x48x4b is running Sargon Chess on his MPF-IP!

A project log for Exploring the Microprofessor

A journey to explore and better understand the Multitech Microprofessor machines in my retro computer collection

Michael WesselMichael Wessel 02/03/2022 at 19:460 Comments

Very cool info from @x48x4b - he ported the classic Sargon Chess to his MPF-IP as a Covid project. Just quoting his messages from the chat; this is too cool to be forgotten and left unnoticed in the chat, so turning this into a Log entry. @x48x4b wrote:

"An MPF-IP (with accessory boards) can be used to run a chess program, to see how, check out the following mkv-video (watch it on VLC):

I had to modify the memory organisation and took out the video section. The original Sargon was installed on a Wavemate Jupiter III. This had a Z80. But e.g. it had a video board, which my MPF does not have. Instead I wrote a routine to direct the output to the serial interface. What I did not change at all are the chess algorithms. My current version uses x1d2d bytes excluding stack. I will tidy it up and post it somewhen.

It is the original IOM-MPF-IP experimental board from Multitech with a 8250 UART, a Zilog CTC and a bread board area. There are also sockets to add 3x2 kByte static RAM and other stuff. I purchased it in the 1980ies to drive my Fischertechnik Robot. Later the MPF-IP and the IOM-MPF-IP were stored away for more than 35 years on our attic. In the Corona lock down time, I reactivated it to have some fun. The reactivation turned out to be challenging because some of the chips had to be replaced, and some of the electrical contacts were bad. The goal of the project was to run the original Sargon chess program from Dan and Kathe Spracklen, which actually succeeded."

Looking forward to the code being released!

Sadly, my 2 MPF-IPs only have 4 KBs of SRAM each, and no expansion boards besides the printer. I just ordered some SRAM chips. Maybe I am going to build my own extension board with additional SRAM, speech synth, and UART. Will see! But first I need to get the Forth videos out... soon!