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Smart Card meets Chess

The prototype of SmartChess runs on the BasicCard Professional V5.5 with 1,7 KB RAM. That is not much for a chess engine. It was necessary to put some variables into the EEPROM, a very slow storage. An acceptable calculation time of the card is only possible with reduced search depth. Furthermore the EEPROM has limited write access, Chip manufacturers guarantee write access of about 100.000 times. This can be reached by a chess programm very soon, so the card only lives a short time and may be damaged after a few plays (we will provide enough card hardware for the contest at the exhibition, for implementation and test I recommend an emulator).

To optimize SmartChess it is necessary to save RAM space, then it will be possible to put more variables in RAM. This wil increase calculation speed and results in a long life time of the card. Maybe it is possible to increase the search depth also. The EEPROM of the BasicCard chip has 32KB for code and data, the prototype uses about 18 KB. Futhermore code for draw after 3 times position repetion and 50 moves rule is missing in MINIMAX (it is implemented in the TI sources in C). An opening book will increase the strength of the program also.

This are some few suggestions, experts in chess programming will find a huge potential for improvements in MINIMAX, but it is not so easy with that limited ressources (1-2 KB RAM).

The goal of chess programming up to now was to increase the calculation power, for that bigger ressources of the computers were needed, SmartChess however has the skill to manage with little. The developers will be transferred to the beginnings of computer programming (home computers of the 80s).

Good luck...

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