In 1769 Baron Wolfgang von Kempelen of Bratislava built a chess-playing automaton (pictured right) which was a wonder of wheels and gears. It was called The Turk. Von Kempelen never actually claimed that the thing could play chess—he described it as an "illusion"; but the stories that surrounded it and the theories about how it won its games were legion. The mere fact that it was operated in turn by some of the strongest chess players of the day may have been sheer coincidence.
There's nothing illusory about Chess Genie. Programmed especially for the Rooty Hill Chess Club by Robert Ambalong of Sydney, Australia, Chess Genie lives in a small glass bottle inside your computer. He will come out to help you whenever you want to view a game. I'm grateful to Robert for allowing me to use it on this site. You don't even have to pull the stopper out of the bottle—just click on the game you want to see and, poof! the Genie will appear. Here's a sample game in which Rooty Hill member, IM Gary Lane defeated English GM Nigel Short at the 36th Olympiad in Calvia, 2004.
Click on the magic lamp to play through it.
You can follow the the game move-by-move, forward and back, by clicking on the navigation arrows below the board or, if you want to test your own analysis, you can play your own moves from any point during the game. Simply drag and drop the chess piece on the board. This feature is unique to Chessgenie. To return to the game click on the Reset Key (that's the key with the red "R" in the bottom right hand corner of the chess board).
So that you can test the Genie's prowess here are a few sample games from the 2004 Sydney Grade Matches where teams of four compete against teams of similar strength from other clubs. These were taken from the Under 1800 competition which Rooty Hill won clearly. The first was a game I lost in 20 moves to twelve year-old Angela Song. Angela and her brother Raymond who was equal first in the World Under 10 Championship last year (unluckily missing his IM title on countback) will both make their impact on Australian chess. Click on the links below to play through the games.
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