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Video Chess,
a chess program for the Atari 2600 Video game console released by Atari in 1978, developed by Larry Wagner (Game AI, with the help of Julio Kaplan [1]) and Bob Whitehead (Graphics) in 6502 Assembly. According to Larry Wagner, Video Chess was developed as a direct result of a customer who complained that the (original) Video Computer System box showed a picture of chess, but that no chess game existed [2]. Bank switching ROMs was pioneered for earlier prototypes of Video Chess that were larger than four kilobytes, however the released version ended up fitting the standard 4K size [3].
Video Chess Screen [4]

Venetian Blinds

The up to eight pieces per row exceeded the sprite limitations, since the Atari 2600 was only able to display three sprites in a row. Bob Whitehead developed a pioneering "venetian blinds" [5] animation technique, an algorithm that horizontally reused and vertically interlaced sprites several times while rendering each frame, to give the illusion that the system had more than the maximum number of sprites allowed by the hardware [6].

Atari Catalog 1981

Atari Catalog 1981 Scan, Video Chess [7]

See also


Forum Posts

External Links


  1. ^ Tekla E. Perry, Paul Wallich (1983). Design case history: the Atari Video Computer System. IEEE Spectrum, March 1983, "Doing the 'impossible': chess"
  2. ^ DP Interviews with Bob Whitehead by Scott Stilphen
  3. ^ Video Chess from Wikipedia
  4. ^ A screenshot of Video Chess (1979), Video Chess from Wikipedia
  5. ^ Venetian Blinds from Wikipedia
  6. ^ Bob Whitehead from Wikipedia
  7. ^ HuguesJohnson.com: Atari Catalog 1981 Scans
  8. ^ Atari 2600 Video Chess by Steven Edwards, Hiarcs Forum, December 29, 2013
  9. ^ Multi Emulator Super System - Wikipedia
  10. ^ Re: Old programs CHAOS and USC by Dann Corbit, CCC, July 11, 2015

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