Kasparov's Gambit, or simply Gambit, is a chess playing computer program created by Heuristic Software and published by Electronic Arts in 1993 based on Socrates II, the only winner of the North American Computer Chess Championship running on a common microcomputer. It was designed for MS-DOS while Garry Kasparov reigned as world champion, whose involvement and support was its key allure.
Julio Kaplan, chessplayer, computer programmer, and owner of the company 'Heuristic Software', first developed Heuristic Alpha in 1990–91. The original version evolved into Socrates with the help of other chess players and programmers including Larry Kaufman and Don Dailey, who, later, were also developers of Kasparov's Gambit.
Improvements to Socrates were reflected in a version called Titan, renamed for competition as Socrates II, the most successful of the series winning the 1993 ACM International Chess Championship. During the course of the championship Socrates II, which was running on a stock 486 PC, defeated opponents with purpose-built hardware and software for playing chess, including HiTech and Cray Blitz.
Electronic Arts purchased Socrates II and hired its creators to build a new product, Kasparov's Gambit, including Kasparov as consultant and brand. It was the company's effort to enter the chess programs market, dominated at the time by Chessmaster 3000 and Blitz. In 1993 it went on sale, but contained a number of bugs, so was patched at the end of that year. The patched version ran at about 75% of the speed of Socrates II which was quite an achievement considering the whole functionality of the software was sharing the same computer resources.
In 1993 it competed in the Harvard Cup (six humans versus six programs) facing grandmasters who had ratings ranging from 2515 to 2625 ELO,. It finished the competition in 12th and last place. Grandmasters took the first five places and another Socrates derivation - Socrates Exp - was the best program finishing in 6th place.
According to team developer Eric Schiller, a Windows version was planned by Electronic Arts, but was never finished. Electronic Arts had earlier produced the chess variant Archon: The Light and the Dark (1983), and later followed up with Battle Chess II: Chinese Chess (2002) and Jamdat Mobile's Kasparov Chessmate (2003).
Gambit was intended to have the capabilities of a champion level software and a teaching tool for a wide range of player levels. It was Electronic Arts' first use of windowed video showing digitized images, video and voice of champ Garry Kasparov giving advice and commenting on player moves.
Primary features include:
Interactive tutorial with video-help by Garry Kasparov
An inline glossary of chess terms
A library of 500 famous games played by past world champions
An auxiliary graphical chessboard showing the computer's analysis while playing or reviewing moves
An interactive move list
An analysis text box, showing move's elapsed time, depth, score of the best evaluated line and number of positions seek
Multiple computer playing styles allowing creation and customization of computer opponents
A coach window including the moves played and comments about openings and advice, sometimes showing videos of Kasparov
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This version of Kasparov’s Gambit was designed for personal computers with operating system MS-DOS (Microsoft Disk Operating System),
which was operating system developed by Microsoft in 1981. It was the most widely-used operating system in the first half of the 1990s. MS-DOS was supplied
with most of the IBM computers that purchased a license from Microsoft. After 1995, it was pushed out by a graphically more advanced system - Windows and
its development was ceased in 2000. At the
time of its greatest fame, several thousand games designed specifically for computers with this system were created. Today, its development is no longer continue
and for emulation the free DOSBox emulator is most often used. More information about MS-DOS operating system can be found
Available online emulators:
5 different online emulators are available for Kasparov’s Gambit. These emulators differ not only in the technology they use to emulate old games, but also in support of various game controllers, multiplayer mode, mobile phone touchscreen, emulation speed, absence or presence of embedded ads and in many other parameters. For
maximum gaming enjoyment, it's important to choose the right emulator, because on each PC and in different Internet browsers, the individual emulators behave differently. The basic
features of each emulator available for this game Kasparov’s Gambit are summarized in the following table:
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