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Julio Kaplan

Julio Kaplan

Julio Kaplan in 1974
Medal record
  1966 Student Team Chess Championship - Örebro, Sweden Third Board
  1976 Student Team Chess Championship - Caracas, Venezuela First Board

Julio Argentino Kaplan Pera (born 25 July 1950, Argentina) is an Argentine-born Puerto Rican chess player, former world junior champion and software developer founder of Heuristic Software.

Born in Argentina, he emigrated in 1964 to Puerto Rico, where he was raised and studied, and then later in his life to the United States, where he works for Autodesk. Earlier in his career, In the 1980s he programmed dedicated chess computers for SciSys and Saitek. In the early 90s he collaborated on the chess program Socrates.


In 1967, he was the Puerto Rico National Chess Champion. In addition, in 1967, he also won the World Junior Chess Championship in Jerusalem, followed by the well-known Raymond Keene, Jan Timman, Robert Hübner, etc. This victory earned Julio Kaplan the International Master title.

In 1968, he tied for 6-9th in Malaga. In 1969, he took 4th in Stockholm (World Junior Championship, Anatoly Karpov won). In 1969, he tied for 8-9th in San Juan (Boris Spassky won). In 1970, he won the 6th El Segundo Open, won the 6th Monterey International Open, and won the 2nd Central California Championship, held in Hayward. In 1971, he won the 22nd Annual California Open, held in Fresno. In 1973, he took 8th in São Paulo (Ostojic won). In 1973, he tied for 12-14th in Madrid (Karpov won). In 1974, he tied for 2nd-3rd with Florin Gheorghiu, behind Svetozar Gligorić, in Los Angeles.

Kaplan played for the Puerto Rico National Chess Team in four Chess Olympiads.

He played for the Puerto Rico National Chess Team (1966, 1971) and for the USA (1976) in the World Student Team Chess Championships.

He won the individual gold medal at Örebro 1966, and the team silver medal at Caracas 1976.

Software developer

Kaplan was always interested in computer chess, founding Heuristic Software Corporation whose first development was Heuristic Alpha in 1990-91. That evolved into Socrates and later Socrates II.

Socrates II was one of their most successful programs, winning the 1993 ACM International Chess Championship defeating opponents with special-purposed hardware and software for playing chess, like HiTech and Cray Blitz even when Socrates II ran on a stock 486 PC.

These achievements drew Electronic Arts's notice and they hired Kaplan's development team to develop Kasparov's Gambit, incorporating former world chess champion Garry Kasparov as brand name and adviser. Kasparov's Gambit was the first and sole effort of Electronic Arts to enter the chess market.

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