SD Chess

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SD Chess,
a chess program developed in 1977 by Ira Baxter from Software Dynamics, written entirely in SD Compiler Basic on a 6800 microcomputer, using a minimax tree lookahead scheme [1]. To simplify the move generation, SD Chess stores the chess board in the middle of a 12 by 12 field, with the borders filled with white pawns [2]. SD Chess competed in the Microcomputer Chess Tournament of the Second West Coast Computer Faire, March 3–5, 1978. A program called Chess D by Ira Baxter was on the Stand-By list of the WCCC 1983 in New York [3].



SD Chess at The Second West Coast Computer Faire, March, 1978 [4]



  1. Douglas Penrod (ed.) (1977). Computer Chess Newsletter, Issue 2. p. 9, hosted by The Computer History Museum, Courtesy of Peter Jennings
  2. Ira Baxter (1978). Software Dynamics Chess. Personal Computing, Vol. 2, No. 6, pp. 91
  3. The Fourth World Computer Chess Championship (labeled 22nd ACM), pdf from The Computer History Museum, pdf from Danny Kopec
  4. Chris Morgan (1978). The Second West Coast Computer Faire. BYTE, Vol. 3, No. 7, hosted by Modern Mechanix, Photo 4: Ira Baxter’s chess playing system display, which competed in the Microcomputer Chess Tournament at the Faire. The level of play was impressive, and the winning program, called SARGON, was a 16 K byte Z-80 assembler program written by a husband and wife team, Kathe and Dan Spracklen.

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