WCCC 1986

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Cologne skyline [1]

The Fifth World Computer Chess Championship took place from June 11 to 15, 1986, within the scope of Cologne Trade Fair, Cologne, West Germany. It was a tough and controversial tournament. Four programs finished with four out of five, and the winner was determined by sum of opponent scores. That is why the tournament was also decided by games from the bottom half.

The program Rebel on a 6502 TurboKit TK20 @ 10 MHz [2] was close to become the champion against the mainframe programs, but didn't manage to win a "won game" in the last round against Bebe. The later winner, Cray Blitz lost the second round against Bobby, but managed to win the last round against HiTech, which had a perfect score so far. A protest by Hans Berliner, suspicious by a move of Cray Blitz was declined by the arbiter after inspecting Blitz's log-files. Lucky for Cray Blitz was the adjudicated win against Schach 2.7 [3] . Years later, Rex co-author Sam Sloan started a campaign and claimed cheating by various sides [4] .

Final Standing

5th World Computer Chess Championship 1986, Cologne FRG [5] [6]

# Program CC R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 Total SOS SoDOS G
1 Cray Blitz US 20w1 6b0 2w1 14b1 3w1 4 14½ 11½ 5
2 Bebe US 16b1 15w1 1b0 11w1 5b1 4 13½ 5
3 HiTech US 18b1 14w1 7b1 5w1 1b0 4 13½ 5
4 Sun Phoenix CA 5b0 11w1 18b1 7w1 6b1 4 13 10 5
5 Rebel NL 4w1 12b1 6w1 3b0 2w0 3 17½ 5
6 Bobby DE 19b1 1w1 5b0 8w1 4w0 3 15½ 5
7 Plymate SE 21b1 8w1 3w0 4b0 12w1 3 14½ 5
8 Mephisto X GB 9w1 7b0 17w1 6b0 14w1 3 13 7 5
9 Dutch NL 8b0 19w1 11b½ 15w½ 13w1 3 11½ 5
10 Nona NL 14b0 18w0 21b1 22b1 15w1 3 3 5
11 Advance 68K GB 17w1 4b0 9w½ 2b0 19w1 14½ 5 5
12 Lachex US 13b1 5w0 16b½ 18w1 7b0 12 5 5
13 Ostrich CA 12w0 20b1 15b½ 16w1 9b0 11 5
14 Schach 2.7 DE 10w1 3b0 22w1 1w0 8b0 2 14 3 5
15 Cyrus 68K GB 22w1 2b0 13w½ 9b½ 10b0 2 12 5
16 Vaxchess GB 2w0 23b1 12w½ 13b0 17w½ 2 11 5
17 Chat DE 11b0 21w1 8b0 19w½ 16b½ 2 10 5
18 BCP GB 3w0 10b1 4w0 12b0 20w½ 15 5
19 Enterprise DK 6w0 9b0 20w1 17b½ 11b0 12 5
20 Awit CA 1b0 13w0 19b0 21w1 18b½ 10½ 1.75 5
21 Rex US 7w0 17b0 10w0 20b0 22b1 1 10½ 1 5
22 Shess NL 15b0 bye 14b0 10w0 21w0 1 8 0 4
23 Kempelen HU bye 16w0 0 2 0 1


5th World Computer Chess Championship 1986, Cologne FRG [7]

Program CC Authors, Operators Hardware, Processor Language Nodes/sec
Advance 68K GB Mike Johnson, Dave Wilson 68000 Assembly 100
Awit CA Tony Marsland Amdahl 5860 Algol-W 8
BCP GB Don Beal Zilog Z8000 system Assembly 5,000
Bebe US Tony Scherzer, Linda Scherzer SYS-10, AMD Am2900 Bit slice Assembly 45,000
Bobby DE Hans-Joachim Kraas, Günther Schrüfer Amdahl 470 V7B Pascal 400
Chat DE Wolfgang Delmare CDC Cyber 175 Pascal 500
Cray Blitz US Robert Hyatt, Harry Nelson, Albert Gower Cray X-MP-48 Fortran, CAL 100,000
Cyrus 68K GB Mark Taylor, Kevin O’Connell, David Levy IBM PC with 68020 card Assembly 3,000
Dutch NL Harry Nefkens, Roger Hünen, Jaap van den Herik GOULD C 1,000
Enterprise DK Kaare Danielsen 6301Y Assembly 500
HiTech US Hans Berliner, Carl Ebeling et al. Sun-3 + Chess Hardware C 175,000
Kempelen HU Attila Kovács Atari 520 ST C, Assembly n.a.
Lachex US Burton Wendroff, Tony Warnock Cray X-MP 4/16 Fortran, CAL 40,000
Mephisto X GB Richard Lang, Ossi Weiner 68000 Assembly 2,000
Nona NL Frans Morsch, Hans van der Zijden Mondial 65C02 system Assembly 800
Ostrich CA Monroe Newborn Eclipse + 7 x Nova 4 Assembly 2,000
Plymate SE Ulf Rathsman 6502 Assembly 2,500
Rebel NL Ed Schröder, Jan Louwman 6502 TurboKit @ 10 MHz Assembly 500
Rex US Don Dailey, Sam Sloan 80286 Tandy 3000 Pascal n.a.
Schach 2.7 DE Matthias Engelbach B 7800 Algol 1,500
Shess NL Ard van Bergen MicroVAX II Fortran, Assembly 400
Sun Phoenix CA Jonathan Schaeffer 2*10 Sun-3 with 68020 C n.a.
Vaxchess GB Tony Guilfoyle, Richard Hooker MicroVAX Assembly 800

Photos & Games

Round 4

Awit - Rex

Kaare Danielsen, Tony Marsland, Don Dailey, ..., Sam Sloan [8] Awit - Rex Score sheet [9] [10] [11] [12]
[Event "WCCC 1986"]
[Site "Cologne, Germany"]
[Date "1986.06.14"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Awit"]
[Black "Rex"]
[Result "1-0"]

1.b3 e5 2.Bb2 Nc6 3.e3 d5 4.Bb5 Qg5 5.Nf3 Qxg2 6.Rg1 Qh3 7.Bxe5 Bg4 8.Rg3
Bxf3 9.Qxf3 Qh6 10.Qxd5 Ne7 11.Bxc6+ bxc6 12.Qf3 Nd5 13.Qg4 Qxh2 14.Bxg7 Bxg7
15.Qxg7 Ke7 16.Qe5+ Kd7 17.Na3 Ne7 18.Qd4+ Ke6 19.Qe4+ Kd7 20.Rg7 Qh5 21.Nc4
Ke8 22.Ne5 f5 23.Qg2 Qh6 24.Nxc6 Nxc6 25.Rxc7 Kf8 26.Rxc6 Qg7 27.Rf6+ Qxf6
28.Qxa8+ Kf7 29.Qxa7+ Kf8 30.d4 Ke8 31.Ke2 Kf8 32.c4 h6 33.a4 Rg8 34.a5 Rg7
35.Qc5+ Re7 36.a6 f4 37.a7 f3+ 38.Kf1 Kg8 39.a8=Q+ Kh7 40.Qh5 Rf7 41.Ra6 Kg7
42.Rxf6 Rxf6 43.Qe5 h5 44.Qxf3 1-0

Game and short analyze on Lichess.org : [1]

Bobby - Mephisto X


Günther Schrüfer, Hans-Joachim Kraas, Ossi Weiner and Richard Lang [13]

Round 4, Bobby - Mephisto X [14]

[Event "WCCC 1986"]
[Site "Cologne, Germany"]
[Date "1986.06.14"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Bobby"]
[Black "Mephisto X"]
[Result "1-0"]

1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.c4 Nb6 5.exd6 exd6 6.Nc3 Be7 7.h3 O-O 8.Nf3 Nc6
9.Be2 Bf5 10.O-O Qd7 11.Bf4 Rae8 12.a4 Bf6 13.a5 Nc8 14.a6 b6 15.g4 Bxg4
16.hxg4 Qxg4+ 17.Bg3 Nxd4 18.Nxd4 Qxd4 19.Qc2 h6 20.Rfd1 Qc5 21.Nb5 Be5
22.Rd5 Qc6 23.Bxe5 Rxe5 24.Rxe5 dxe5 25.Bg4 Nd6 26.Nxa7 Qc5 27.Bd7 e4 28.Nb5
Nxb5 29.Bxb5 Qg5+ 30.Kf1 Qh4 31.Rd1 Qh1+ 32.Ke2 Qf3+ 33.Ke1 Qh1+ 34.Kd2 Qg2
35.Kc1 Qg6 36.Qb3 c6 37.Ba4 c5 38.Qg3 Ra8 39.Qxg6 fxg6 40.Bb5 g5 41.Rd7 h5
42.a7 e3 43.fxe3 Rf8 44.Bc6 h4 45.a8=Q Rxa8 46.Bxa8 h3 47.Rd5 1-0

Game and short analyze on Lichess.org : [2]


Round 4, Schach 2.7 - Cray Blitz, Adjudication by Michael Valvo with help of Vlastimil Hort after seven hours of play [15] [16] .

[Event "WCCC 1986"]
[Site "Cologne, Germany"]
[Date "1986.06.14"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Schach 2.7"]
[Black "Cray Blitz"]
[Result "0-1"]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bg5 O-O 6.e3 Ne4 7.Bxe7 Qxe7 8.Nxe4 dxe4
9.Nd2 e5 10.dxe5 Qxe5 11.Qc2 Na6 12.O-O-O Bg4 13.f3 exf3 14.gxf3 Bh5 15.Bd3 f5
16.Rhe1 Rad8 17.Bf1 Qxh2 18.c5 Qe5 19.c6 Kh8 20.cxb7 Nc5 21.Nc4 Qg3 22.Qxf5 Rxd1+
23.Rxd1 Qxf3 24.Qxf3 Bxf3 25.Rd4 Bxb7 26.Be2 g6 27.Ne5 Re8 28.Ng4 Re4 29.Kd2 h5
30.Nf6 Rxd4+ 31.exd4 Ne4+ 32.Nxe4 Bxe4 33.Ke3 Bd5 34.Kf4 Bxa2 35.Bd3 Kg7 36.Kg5 Bf7
37.Be4 a5 38.Bc6 Bg8 39.Be4 Bh7 40.Bd3 h4 41.Bf1 Bg8 42.Bh3 Bd5 43.Bg4 Be4 44.Kxh4
Kf6 45.Bd7 Bf5 46.Bc6 g5+ 47.Kg3 0-1

Game and short analyze on Lichess.org : [3]

Showdown in round 5

last table yet unidentified

David Levy kibitzing (left, standing) Mephisto X - Schach 2.7 Richard Lang, Ossi Weiner

Ard van Bergen Rex - Shess Don Dailey (back) Vaxchess operator (?) Vaxchess - Chat Wolfgang Delmare (back)

Hans van der Zijden Nona - Cyrus 68K Kevin O’Connell (back), Mark Taylor (back)

Hans-Joachim Kraas, Günther Schrüfer Bobby - Sun Phoenix Jonathan Schaeffer (back)

Harry Nelson

Cray Blitz - HiTech

Carl Ebeling, Hans Berliner (back)

Jan Louwman, Ed Schröder

Rebel - Bebe

Tony Scherzer (back)

Total view [17]


Hans Berliner and Carl Ebeling

David Levy Nona - Cyrus 68K Hans van der Zijden (back)

Vaxchess - Chat Wolfgang Delmare

Sam Sloan, Don Dailey Rex - Shess

Ard van Bergen

part of Richard Lang, Ossi Weiner Mephisto X - Schach 2.7

Other perspective [18]

Nona - Cyrus 68K


Nona - Cyrus 68K, just before 14... Ke8, Mark Taylor, Kevin O’Connell and David Levy [19] [20]

[Event ""WCCC 1986"]
[Site "Cologne, Germany"]
[Date "1986.06.15"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Nona"]
[Black "Cyrus 68K"]
[Result "1-0"]

1.d4 e6 2.e4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 Ne7 5.Bd2 Nf5 6.Nf3 Be7 7.Bd3 Nc6 8.Be3 Nxe3 9.fxe3 Nb4
10.Be2 c5 11.O-O Nc6 12.Na4 c4 13.Nc3 Kf8 14.e4 Ke8 15.Rf2 h6 16.exd5 exd5 17.Qd2 Bf5
18.Nd1 Nb4 19.Ne3 Be4 20.b3 cxb3 21.axb3 h5 22.Ng5 Bxg5 23.Qxb4 Qe7 24.Bb5+ Kf8 25.Qxe7+
Kxe7 26.Re1 Ke6 27.c4 Raf8 28.cxd5+ Bxd5 29.Nxd5 Kxd5 30.e6 Be7 31.Rxf7 Rxf7 32.exf7 Bb4
33.Rd1 Rf8 34.Be2 h4 35.Bc4+ Kd6 36.Rf1 Bc3 37.Rf4 Rh8 38.f8=Q+ 1-0

Few moves later: Vlastimil Hort, Frans Morsch, Hans van der Zijden,
Hans-Joachim Kraas far right in Bobby vs Sun Phoenix [21]

Game and short analyze on Lichess.org : [4]

Bobby - Sun Phoenix

[Event "WCCC 1986"]
[Site "Cologne, Germany"]
[Date "1986.06.15"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Bobby"]
[Black "Sun Phoenix"]
[Result "0-1"]

1.e4 e6 2.b3 d5 3.Bb2 dxe4 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.Qe2 Be7 6.O-O-O Qd4 7.Re1 O-O 8.Nxe4 Qxe4
9.Qxe4 Nxe4 10.Rxe4 Nd7 11.Nf3 Bc5 12.d4 Nf6 13.Rh4 Be7 14.Kb1 e5 15.h3 e4 16.Ne5 Be6
17.Bc4 Bxc4 18.bxc4 c5 19.d5 e3 20.Rf4 exf2 21.Rxf2 Ne4 22.Rf4 Nd2+ 23.Ka1 Bd6 24.Re1
Rae8 25.Re2 f5 26.Rh4 Ne4 27.Nd3 Re7 28.Re3 g6 29.Nc1 Rfe8 30.a4 h5 31.Nb3 Kh7 32.Na5
Kh6 33.Rf3 Ng3 34.Rb3 b6 35.Nc6 Re1+ 36.Ka2 g5 37.Nxa7 Ra8 38.Nb5 Rxa4+ 39.Ba3 Be5
40.Nd4 0-1

Game and short analyze on Lichess.org : [5]

Cray Blitz - HiTech


Cray Blitz - HiTech, recognized people: Schaeffer, Nelson, Berliner, Ebeling, Schröder [22]

[Event "WCCC 1986"]
[Site "Cologne, Germany"]
[Date "1986.06.15"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Cray Blitz"]
[Black "Hitech"]
[Result "1-0"]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 e6 5.Bxc4 c5 6.Qe2 a6 7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.O-O b5
9.Rd1 Qe7 10.Bd3 e5 11.e4 Nc6 12.Nc3 Bg4 13.Be3 Rd8 14.h3 Bxe3 15.Qxe3 Bxf3
16.Qxf3 Nd4 17.Qg3 O-O 18.a4 b4 19.Nd5 Nxd5 20.exd5 Rxd5 21.Bxa6 b3 22.Qe3 Rfd8
23.Bc4 Nc2 24.Qe2 Rc5 25.Rxd8+ Qxd8 26.Rb1 Nd4 27.Qf1 Qd7 28.Ra1 Qc6 29.Bb5 Nxb5
30.axb5 Qb7 31.Ra3 g6 32.Rxb3 Qd5 33.Rb4 Rc2 34.b3 Qd2 35.Rc4 Rb2 36.Re4 Qd5
37.Qc4 Qd1+ 38.Kh2 Rxf2 39.Rxe5 Qd6 40.Qc8+ Kg7 41.Qc5 Qd2 42.Rg5 Re2 43.Rg4 Qa2
44.Qc3+ Kg8 45.b6 Qa8 46.Qc7 Qf8 47.b7 Re8 48.Rc4 Kg7 49.Rc6 Rb8 50.Qc8 Rxc8
51.bxc8=Q Qb4 52.Qc7 Qxb3 53.Qe5+ Kh6 54.Qf4+ Kg7 55.Qd4+ Kh6 56.Rb6 Qc2 57.Qf4+
Kg7 58.Qf6+ Kh6 59.Qxf7 Qc8 60.Rd6 1-0

Vlastimil Hort, Harry Nelson and Hans Berliner [23]

Game and short analyze on Lichess.org : [6]

Rebel - Bebe

[Event "WCCC 1986"]
[Site "Cologne, Germany"]
[Date "1986.06.15"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Rebel"]
[Black "Bebe"]
[Result "0-1"]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 e6 4.Nc3 exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.e4 g6 7.Bf4 a6 8.Nf3 Bg4
9.Be2 Qb6 10.Qd2 Bg7 11.O-O O-O 12.h3 Bxf3 13.Bxf3 Nbd7 14.Rad1 Rfe8 15.b3 Ne5
16.Be2 Qb4 17.Qc2 Re7 18.Bg3 Rae8 19.Rfe1 g5 20.Rf1 Kh8 21.Rc1 h5 22.f4 gxf4
23.Rxf4 Ng6 24.Rf5 Nxe4 25.Nxe4 Qxe4 26.Qxe4 Rxe4 27.Bxh5 Ne7 28.Rxf7 Bd4+
29.Kh1 Nxd5 30.Rxb7 Rd8 31.Bf3 Re3 32.Bh4 Nf6 33.Rf7 Re6 34.Bd5 Nxd5 35.Bxd8 Nb4
36.a3 Kg8 37.Rcf1 Nc2 38.Rf8+ Kg7 39.a4 d5 40.h4 Ne3 41.R1f7+ Kg6 42.Rc7 Nd1
43.Rg8+ Kf5 44.Rf7+ Ke4 45.g4 Kd3 46.h5 Re1+ 47.Kg2 Ne3+ 48.Kg3 Be5+ 49.Kh4 Rh1+
50.Kg5 Rg1 51.Kg6 Rxg4+ 52.Bg5 Rb4 53.Bxe3 Kxe3 54.Re8 Rg4+ 55.Kh7 Re4 56.Ra7 d4
57.Rxa6 d3 58.Rg6 d2 59.Rg1 Kf2 60.Reg8 Re1 61.R1g2+ Ke3 62.Rxd2 Kxd2 63.Rc8 Bd4
64.Rb8 Re6 65.Rb7 Kc2 66.b4 c4 67.b5 c3 68.Rd7 Kd3 69.b6 c2 70.b7 c1=Q 0-1

Game and short analyze on Lichess.org : [7]


A workshop under the title "Selective Search versus Brute Force" took place during the Championship. Four lectures were published in the ICCA Journal:


Workshop panel: Helmut Horacek, Thomas Nitsche, David Levy, Adriaan de Groot and Don Beal [24]

See also


Forum Posts

External Links


  • The World Computer Chess Championship in Cologne 1986, YouTube Video
NDR broadcast hosted by Ed Schröder, posted by Julien Marcel [26] [27] (German) [28]
Excerpt from Schach dem Roboter (Les Robots pensants), 2:27
Excerpt from Levy versus Chess 4.8, Hamburg, ZDF broadcast, February 07, 1979, 3:53 [29] [30] [31]
Interviews by Albrecht Fölsing with Kaare Danielsen 9:44, Günther Schrüfer 11:00, Ossi Weiner 11:40,
Ephraim Kishon 14:10, Adriaan de Groot 22:20, Hans Berliner 24:14
Cognitive experiments by Dieter Steinwender and Frederic Friedel with András Adorján et al. 16:58


  1. Cologne from Wikipedia
  2. Schaetzle+Bsteh High Speed Processor System TK20 TurboKit MTK20 Multi TurboKit. pdf hosted by Hein Veldhuis
  3. Helmut Horacek (1986). The Fifth World Computer Chess Championship Cologne, 1986, Research Unit for Information Science and Artificial Intelligence, University of Hamburg, from Kings Move - Welcome to the 1989 AGT World Computer Chess Championship. pg 21, pdf from The Computer History Museum
  4. Cheating in the World Computer Chess Championship by Sam Sloan, rec.games.chess.misc, March 11, 1999
  5. 5th World Computer Chess Championship ICGA tournament site
  6. World Computer Chess Championship - 5th WCCC - 1986 Cologne by Mark Weeks has 16, 17 swapped
  7. Participants of the fifth World Computer-Chess Championship. ICCA Journal, Vol. 9, No. 2, p. 94
  8. WCCC 1986 Video 9:16
  9. Index of /~tony/Public/Awit-Wita-ComputerChess/5thWCCC-Cologne1986
  10. r4-awit-rex.txt by Tony Marsland
  11. Cheating in the World Computer Chess Championship by Sam Sloan, rec.games.chess.misc, March 11, 1999
  12. Cologne 1986 - Chess - Round 4 - Game 1 (ICGA Tournaments)
  13. László Lindner, A SZÁMÍTÓGÉPES SAKK KÉPEKBEN című melléklete - The pictures of the Beginning of Chess Computers
  14. Cologne 1986, Chess, Round 4, Game 4
  15. Cologne 1986 - Chess - Round 4 - Game 10 (ICGA Tournaments)
  16. Schach 2.7 vs Cray Blitz [1986 World Computer Chess Championship] by José Antônio Fabiano Mendes, CCC, October 24, 2000
  17. Historic Pictures by Ed Schröder
  18. WCCC 1986 Video 1:15
  19. Chess Computers - The UK Story from Chess Computer UK by Mike Watters
  20. Cologne 1986 - Chess - Round 5 - Game 7 (ICGA Tournaments)
  21. Image from Pierre Nolot (1986). Echecs: Les Progès des Programmes. Jeux et Stratégie
  22. Historic Pictures by Ed Schröder
  23. Image from Pierre Nolot (1986). Echecs: Les Progès des Programmes. Jeux et Stratégie
  24. Photo by László Lindner, ICCA Journal, Vol. 9, No. 2, pp. 80
  25. 5th WCCC 1986, article in french + pictures by Vincent Lejeune, CCC, November 12, 2012
  26. Historic video's hosted by Ed Schröder
  27. A couple of new historic video's by Ed Schröder, CCC, Mar 17, 2013
  28. Re: 5th WCCC 1986, video on youtube by Harald Lüßen, CCC, March 20, 2013 (English summary)
  29. Das Genie mit dem eisernen Arm by Wolfram Runkel, Die Zeit, Nr. 08, February 08, 1979 (German)
  30. Schach-Computer: Jahrtausende pro Partie and Mit dem 9. Zug schien der Schotte verloren, Der Spiegel 7/1979, February 12, 1979 (German)
  31. Remembering Werner Harenberg (1) by Frederic Friedel, ChessBase News, March 04, 2014

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