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Home * Engines * Turbostar

Scisys TurboStar 432 with KSO Module [1]

Turbostar, (SciSys Kasparov Turbostar)
a series of dedicated chess computers manufactured by SciSys as successor of the Superstar 36K, also with 4 KiB of RAM and 32 KiB of ROM within a 6502 processor at 4 MHz, twice the speed of the Superstar. The computer was first released in 1984 in direct competition with the Novag Super Constellation [2].

The enhanced program was the work of Heuristic Software as well, written by CEO Julio Kaplan, co-authored by Craig Barnes. Kaplan contends a quantum leap between the previous SciSys Superstar machine and the current Turbostar. The Turbostar is much faster. Further there's been a considerable improvement in designing efficient search trees, with improved pruning [3].

Kasparov's Endorsement

With Turbostar, Garry Kasparov started his cooperation with SciSys to endorse their products - Kasparov became additional brand name [4]. He was also engaged as opening book author, applied as Kasparov Selected Openings (KSO) module.


The Kasparov Selected Openings 8 KiB ROM module featured many of Garry Kasparov’s favorite opening lines and contain an additional program which allows it to recognize transpositions [5]. It did not arrive until early 1985 [6].

Selected Games

Kasparov Simul

Garry Kasparov played a simultaneous exhibition versus 32 chess computers in Hamburg, 1985, organized by the German weekly magazine Der Spiegel and ChessBase [7] [8]. He won with a perfect 32-0 score, and according to Kasparov in an Spiegel article, one Turbostar 432 might have missed the win with 37...Qa4 instead of Qb3 [9]:

[Event "Kasparov sim-32 (26)"]
[Site "Hamburg"]
[Date "1985.06.??"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Garry Kasparov"]
[Black "Turbostar 432"]
[Result "1-0"]

1.c4 e6 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 d5 4.Nf3 dxc4 5.O-O c6 6.a4 Be7 7.Qc2 Nbd7 8.Qxc4 Nb6 
9.Qc2 Nfd5 10.Nc3 Nb4 11.Qd1 O-O 12.d4 a5 13.e4 Bd7 14.Qe2 Be8 15.Rd1 f6 
16.Be3 Bh5 17.h3 f5 18.Bf4 Qd7 19.Re1 Bxf3 20.Bxf3 Bd6 21.Bxd6 Qxd6 22.Rad1 
f4 23.g4 Rad8 24.Rd2 e5 25.d5 h6 26.Red1 c5 27.Qb5 Ra8 28.Qf1 Qd7 29.b3 c4
30.bxc4 Rac8 31.g5 Nxc4 32.Ra2 Nxa2 33.Nxa2 Qxa4 34.gxh6 Qxa2 35.Qg2 Rc7 
36.d6 Rd7 37.Bg4 Qb3 38.Bxd7 Qxd1+ 39.Kh2 Rf7 40.Be6 Kf8 41.h7 Nxd6 42.h8=Q+ 
Ke7 43.Bxf7 Nxf7 44.Qhxg7 1-0

Kasparov's quote in Chess Metaphors: Artificial Intelligence and the Human Mind by Diego Rasskin-Gutman on that game [10] [11]:

At one point I realized that I was drifting into trouble in a game against one of the “Kasparov” brand models. If this machine scored a win or even a draw, people would be quick to say that I had thrown the game to get PR for the company, so I had to intensify my efforts. Eventually I found a way to trick the machine with a sacrifice it should have refused. From the human perspective, or at least from my perspective, those were the good old days of man vs. machine chess. 

WMCCC 1985

Three Turbostars played the WMCCC 1985 in Amsterdam with 3½, 3 and 2½ points out of 8 rounds respectively, finishing in the lower half of the field. The round 1 game, Blitz Monster Y aka Super Constellation versus the most successful Turbostar K [12]:

[Event "WMCCC 1985"]
[Site "Amsterdam, The Netherlands"]
[Date "1985.09.07"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Blitz Monster Y"]
[Black "Turbostar K"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c5 4.d5 exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.Nc3 g6 7.g3 Bg7 8.Bg2 O-O 
9.O-O Bg4 10.h3 Bxf3 11.Bxf3 Nbd7 12.Re1 Ne5 13.Bg2 Qb6 14.e4 c4 15.Rb1 Nd3 
16.Be3 Qb4 17.Rf1 Nd7 18.Qc2 Qa5 19.a3 Rfe8 20.b4 Qa6 21.a4 Rec8 22.Nb5 Kf8 
23.f4 Kg8 24.Bd4 Bxd4+ 25.Nxd4 Kf8 26.Kh2 Rab8 27.Nb5 Qb6 28.Qc3 f6 29.Nd4 
Qa6 30.b5 Qxa4 31.Ra1 Qb4 32.Qxb4 Nxb4 33.Rxa7 Nd3 34.Rf3 Kg8 35.Bf1 N7c5 
36.Bxd3 cxd3 37.Ra2 Nxe4 38.Rxd3 Nc3 39.Rb2 Nxd5 40.Nf5 Nxf4 41.gxf4 gxf5 
42.Rxd6 Kf7 43.Rd7+ Ke6 44.Rxh7 Rc4 45.Kg3 Rg8+ 46.Kh2 b6 47.Rb7 Rxf4 
48.Rxb6+ Ke5 49.Rc6 Rd4 50.b6 Rgd8 51.b7 Rd2+ 52.Rxd2 Rxd2+ 53.Kg3 Rb2 
54.Rc7 Rb3+ 55.Kg2 Kf4 56.Kf1 Rb2 57.h4 Kf3 58.Ke1 Kg4 59.Rh7 f4 60.Kd1
f3 61.Kc1 Rb6 62.Rg7+ Kxh4 63.Kd2 f2 64.Ke2 Rb2+ 65.Kf1 Kh5 66.Kg2 f1=Q+ 
67.Kxf1 Kh6 1/2-1/2 

Turbostar 2600

In 1994, Saitek announced the Turbostar 2600 with a RISC program by Ed Schröder, but it was not released [13].

See also


Forum Posts

External Links

Turbostar Chess Computer

Turbo & Star Misc

Turbo (gastropod) from Wikipedia
Turbomachinery from Wikipedia
Star from Wikipedia


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