Sunday, August 1, 2010

Fidelity Electronics Chess Challenger

As long as I am making a trip down to memory lane, I remember how happy I was when I got a Chess Challenger for my birthday in 1981. As a starting young chess player, I certainly learned a lot from playing this computer, and I was thrilled when I had beaten the highest level for the first time. It certainly has sparked my interest in chess programming.

After playing for a while, I discovered that if Chess Challenger responsed to e2-e4 with e7-e7 from its random opening book, it could always be beaten at Level 1 through the game shown below. As depicted on the corresponding photo, the Chess Challenger would admit its defeat by flashing all 64 red indicators.
[Date "sometimes in 1981"]
[White "a much younger Aart Bik"]
[Black "Chess Challenger (Level 1)"]
[Result "1-0"]

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Bb5 a6
4. Bxc6 dxc6
5. Nxe5 Qd4
6. Qh5 Qxe4+
7. Kd1 Qxg2
8. Qxf7+ Kd8
9. Qxf8# 1-0

Although modern chess software is much more practical, it lacks some of the charm of those early day chess computers.