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Mark Taylor,
a British computer chess programmer, in the 80s working for David Levy's and Kevin O’Connell's companies Philidor Software and Intelligent Software. Mark Taylor, a recruit from outside the computer chess tournament circuit, was a 6502 expert who developed his programs on a Commodore PET. The SciSys Intelligent Chess [1] computer and PetChess were mainly programmed by Mark Taylor. In an interview David Levy mentioned Mark Taylor as the most talented and genius programmer of Intelligent Software [2].
Mark Taylor [3]

160 Nibble Challenge

Mark Taylor worked with Levy to produce a program for a Hitachi 4-bit CMOS microcontroller. The HD44801 [4] had 2 kibi of 10-bit word ROM, 160 nibbles (80 bytes) of RAM, running at 400 KHz. Levy developed a chess playing algorithm for this chip which played fully legal chess including pawn promotion, en passant capturing, castling, and even managed mate with KR v K in some versions all in 160 nibbles of RAM. A piece of work that Taylor is still rightly proud of today [5]. The chip went into a series of small portable SciSys machines - Mini Chess, Junior Chess and Graduate Chess, all released in early 1981. The 4-bit program also initiated Eric White's involvement in computer chess business and long time collaboration with Levy, when Hong Kong based manufacturer White and Allcock, forerunner of Newcrest Technology introduced the CXG brand with CXG Sensor Computachess in 1981 [6] [7].


Taylor was also involved in the Philidor project, and was responsible to translate the Z80 program for the SciSys Chess Champion Mark V 6502 branch, also deployed for the Milton Bradley Phantom.

Cyrus 68K

In 1985, Taylor started to develop Cyrus 68K [8], which was commercially available as the Sphinx, a dedicated chess computer under the brand name CXG, manufactured by Newcrest Technology Ltd. [9] [10] [11].


Mark Taylor, Kevin O’Connell and David Levy with Cyrus 68K, WCCC 1986 [12]

Selected Publications


Forum Posts

External Links


  1. ^ Scisys Intelligent Chess from Chess Computer UK by Mike Watters
  2. ^ Interview with David Levy, Feb. 2006 by 'hard from Schachcomputer.info - Wiki
  3. ^ Chess Computers - The UK Story from Chess Computer UK by Mike Watters
  4. ^ HD44801_398306.PDF Datasheet Download --- IC-ON-LINE
  5. ^ Chess Computers - The UK Story from Chess Computer UK by Mike Watters
  6. ^ CXG Pocket Chess from Schachcomputer.info Wiki
  7. ^ CXG Sensor Computachess from Schachcomputer.info Wiki
  8. ^ David Levy, David Broughton, Mark Taylor (1989). The SEX Algorithm in Computer Chess. ICCA Journal, Vol. 12, No. 1
  9. ^ CXG Electronic Chess Computers from The Spacious Mind
  10. ^ CXG from Schachcomputer.info Wiki
  11. ^ CXG Sphinx Chess Card from Schachcomputer.info - Wiki
  12. ^ Chess Computers - The UK Story from Chess Computer UK by Mike Watters
  13. ^ ICGA Reference Database (pdf)

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