Overtom's weblog

CHESS computer??  (25 november 2008)

How do you like the following game?

You're right, it's not a game ... but believe me: I really wanted to present a game today ...

But let's start at the beginning: a week ago I saw an advertisement at eBay with the following text: 5 IN 1 COMPUTER GAME HOCKEY TENNIS SOCCER, CHESS.

"A nice addition to the Overtom Chess Computer Collection," I thought. So I ordered the game at once.

This morning it arrived. Needless to say I first went for the chess cartridge, which turned out to look like this:

Well, do you see what I see? This is not a chess game, but a game called "4-IN-LINE CHESS", better known as Four-In-A-Row (aka Connect-Four).

By the way, this is not the first game on eBay that was advertized as a chess game but appeared not to be able to tell a pawn from a bishop. Some sixteen months this game was advertized at eBay as computer chess:

It turned out not to be a chess computer, but a so-called kakuro game.

I wouldn't be surprised to hear there is some confusion about the word chess in China since both these computers (and a few others that I saw) had Chinese manuals or descriptions. I can, for instance, imagine the Chinese word for chessman also means game piece or, maybe more generally: game. But I agree these are mere speculations ...

The computer that arrived today cost no more than 19 dollars. So I can hardly blame you for thinking: "You cannot expect a computer that plays chess for that amount!"

Well, i have bought computers for one dollar at eBay, so that's hardly an argument. But I did not really expect the computer to play like Kasparov. But the least I could expect was that it played chess.

Finally, in case you are somewhat disappointed not to see an interesting game between computers, here is a nice little game between Fritz-one-ply (white) and Talking Touch Chess (black):

Well, be honest, rarely does one see Fritz (even playing at one ply) beaten in so few moves!

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