Chessmaster 2000

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Chessmaster 2000
Chessmaster 2000 cover.png
The Chessmaster 2000 cover art
Developer(s) The Software Toolworks
Series Chessmaster
Platform(s) PC

The Chessmaster 2000 is a computer chess game by The Software Toolworks. It was the first in the Chessmaster series and published in 1986.


It was published for Amiga, Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Atari ST, ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, MSX, Macintosh, and DOS. The engine was written in C++.


The game had a chess engine written by David Kittinger, and the manufacturer rated the game at 2000 Elo USCF, in reality it plays at approximately 1550-1600 Elo (1750-1800 USCF).[1]


Compute! stated that Chessmaster 2000 "is now the yardstick for which other similar programs will be measured", and favorably cited Software Toolworks' decision to give all versions of the game the same sophisticated engine.[2] In 1986, Computer Gaming World wrote of the IBM PC version, "I wish I could find something negative to include in this review but I can't ... It gets my absolute highest recommendation". It was noted that the game had a sophisticated defense, but would resign in hopeless situations without forcing the human to finish an inevitable win.[3] The magazine also favorably reviewed the Amiga version, calling the graphics "exceptional" and concluding "highly recommended".[4] Info gave the Amiga version five stars out of five, describing it as "the definitive chess program for the AMIGA", praising the graphics, user interface, and options.[5] The magazine gave the Commodore 64 version three stars out of five, stating that it had almost all of the Amiga version's features but criticizing the requirement of using algebraic notation to move.[6] Antic found that Chessmaster 2000 defeated Colossus Chess and Odesta Chess. The magazine criticized the Atari 8-bit version's playability, stating that "the 3-D display is unusable even on a very good monitor-you can't tell the overlapping pieces apart", lack of a chess clock, and poor documentation and controls.[7]

Chessmaster 2000 became the first and only chess game to be the top-rated game in Computer Gaming World's reader poll,[8] with a score of 7.25 out of 10. In 1988, it was among the first members of the magazine's Hall of Fame, honoring those games rated highly over time by readers.[9]


  1. ^ Chessmaster 2000 rating
  2. ^ Trunzo, James V. (November 1986). "Chessmaster 2000". Compute!. p. 68. Retrieved 9 November 2013.
  3. ^ Oxner, Bill (November 1986). "The Chessmaster 2000" (PDF). Computer Gaming World. No. 32. p. 44. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
  4. ^ Wagner, Roy (December 1986). "Amiga Preferences" (PDF). Computer Gaming World. No. 33. p. 45. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
  5. ^ Dunnington, Benn; Brown, Mark R.; Malcolm, Tom (January–February 1987). "Amiga Gallery". Info. pp. 90–95.
  6. ^ Dunnington, Benn; Brown, Mark R.; Malcolm, Tom (January–February 1987). "64/128 Gallery". Info. pp. 14–21.
  7. ^ Cherry, Charles (June 1987). "Chessmaster 2000". Antic.
  8. ^ Sipe, Russell (November 1992). "3900 Games Later..." (PDF). Computer Gaming World. No. 100. p. 8. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
  9. ^ "The CGW Hall of Fame" (PDF). Computer Gaming World. No. 45. March 1988. p. 44. Retrieved 17 April 2016.

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