The Americas Computer Chess League

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The Americas Computer Chess Association

Association for Computer Chess Authors, Operators and aficionados in the Americas from Greenland to Antarctica

Much of the world's computer chess has its foundations in North America. However, in the late 1990s through 2006, computer chess in the Americas has been organization-less and event-less. While at the same time the rest of the world has flourished in tournaments and national championships: Italian Championship, French Nationals, Australian Nationals (includes New Zealand and Indonesia), Dutch Championships and so on.

The Americas Computer Chess League TACCL was founded to remedy this issue. We plan to promote computer chess in the Americas by stimulating advancement and participation through increased activity and cooperation. This may be achieved by providing tournaments, meetings and other resources/events for chess program authors and aficionados in the Americas.

The Americas Computer Chess League TACCL is meant to stimulate interest, activity and cooperation in the Americas. It is not meant to compete with or deplete the membership in other international organizations. In fact,The Americas Computer Chess League TACCL's activities should bolster interest in the other international organizations as well.

Chess : what is it ?

Chess is a game played by two players, who we'll call White and Black. It is played on a board of 64 squares. Each square can be empty or occupied by a piece. The initial position of the game consists of 16 white pieces and 16 black pieces.

Players alternate making moves. White always goes first. In a typical move, White selects a white piece and moves it to another square. The destination square is either empty or occupied by an enemy piece. In the latter case the enemy piece is said to be captured. The captured piece is removed from the board, and plays no further role in the game.

Looking across the bottom row of white pieces we see a rook (sometimes called a castle), a knight, a bishop, a queen, a king, another bishop, another knight, and another rook. The next row of white pieces consists of eight pawns. Each different type of piece moves in a specific way, as described in detail in the rest of this tutorial.

The goal of the game is to capture the opponent's king. However to actually capture the king would be offensive. So this is not allowed. This leads to the notion of check. Black's king is said to be in check if (assuming it were White's turn to move) White could capture Black's king. To avoid this capture, Black must make a move that takes Black's king out of check, so White cannot capture Black's king on the next move.

If it's impossible for Black to get out of check, then Black's king is said to be checkmated, and White wins the game. Another way to describe checkmate is to say that Black is in check and Black has no legal moves. An alternative outcome is if Black is NOT in check but has no legal moves. This is called a stalemate. When this occurs the game ends in a draw.