Valentin Albillo's HP Collection

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Chess Tests

Chess has been one of my main hobbies since I was a kid and back then I used to play in intra-school competitions with good results (several medals and such). As soon as I got some money I began to buy and eagerly read chess books and dedicated magazines, eventually went into computer chess (the first chess program I saw and played against was running on an HP-9845 !!. It played very poorly but the graphics were awesome for the time and the source code was listable and included many funny comments by the authors themselves !) and even wrote my own chess-playing program in Turbo Pascal (plus a checkmate finder, Mater for the HP-71B and A Simple Checkmate Searching Program for PC).

Eventually, with the advent of the Internet and my access to it circa 1995, I pondered the idea of creating my own web page dedicated to HP Calcs and another one dedicated to Computer Chess and both materialized ca. 1998 and proved quite popular until the free server where they were located suddenly went out of business. After a 20-year hiatus I resurrected the HP Calcs one as this very web site you're visiting now, and I have now resurrected the Computer Chess site, "Chess Tests" as well, not as web pages again but as a set of near-facsimile PDF documents which preserve most of the contents with the same aspect and formatting the original simple, hand-created HTML web pages had back then in 1998 (except all links being disabled, for security reasons). "Chess Tests" did at the time attract considerable attention and many chess authors (including true celebrities such as Mr. Robert Hyatt, the creator of the world-class Cray Blitz and Crafty chess programs, and top chess programmers such as Heiner Marxen, author of CHEST) sent their valuable results and many interesting comments (be sure to visit the Acknowledgements to see who is who and what they did.)

Of course, as of 2020 both chess programs and computers boast exponentially increased capabilities so the results given in "Chess Tests" for the various programs tested at the time (and running in 1998-era personal computers) are pretty obsolete nowadays but nevertheless the reviews themselves, the chess positions featured and most definitely the many comments by such knowledgeable chess authors and chess fans are still quite interesting and, if nothing else, potentially valuable from a historical point of view to see how things were back then and how far the state of the art has progressed by now.

P.S.: The Chess Books Reviews can be found in a separate Section of this site, Chess Book Reviews.



pdf Chess Tests VA001 - Main Page

9-page PDF document featuring a near-facsimile of the original Main Page of Chess Tests, which (abridgedly) begins like this:

"These pages are dedicated to those chess players and people in general who like Computer Chess and all things related to it. Among many other subjects they include a 40-strong Basic Suite (plus extensions) of quite difficult positions for you to try your favourite programs on them. The positions range from very difficult mate-in-many problems, to the most subtle endgames where a program needs to be very good to see the solution many many plies deep. There are even some positions apparently unsolvable with present [1998] computer chess technology because they require understanding the position rather than just mindless calculation.

The Suite will be useful to test new ideas in the field and all positions featured include results when trying them out with several programs, including all relevant data such as main line, depth of search, size of the hash tables, and of course timings, as well as many detailed comments on the positions and the programs' performances.

This site also includes a large selection of the most Amazing Chess Problems to be solved by you. Each of them is guaranteed to let you astonished at their beauty !. Also, a section on geometrical and combinatorial Chessboard Problems has been included, to let you sharpen your understanding of the geometry of the board and of the powers and ranges of the various chess pieces. And many, many other things (Chess Books, Chess Code, etc.)"

pdf Chess Tests VA002 - Notes on Problem Solving

1-page PDF document featuring a near-facsimile of the original page Notes on Problem Solving, which includes Notes on time measurements, and the all-important Notes on when a test position is to be considered solved and finally the relevant Conclusions (and caveats).

pdf Chess Tests VA003 - Basic Suite Positions 01-05

9-page PDF document featuring a near-facsimile of the original page Chess Tests: Basic Suite, Positions 1-5, which includes the first 5 positions of the Basic Suite.

pdf Chess Tests VA004 - Basic Suite Positions 06-10

8-page PDF document featuring a near-facsimile of the original page Chess Tests: Basic Suite, Positions 6-10, which includes the next five positions of the Basic Suite.

pdf Chess Tests VA005 - Basic Suite Positions 11-15

7-page PDF document featuring a near-facsimile of the original page Chess Tests: Basic Suite, Positions 11-15, which includes the next five positions of the Basic Suite.

pdf Chess Tests VA006 - Basic Suite Positions 16-20

7-page PDF document featuring a near-facsimile of the original page Chess Tests: Basic Suite, Positions 16-20, which includes the next five positions of the Basic Suite.

pdf Chess Tests VA007 - Basic Suite Positions 21-25

7-page PDF document featuring a near-facsimile of the original page Chess Tests: Basic Suite, Positions 21-25, which includes the next five positions of the Basic Suite.

pdf Chess Tests VA008 - Basic Suite Positions 26-30

6-page PDF document featuring a near-facsimile of the original page Chess Tests: Basic Suite, Positions 26-30, which includes the next five positions of the Basic Suite.

pdf Chess Tests VA009 - Basic Suite Positions 31-35

7-page PDF document featuring a near-facsimile of the original page Chess Tests: Basic Suite, Positions 31-35, which includes the next five positions of the Basic Suite.

pdf Chess Tests VA010 - Basic Suite Positions 36-40

8-page PDF document featuring a near-facsimile of the original page Chess Tests: Basic Suite, Positions 36-40, which includes the next five positions of the Basic Suite.

pdf Chess Tests VA011 - Bizarre Positions 71-75

8-page PDF document featuring a near-facsimile of the original page Chess Tests: Bizarre Positions 71-75, which includes the five positions (71-75) of this Basic Suite extension.

pdf Chess Tests VA012 - The Never Concept 81-82

5-page PDF document featuring a near-facsimile of the original page Chess Tests: The "Never" Concept, which includes the two positions (81-82) of this Basic Suite extension.

pdf Chess Tests VA013 - Unsolved Positions 91-92

4-page PDF document featuring a near-facsimile of the original page Chess Tests: Unsolved Positions, which includes the two positions (91-92) of this Basic Suite extension.

Exceptionally, this page also includes a new section "Addendum 2020", which reports on two successful attempts in 2003 and 2013, respectively, the latter using much more modern hardware and software to completely solve Position 91.

pdf Chess Tests VA014 - Amazing Problems 01-12

5-page PDF document featuring a near-facsimile of the original page Amazing problems for you to solve: The Problems, which includes all 12 amazing chess problems for you (not some program or other) to solve.

pdf Chess Tests VA015 - Amazing Solutions 01-12

7-page PDF document featuring a near-facsimile of the original page Amazing problems for you to solve: The Solutions, which includes the commented solutions to all 12 amazing chess problems for you (not some program or other) to solve.

pdf Chess Tests VA016 - Chessboard Problems 01-04

2-page PDF document featuring a near-facsimile of the original page Chessboard Problems - The Problems, which includes all 4 chessboard problems for you to solve.

pdf Chess Tests VA017 - Chessboard Solutions 01-04

2-page PDF document featuring a near-facsimile of the original page Chessboard Problems - The Solutions, which includes the commented solutions to all 4 chessboard problems for you to solve.

pdf Chess Tests VA018 - MATER A Searching Program

7-page PDF document featuring a near-facsimile of the original page MATER - A simple Mate Searching Program, which includes the full documentation for MATER, a mate searching program implemented as an MS-DOS command. Given a legal position in FEN notation, the side to move, and the maximum number of moves to give mate, it will search and output either a move which gives mate in that number of moves or less, or the fact that there's no such move.

The documentation includes a description of the main features, full syntax with calling examples, and 8 worked sample positions with diagrams and detailed results.

pdf Chess Tests VA019 - MATER Source Code

16-page PDF document featuring the fully-commented Turbo Pascal source code for MATER, the simple Mate Searching program described in the above link.

pdf Chess Tests VA020 - Acknowledgements

2-page PDF document featuring a near-facsimile of the original page Chess Tests: Acknowledgements, which includes my acknowledgements to some of the gentle visitors of my Chess Tests site who sent e-mails with results, analyses, comments and suggestions, or otherwise supported it.

Each contributor is introduced by name and their main contributions to both my site and computer chess in general are listed as well. Essential reading to get to know who is who and what their contributions were.


COPYRIGHT NOTICE

These articles, programs, pictures, their descriptions and other materials created by me are (c) Valentin Albillo, and can be used freely for non-profit purposes as long as (1) the contents aren't modified in any way and (2) the copyright is acknowledged.

In plain words, you can download them and use them for non-profit purposes but do not include them in any media and/or site for which you're asking money, do not tamper with their contents and do not say or imply that you created them or that you don't know who created them, you must always give due credit to the copyright holder (that's me).