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The King,
a chess program by Johan de Koning written in C, which had its debut at the 7th Dutch Computer Chess Championship 1987 and was further developed, participating at computer chess tournaments until the present, in total winning four Dutch Computer Chess Championships and one International CSVN Tournament, the DOCCC 1991, DOCCC 1993, DOCCC 1995, DOCCC 1998, and the ICT 2003.

The King, famous for "his" interesting and entertaining playing style, was commercially market by TASC as ChessMachine, in bundle with Gideon, running on an ARM2 RISC CPU. ChessMachine The King was shared winner of the 4th Computer Olympiad 1992 and had good results at the WMCCC 1990 and WMCCC 1991, further ported for various dedicated chess computers, most notably TASC R30, TASC R40, Saitek RISC 2500 and Mephisto Montreux, and was also incorporated as analysis engine of TascBase. However, Johan de Koning's greatest commercial success was entering the PC and Windows mass market, when in 1994 The King became the chess engine of Chessmaster 4000 [1] , which remains the best-selling chess franchise in history [2] [3] .
A resin replica of The King [4]

Description

from Don Beal's WMCCC 1991 report [5] :
Written by Johan de Koning, already known for his program which has competed for several years in Dutch tournaments. This latest version runs on the ARM2 RISC CPU and represents 2.5 man-years of development. The evaluation function is complex and hence a little slow. Positional scores can "easily exceed several Pawns". Separate evaluation terms are used for opening/middle/endgame with smooth transitions between them by using 3 weights which sum to 100%, giving a fuzzy definition of the phases. The search techniques include check extensions and chess-specific static rules for additional extensions. Singular extensions are not used, but lower bounds are computed to limit the search in the selective phase. Best moves from earlier iterations, history heuristic, killer heuristic, priority to captures, and a refutation table are all used to order moves, which are generated in the all-and-sort fashion. Specialized endgame knowledge is included and this is actively being expanded.

Games & Photos

DOCCC 1991

DOCCC 1991, round 4, The King - Quest [6]
[Event "DOCCC 1991"]
[Site "Utrecht NED"]
[Date "1991.10.??"]
[Round "04"]
[White "The King"]
[Black "Quest"]
[Result "1-0"]
 
1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 e6 3.c4 Nf6 4.Bg5 Be7 5.Nc3 O-O 6.e3 Nbd7 7.Bd3 c5 8.O-O dxc4
9.Bxc4 cxd4 10.exd4 Nb6 11.Bb3 Nfd5 12.Bxe7 Qxe7 13.Nxd5 exd5 14.Qd3 Qe4
15.Qxe4 dxe4 16.Ne5 Bf5 17.Rac1 Rad8 18.Rc7 Nd7 19.Nxf7 Rxf7 20.Rxb7 a6 21.Rc1
Kf8 22.Bxf7 Kxf7 23.Rcc7 Ke6 24.Ra7 Kd5 25.Rxa6 Kxd4 26.h3 Kd5 27.b4 g6 28.a4
h6 29.a5 Ne5 30.Rb6 Nc4 31.Rb5+ Kd4 32.a6 e3 33.fxe3+ Nxe3 34.a7 Ra8 35.Rb8
Be4 36.b5 Nc4 37.Re7 Bd5 38.Rd7 1-0

ICT 2013

Tao

ICT 2013, round 7, The King - Tao [7]
[Event "ICT 2003"]
[Site "Leiden NED"]
[Date "2003.05.18"]
[Round "07"]
[White "The King"]
[Black "Tao 5.5"]
[Result "1-0"]
 
1.b3 e5 2.Bb2 Nc6 3.c4 d6 4.g3 Nf6 5.Bg2 g6 6.Nf3 Bg7 7.O-O O-O 8.d4 Nh5
9.d5 Ne7 10.e4 Bd7 11.c5 f5 12.Nc3 dxc5 13.Re1 Kh8 14.Rc1 Bh6 15.Nxe5
Bxc1 16.Qxc1 Ng7 17.exf5 gxf5 18.Ne2 Ng8 19.Nf4 Rf6 20.Nh5 Be8 21.Nxf6
Nxf6 22.Qxc5 Kg8 23.Rc1 b6 24.Qxc7 Qxc7 25.Rxc7 a5 26.d6 Rd8 27.Ng4 fxg4
28.Bxf6 Rxd6 1-0

Fritz

TheKing.jpg
ICT 2003: later winner Johan de Koning and The King facing Fritz in round 8 [8]
[Event "ICT 2003"]
[Site "Leiden NED"]
[Date "2003.05.18"]
[Round "08"]
[White "Fritz"]
[Black "The King"]
[Result "1-0"]
 
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.e5 Nd5 4.c3 e6 5.d4 cxd4 6.cxd4 d6 7.Bc4 Nb6 8.Bd3 Nc6
9.O-O Nb4 10.Bb5+ Bd7 11.Bg5 Be7 12.Bxe7 Qxe7 13.Nc3 O-O 14.Bxd7 Qxd7 15.a3
N4d5 16.Ne4 dxe5 17.dxe5 Rac8 18.Re1 Rfd8 19.Qb1 Nf4 20.Nd6 Rc6 21.Qe4 Nbd5
22.Rad1 f5 23.Qb1 Rc5 24.Qa2 a5 25.g3 Ng6 26.b4 Rc3 27.Rxd5 Rxf3 28.Rdd1
Nf8 29.Nxb7 Qxd1 30.Rxd1 Rxd1+ 31.Kg2 Rdd3 32.Qc4 Rc3 33.Qb5 f4 34.bxa5 fxg3
35.hxg3 Rf7 36.a6 Rxa3 37.Qb6 Ra2 38.a7 1-0

Commercial Spin-offs


SSDF Ratings

The SSDF tested numerous versions of The King on the hardware of the period :
#
Version
Hardware
Rating
35
CM King 3.5
2GB x64 MP Q6600 2,4 GHz
[9] 2858
73
Chessmaster 9000
256MB Athlon 1200 MHz
2706
122
Chessmaster 8000
128MB K6-2 450 MHz
2519
133
Chessmaster 6000
64MB P200 MMX
2477
172
Chessmaster 5000
Pentium 90 MHz
2287
194
Ch.Machine The King 2.0 aggr./R30 off
ARM6 30 MHz
[10] 2196
199
Chessmaster 4000
486/50-66 MHz
2179
221
ChessMachine The King
512K ARM2 16MHz
2066

See also


Forum Posts


External Links

Chess Engine

Misc


References

  1. ^ Mads Brevik (1994). Chessmaster 4000 Turbo for Windows from Mindscape. Game Bytes Magazine
  2. ^ Chessmaster from Wikipedia
  3. ^ Re: Why is Chessmaster so popular in CCC? by John Merlino, CCC, July 05, 2000
  4. ^ Lewis chessmen from Wikipedia
  5. ^ Don Beal (1991). Report on the 11th World Microcomputer Chess Championship. ICCA Journal, Vol. 14, No. 2
  6. ^ Downloads | ONK / ODCCC
  7. ^ Computerschaak | Downloads | CSVN International Computer Chess Tournament
  8. ^ Photos from the old CSVN site
  9. ^ The SSDF Rating List
  10. ^ Re: A theory of ratings drift for the SSDF by Uri Blass, CCC, April 09, 2002

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