Peter's z80.eu site blog
Evolution of vintage PC chess programs (until VGA was used) PART 4 
Saturday, July 2, 2016, 07:15 PM
Posted by Administrator
GNU Chess appeared earlier than 1990, but the only DOS version I've found was 3.0 and 3.1 (from 1989 and 1990), and version 3.1 offered a slightly polished textmode board...

If you're curious about the (compiled) DOS version, see "related link" below.
Btw. look at D2 or G1 - GnuChess 3.1 does not "repair" the traces of your movements (so it's programmed faulty in the display section).

A really beautiful chess display is offered in 1990 by Colossus X.
Looks a bit ugly in CGA...

But classes better in EGA:


Chessmaster 2100 can use EGA and looks in 1991 much better than every other chess game.


In the same year (1991), Fritz 1 was published, really a STRONG chess partner already !

This shows the EGA display. It runs surprisingly also in graphics mode on Hercules cards.

In the year 1993, Fritz 2 was published, now it has already reached an ELO number, I have to resign always ! Can be used with a VGA display, like the predecessor too.

It runs surprisingly in graphics mode on Hercules cards, too.

All following MS-DOS chess games which were published after 1993 can only be used with a VGA or SVGA card. So if you own a vintage PC with just a CGA, Hercules or EGA card, don't look for newer chess software.

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Evolution of vintage PC chess programs (until VGA was used) PART 3 
Saturday, July 2, 2016, 07:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
Available for many, many platforms, it should not miss in such a list: ChessMaster 2000:

Many (higher) version follows, this one appeared in 1986. Here CGA display was used. ChessMaster 2000 can be run also in graphics mode with Hercules cards (but looks ugly).

EDCHESS was an ugly, but playable alternative in 1988 (v1.0, v2 appeared in 1992):


Going on with Power Chess in 1989, graphics did NOT evolved:

This program is really SLOW. Just for completeness listed, not because it's good.

In 1989, the PC version of BattleChess arrived, very popular, unfortunately not really strong playing... but who cares while looking fights like the queen against a knight ;-)


In 1990, Chessplayer 2150 was published. Acceptable EGA graphics:



Continued in PART 4...
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Evolution of vintage PC chess programs (until VGA was used) PART 2 
Saturday, July 2, 2016, 05:30 PM
Posted by Administrator
1983 was the year Chess Partner was created.

Although the graphics was a bit like the VCS 2600 games, it uses color, but it's definitely not the best one at the time it was published.

Then in 1984, Chess 88 arrives, and it plays well (and still on the first IBM PCs).


Also in 1984, MyChess was available - looks great even in 2D (pieces were represented in a pseudo 3D look). Still no need for EGA or even VGA:


And very famous, Sargon III enters the scene in 1984, finally, for the PC too.


Cyrus looks *very* nice in (EGA) 3D mode, although it was not really strong. Created in 1985:


"related link" leads to an entry of a chess program wiki about MS-DOS versions.

Continued in PART 3.
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Evolution of vintage PC chess programs (until VGA was used) PART 1 
Saturday, July 2, 2016, 01:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
Before MS-DOS, CP/M rulez. And there were some chess programs like Sargon already.
A book for Sargon was published in 1978.

Unfortunately CP/M does not support graphics by default (GSX was not widely used!).
So the time for (serious) chess programs start with the birth of the IBM PC.
At the beginning, there was a chess program named "chess" (not very inventive):

It was originally written in BASICA, but it's usually found as a compiled executable only.

Later, in 1982, Psion 1 was published, and it has already nice (CGA or HGC) graphics.

One year later, Bluebush arrived the PC market, not really a strong chess game, but also has a nice look.


Look at "related link" for the BASICA (source) version of CHESS1.

I will continue this in PART 2.

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Less known, but very intesting for your vintage PC: PTS-DOS 2000 
Sunday, June 19, 2016, 05:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
I've added a static page for my web site z80.eu, see http://www.z80.eu/ptsdos.html

The PTS-DOS 2000 would be an ideal base for your vintage PC, has additional commands compared to MS-DOS 6.22, is much faster, and some features you will love (e.g. DEBUG command looks much more usable). The DEMO of PTS-DOS 2000 can be patched easily, so there is also no time delay anymore. It has a GUI which is much better than DOS Shell, and can be used instead of Norton Commander.

Check it out.

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