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Tristan and Isolde with the Potion [1]

a Chess Engine Communication Protocol aka WinBoard compatible chess engine by James Swafford, written in C, using bitboards as basic data structure. Tristram, first released in October 1997, was freeware and predecessor of the much stronger Galahad [2]. Tristram participated at the CCT3 on-line tournament in 2001 and finished with 3 out of 8.


The name Tristram, like Galahad, refers to the Knights of the Round Table in the Arthurian legend, participating in the Quest of the Holy Grail. Tristram, also spelled Tristran, Tristrem and Tristan [3], is one of the main characters of the Tristan and Iseult story, a Cornish hero.

Tristan and Chess

Excerpt of Tristan and Isolde [4]

One day - Tristan was now fourteen years old - a merchant ship from Norway pulled ashore not far from the castle where Tristan lived with Rual and his family. Curious about the traders' offerings, Tristan and his two brothers (as he supposed Rual's sons to be) approached the ship. Tristan's attention immediately turned to a chess board and a set of beautifully carved pieces.
"Do you play chess?" he asked the merchants in perfect Norwegian.
One of them accepted his challenge, and they sat down to play.
Fascinated by his grace, skill, and good looks, the Norwegians hatched a plot to kidnap him. Keeping him engaged with the chess game, they weighed anchor and set sail. But by God's will a fierce storm arose, and the Norwegians feared that they would all perish. Sensing that their wicked act had brought about the tempest, they avowed that they would immediately release their captive if the storm would only abate. The wind and waves immediately slackened, and in keeping with their promise, they set the boy free on the nearest shore, which, as fate would have it, was on the coast of Cornwall. 

Selected Games

CCT3, Round 2, Tristram - Sjeng [5]

[Event "CCT3"]
[Site "Internet Chess Club"]
[Date "2001.05.26"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Tristram"]
[Black "Sjeng"]
[Result "1-0"]

1.c4 c5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.g3 d5 5.d4 e6 6.cxd5 exd5 7.Bg5 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Bc5 
9.e3 Bxd4 10.exd4 O-O 11.Be2 Bh3 12.Qd2 Re8 13.O-O-O Nb4 14.Bb5 Re6 15.a3 Nc6 
16.Rhe1 a6 17.Rxe6 Bxe6 18.Bxc6 bxc6 19.Qf4 Rc8 20.Re1 c5 21.Bxf6 gxf6 22.dxc5 
Rxc5 23.Rd1 Rc8 24.Kb1 Rc6 25.f3 f5 26.Qd4 Rd6 27.Ne2 Qb6 28.Nf4 Qxd4 29.Rxd4 
Kg7 30.Kc2 Kf6 31.Kd2 Ke5 32.Ke3 Rd8 33.Nd3+ Kf6 34.Ra4 Rd6 35.Rh4 Kg7 36.Rd4 
Kf6 37.Kd2 Bd7 38.Nb4 Be6 39.Rh4 Kg7 40.Nd3 Rb6 41.Rd4 h6 42.Rf4 Kg6 43.Ra4 Rd6 
44.Ke3 Kf6 45.Rd4 Rb6 46.Rh4 Kg7 47.Ra4 Bd7 48.Rb4 Re6+ 49.Kd4 Re2 50.h3 Rd2 
51.Ke3 Rc2 52.Nf4 Rh2 53.Rb7 Bb5 54.b3 Rb2 55.Ne6+ Kg6 56.Nd4 Rb1 57.Kf4 Bc4 
58.Rb6+ f6 59.Rb7 Bd3 60.Ne6 Rxb3 61.Nf8+ Kh5 62.Rh7 Rb4+ 63.axb4 d4 64.g4+ fxg4 
65.hxg4+ Kh4 66.Rxh6# 1-0

See also

Forum Posts

External Links

Chess Engine


1995 Bayreuth production by Heiner Müller conducted by Daniel Barenboim
Siegfried Jerusalem and Waltraud Meier were the Tristan and Isolde


  1. John William Waterhouse - Tristan and Isolde with the Potion
  2. Galahad by James Swafford, CCC, June 29, 1999
  3. Variant spellings of the hero's and heroine's names include Tristan, Tristran, Tristram, Tristrem, Isolde, Iseult, Isolt, Isot, Yseult, and Ysolt - from Tristan and Isolde retold by D. L. Ashliman
  4. Tristan and Isolde retold by D. L. Ashliman
  5. CCT3 games
  6. Gottfried von Strassburg from Wikipedia
  7. Stavenhagen from Wikipedia
  8. Tristan (Gottfried von Straßburg) from (German)

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