Harry Nelson is a mathematician who spent most of his career at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). He became an expert on computer assembly and compiler optimization on CDC and Cray computers. He worked after hours on a computer chess program for the Cray 1 Called Cray Blitz. This FORTRAN program was originally written by Robert Hiatt at the University of Kansas. It was ported over to the Cray at LLNL and Harry looked at it and made many suggestions to speed up the program. In 1983 the Cray Blitz became the world champion in a tournament held by the International Computer Chess Association. It remained champion until beaten by IBMs Deep Blue in 1989. Most of the interview is taken up by Harry's involvement in the chess program, its method of play and operation. He retired from LLNL in 1991. He now makes mechanical puzzles and is involved in the International Association of Puzzle Collectors.
Nelson, Harry; Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL, LLL); Octopus; RECOMP II; Hiatt, Robert; International Computer Chess Association (ICCA); Levy, David; Berliner, Hans; CRAY X-MP; CDC 6600; Cray Blitz; chess; ICCA; North American Aviation