or bunny years...
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: <twinlark> I would consider the Autocode to be just a code, while Glennie served as both the compiler and the computer...

(Don't tell me you actually programmed punch cards or have to put in RSVP for computer time to run your punch cards only to find out you had one hole punched wrong or one card out of order, and had to wait for the next turn!! =)

Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: <WannaBe>

I was indeed involved in the punchcard and FORTRAN/BASIC/COBOL era in the late 60s and early 70s.

For some it was a challenge, unfortunately for me, it put me off.

But I do believe you've just redefined both compiler and computer...(?)

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