The development of chess programming during the 1970s can be viewed as an intellectual battle between proponents of a highly selective search and advocates of a brute-force, full-width search. The annual ACM tournaments consistently demonstrated that the full-width search not only played better chess, but demonstrated discernible progress from one year to the next. Initially, many observers proposed that these gains were temporary and that this strategy would rapidly approach a ceiling beyond which only minimal improvements could be observed. These predictions have not been substantiated by the course of events. Newborn  has even proposed that there is a simple linear relationship between depth of search and USCF rating. He proposes that high level chess can be achieved by making technical refinements which increase the number of positions evaluated per second. Belle plays a pivotal role in this controversy since this program, more than any other, represents the application of the leading edge of computer technology in the service of a brute-force, full-width search.
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