Stuff I use my microcomputer for #01 Chess

Avid readers of this blog will be well aware that I am a retro computer hobbyist, with my favourite machines being those produced by Acorn in the 1980s. You see, the 1980s were not only the days of Rubik's Cube, Ghostbusters, Tiffany, dreadful fashion and Margret Thatcher (oh, I've made myself sad) - for the 80s was also the time of the BBC microcomputer (yay, happy again!).

So, I've decided to start a series of posts about what I still use my BBC microcomputer for. Or, at the very least, a series of things that I would like to do more of.


Acornsoft Chess

Acornsoft Chess running on vintage hardware
Acornsoft Chess is a pretty decent chess program, all things considered. It features all legal chess moves including en passant and minor promotions. Moves are entered using pure coordinates, as shown in the image above. The software also has and 'edit' mode to explore different game positions and solve 'mate in two' type puzzles. Most importantly for the game's longevity is a 'save' feature, because leaving a microcomputer switched on permanently is not really an option.

There are ten levels of play, and as I consider myself to be of fairly average ability I have recently moved up to level 5, and as you can see from the image I am holding my own in this epic three-hour battle.

Acornsoft chess is not as speedy as a modern implementation, but this matters not because, for one thing, what do you expect from a 6502 processor with 32K RAM? The other thing is it is about as fast, if not better than an average game of online postal chess.

Well, that's it for today on pre-Internet Chess. I also play on Chess Time, so any readers who want to challenge me, my user name is superdecade and my current chess rating is 'very poor'. Please, if you do send me a challenge, keep the move limit four days or longer.

Well, must dash, it's my move.