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Welcome to Game of the Week! Each week there will be a new featured game on this page. The game may be good, average or diabolically bad, it really doesn't matter! Just look at the pics, read the text and enjoy the nostalgia! :-) Game of the Week! is open to contributions so if you would like to contribute a game article for this page you're more than welcome to! Every article we receive will be considered!

Mychess II
1984 Datamost Inc.
Programmed by Walter Hochbrockner

Colossus Chess 2.0
1984 Commercial Data Systems (CDS)
Programmed by M.P. Bryant

Most text of the present article comes from the
One-Off feature published in the third issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (July 1985).

Mychess takes on Colossus in clash of the giants
The Great Zzap Chess Playoff!

ZZAP DATELINE: a morning in May. In the post: a letter from Clive Bailey of Beyond Software, taking us to task for proclaiming (in our May issue) that Colossus Chess (version 2.0) from CDS was 'probably' the most powerful chess program on the 64. Nonsense, says Clive. Beyond's Mychess 2 is FAR better.

Not being quite so easily persuaded, we decide to stage a grand playoff between the two contenders. Well, fairly grand.

THE RULES. Two games on a reasonably fast advanced level (1 move per minute on average) and two on a very low level (1 move per 7 seconds). Each program is to take a turn at being black and white at each level.

THE PRELUDE. Loading up the two programs, the differences in presentation are very obvious. The Mychess 3D view is something of a gimmick, being a lot harder to use than the 2D view. However, the program is generous enough to suggest moves for its opponent. Colossus, on the other hand, offers alternative input modes, (keys or cursor) and, more importantly, a much clearer insight into its thought processes, including a continually updated report on who it thinks has the stronger position and by how much. Hmmmm . . . The key thing of course is the play itself.

GAME 1. We decided to play the high level games first and let Mychess II take the advantage of the white pieces for the first game. The game is a long and boring one, in which pieces are systematically exchanged without either side gaining an advantage. Play ends in a draw, Mychess seeming happy to move its king backwards and forwards and Colossus failing to press home the advantage of a superior pawn position.

GAME 2. The second advanced game is far more interesting, with Colossus taking white. It quickly evolves into an exciting and complex position, with both programs posing numerous threats. Mychess appears poised to go a full piece up with a neat pawn fork, but Colossus has an ace up its sleeve! It manages to pin and then capture Mychess's queen. Having secured this massive advantage, victory is only a matter of time.

INTERLUDE. Interesting: Colossus winning one and a half points to half a point on the high level. How will Mychess II cope with the low levels: would it avenge this humiliating defeat or be soundly beaten again?

GAME 3. The first low-level game puts Colossus on white and, after the opening, it instantly attacks. Mychess defends well and counter attacks. After several pieces exchanged, Mychess moves in and rocks Colossus with a swift and decisive checkmate! Perhaps the honour of Mychess will be redeemed after all!

GAME 4. Although Colossus has the black pieces in the final game, it again attacks soon after the opening and again Mychess fights back, tearing Colossus wide open at the back. Mychess advances his queen deep into the Colossus ranks, and takes a knight, rook and several pawns. Then the coup. It lines the rook up to checkmate the king, trapped behind three pawns, Colossus having completely failed to spot this most obvious of moves!

ZZAP VERDICT. Mychess II certainly appears by far the stronger program on lower (faster-playing) levels, winning here by a 2-0 margin. But for a higher-level game, Colossus appears distinctly superior. Sorry, Clive . . .




Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (26 December 2001)

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