PEASANT: An endgame program for kings and pawns
Tournament chess programs have had considerable difficulty in playing the endgame. The game scores presented by Professor Mittman in Chapter 1 and by Newborn  provide ample evidence of this weakness. Levy  has frequently pointed out this shortcoming. It is not clear whether the poor play which is generally observed is due to a basic weakness of the Shannon—Turing minimax approach [81, 82, 95, 96] as Harris suggests (see Chapter 7) or whether it is because the evaluation functions that have been used were not intended for the endgame. To examine this question, a program was written which uses a conventional α—β minimax search procedure but employs an evaluation function and tree-pruning heuristics which are specifically tailored for the endgame.
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