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Can you beat this retro-styled 1 KB chess game based on 'The Queen’s Gambit'?

By Kara Santos Published Mar 08, 2021 3:02 am Updated Mar 08, 2021 3:24 am

Do you think you have what it takes to beat Beth Harmon in old-school chess?

Even if you don’t have a chess set at home, you can brush up on your skills online and play a a retro-styled game or two of chess in The Kilobyte’s Gambit.

Inspired by the hit Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit, the online chess program created by Matt Round can be played online from the self-described “weird random nonsense site” VoleWTF. 

Aside from its link to the Golden Globe award-winning series starring Anya Taylor-Joy as a chess prodigy, what makes the game noteworthy is that it makes use of a single-kilobyte chess engine code and nostalgic '80s-style pixel art.

The entire online chess game uses only 1024 bytes of Javascript and works both on computers and phones.

The new online chess game released last Thursday (March 4) was adapted from a 1K chess program engine code by Oscar Toledo G. and pixel art graphics emulating a CGA 4 colors look by Pinot W. Ichwandardi. 

Just click on the site and press start to play. You play as white and get to make the first move. To move your piece, just click on it and click where to move next. As reported by Nerdbot, the game supports castling, en passant and pawn promotion (to queen only).

While the game won’t announce victory or defeat, it will prevent further moves to let you know you’re finished. 

While the game’s interface looks deceptively simple, after a few attempts, you’ll probably be ready to admit defeat and bow out gracefully like Viktor Beltik.

If The Kilobyte's Gambit leaves you feeling nostalgic for actual retro games (that you can actually beat), check out this awesome MS-DOS Software Library where you can play over 7,000 MS-DOS titles popular on IBM PC computers during the 1980s to the mid-1990s. Titles such as the original Prince of Persia, The Incredible Machine, Elder Scrolls: Daggerfall and Alone in the Dark can be played on browsers completely free.

(Images via VoleWTF)