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Monday, March 4, 2013

Julio Kaplan

Lone Pine 1980

       Kaplan, world junior champion and founder of Heuristic Software, was born 25 July 1950.  He emigrated to Puerto Rico in 1963, eventually moving to the United States, where he works for Autodesk (drafting software).  During the 1980s he programmed dedicated chess computers for  SciSys and Saitek, and  in the early 90s he collaborated on the chess program Socrates.
      In 1967, Kaplan was the Puerto Rico Champion and the same year he won the World Junior Championship ahead of Raymond Keene, Jan Timman and Robert Huebner which gained him the IM title.
      The following year he tied for 6–9th in Malaga and in 1969, he took 4th in the World Junior Championship which was won by Karpov.  The in 1969 he tied for 8th-9th in San Juan.
      In 1970, he won several strong opens in California: El Segundo Open, Monterey International Open, and the Central California Championship and in 1971, the 22nd Annual California Open. In 1972 he took part in an international event in Sao Paulo, finishing 8th and in 1973 he tied for  12–14th in Madrid.  He had better results in 1974 in Los Angeles where he tied for second with Florian Gheorghiu behind Svetozar Gligoric.

      Kaplan played for Puerto Rico in four Olympiads:
  • In 1966, at second reserve board (Havana) +6 –4 =4
  • In 1968, at first board (Lugano) +1 –1 =4
  • In 1970, at first board (Siegen)  +5 –1 =7
  • In 1972, at first board (Skopje)  +7 –1 =9
       He also played for Puerto Rico National Chess Team in 1966 and 1971 at the World Student Team Chess Championships. In 1966, at third board he scored +7 –1 =3 and in 1971, at first board, he scored +4 –2 =6.
       In 1976 he represented the US at the World Student Team Chess Championships playing first board and scoring +3 -0 =5.
       Kaplan founded  Heuristic Software Corporation and his program played in the human vs. computer Harvard Cup 1991 tournament where it scored +2 -2 =0 and defeated GMs Patrick Wolff and Michael Rohde.  One of Kaplan’s programs, Socrates II, was one of their most successful programs, winning the 1993 ACM International Chess Championship.
      As a result of that success, Kaplan's development team was hired to develop Kasparov’s Gambit chess program.  A 2006 interview with Kaplan can be found here.
A recent photo

In the following game he soundly thrashes Arturo Pomar.

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