Overtom's weblog

CHESS MASTER 2  (1 july 2004)

Yesterday, you could read here how the GDR chess computer Chess Master didn't stand a chance against the program Chess Tiger on the hardware of a Zire palmtop.


But the comparison was not completely fair. After all, the opponent's hardware and software were made in the 21st-century, whereas Chess Master dates from halfway the eighties of the last century.

Today, I found a better-matched opponent, Advanced Star Chess, also dating back to the mid-eighties.

I agree Chess Master looks much more impressive than its small-sized opponent. But isn't there a saying: Appearances can be deceptive ?

These are the games the two computers played:

Chess Master - Advanced Star Chess

... and black wins.

Advanced Star Chess - Chess Master

... and white wins

Chess Master lost both games, which does not prove that Chess Master is an inferior computer.

What it proves - in my humble opinion - is that Kaare Danielsen, who is reputed to have programmed the small computer, was an excellent programmer.

What it may prove as well is that the US imposed ban on export of computer technology to countries behind the Iron Curtain was quite effective.

Whether this was a good thing for American  safety may be a point of discussion. But if the ban had not been imposed, it's anybody's guess what great chess computers the combination of chess playing and programming craftmanship might have brought about.

But that can only be speculation ...

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