• unknown (b.)


An American mathematician, computer scientist and microcomputer chess pioneer. With husband Dan, she began chess programming in 1977 on a Z-80 based Wavemate Jupiter III in assembly language. Their first program, Sargon had a one or two ply search without quiescence but exchange evaluation. Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the family moved to California when she was 12-years-old, where she attended junior high and high school during which she took calculus. She always thought that she would do something in mathematics - maybe teach mathematics or in business. Before computers were widely prevalent actuarial calculations were all done in math and banking calculations were done by mathematicians - so-called, “computers”. She thought she would be a statistician. She attended San Fernando Valley State College, (later Cal-State Northridge), where she majored in mathematics and was fascinated by computers. Her brother was a computer programmer, already working in the industry. She took both computer classes that were offered in under-graduate work at that time; a half-unit class in FORTRAN and a half-unit class in COBAL taking the remainder of the classes in graduate school. In 1974, she met her husband Dan at Southland Distributors, in Burbank, California. He was working for Sperry-Univac, as a programmer and was installing a new program system for the warehouse at Southland. She met him while attending San Diego State, where Dan graduated, and she entered the Master’s Degree program. While there she was able to work on an IBM computer using keypunch cards. Just as she was finishing up her computer classes, they began installing terminals, and she could type her program right on the screen. With her husband, she started chess programming in 1977 on a Z-80 based Wavemate Jupiter III in assembly language. After the success at The Second West Coast Computer Faire MCCT in March 1978, and the shared third place at ACM 1978, she and her husband became professional computer chess programmers. Sargon II was ported to various early home computers, for instance TRS-80 and 6502 based Apple II, as well as dedicated units as Chafitz ARB Sargon 2.5. After civil proceedings between manufacturer Applied Concepts and their sales company Chafitz, who first marketed their Sargon 2.5 program, she and her husband began their long term collaboration with Sidney Samole and Fidelity Electronics in the 80s. Beside other successes, their computers won the first four World Microcomputer Chess Championships, Chess Challenger the WMCCC 1980, Fidelity X the WMCCC 1981, Elite Auto Sensory the WMCCC 1983 and Fidelity Elite X the WMCCC 1984 (shared). In 1989 or 1990, soon after Samole sold Fidelity to Hegener & Glaser, she and her husband started to work for Eric Winkler and Saitek, and developed a program for SPARC processors. The loss of Kasparov Sparc against Ed Schröder's ChessMachine in Madrid in 1992, almost ended their involvement in computer chess when they didn't win that world title.
  • Noted For:

    Computer chess co-programmer for the dedicated unit, Chafitz ARB Sargon 2.5; the first commercial dedicated chess computer with an Auto Respose Board (ARB)
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