World Microcomputer Chess Championship 1984

The fourth World Microcomputer Chess Championship took place from September 9th -15th 1984 at the Ingram Hotel, Glasgow, Scotland.

Colossus 2.1 came 15th out of 19.

Richard Lang (author of Cyrus, Psion and Chess Genius) and I both used to work for David Levy's Intelligent Software company. We were based in an old farm house in Rickmansworth. Although this was a little after I left that company and moved to Basingstoke we still stayed in touch and to save money we drove up to Scotland together in my battered old Morris Marina. This had the nerve-wracking problem that the petrol gauge sank to 'empty' even though it still had about half a tank left. During the journey we had some amusing debates about whether we should stop and put another half tank in so that it registered full or keep going on 'empty' and just hope that we didn't actually run out! Also I remember the motorways being so much emptier in those days, sometimes not being able to see another car ahead or behind in the distance!! Anyway, we made it 'there and back again'.

Below are some photos from the tournament. Unfortunately the colour has faded badly in the intervening 29 years! I'm not sure who all the people are but if anyone can recognise the faces (and/or the computers they are operating) then you can email me and I'll credit them.


a) We went on a day trip to Edinburgh Castle. I'm pretty sure the people in the foreground are all from the tournament but very difficult to recognise their backs! I think on the far left might be Kevin O'Connell (Intelligent Software) and Mike Valvo (tournament referee). In the centre, to the right (in the photo) of the guy facing the camera I think is Jan Louwman.


b) A baby faced Richard Lang!


c) During the journey back to the hotel, smoke started pouring from the rear of the coach and we all had to get out at the side of the road! What a loss to humanity if all the leading chess programmers from the '80's had perished in a coach fire?!?!


d) During the tournament we had another fire scare and all had to evacuate the Ingram hotel! Perhaps we were cursed?!


e) Kaare Danielson spectating on a Conchess game.


f) Katharina Nitsche? Looks like Mephisto vs Conchess. Hmmm... smoking was still allowed in doors!


g) On the left, Elmar Henne operating Mephisto. I vaguely remember that two scottish students were paid to operate one of the programs. Are they the pair on the right?


h) The tournament hall. Looks like Kathe Spracklen front left perhaps sat opposite Richard Lang? Mike Valvo (tournament referee) front right.



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