Dedicated Chess Computers

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The Never Released Tasc R30 Version 2.23
Written by Hans van Mierlo
First edited | 02/09/2014 | by MMO

Last edited | 02/04/2016 |
Additional Information: photos by Hans van Mierlo and MMO  
Reference to cite: Mierlo H,
The Never Released Tasc R30 Version 2.23 , ChessEval Journal, 4, February 2014,


In June 2013, I visited the former Chairman of the CSVN, C. de Gorter for a main reason: I was always curious of his interest for Chess Computers and Modules.
In the past years, I went many times to his home in Den Haag.
Sometimes I was returning with precious computers.

As an example, I got the gift of a 286/2x PC with the card of the Chessmachine 32mhz CM 3.0-3.1 of Ed Schroder and all J. de Koning programs on it.  Amazingly, this PC had the unique Fritz Hong Kong Book made by C de Gorter for the WCC. In fact, C de Gorter was a beta tester of Fritz. He received the original Book from Frans Morsch, the author of Fritz and he modified it. It is interesting to know that they are different of those found in the commercial release.
This time
, I went to see him with a clear objective: to buy the TASC version 2.23.
The first
discussions went through e-mails... then, I went to see him
to finalize the deal.

History of the TASC Version 2.23

Some words about this special version... The TASC 2.23 is almost similar to the 2.20 program:- the TASC R30 2.20 program was released by TASC on April 23rd 1993; - the TASC R30 2.23 program on May 16th 1993.

The story of Hans van Mierlo


My question is: what is so different between the 2 versions used by TASC?
Indubitably,  the Book: more moves are present in the EPROMs of the version 2.23.

This Book plays even more sharper lines than the version 2.20.

The version 2.23 has the World Championship Book which has never been released for competition reasons.

I will give an example of these differences: I will show that some of the variants of this 2.23 Book are new.

I mean clearly that the TASC R30/R40 (version 2.2 to 2.5) , the Montreux, the Risc 2500 are not able to play these variants:
Pils Variant, Kings gambit, Max Lange, Spanish with f5, Bellon gambit, Evans gambit, Wolga, Albins counter gambit.


1 d4 Pf6 2 c4 g6 3 Pc3 d5 4 Pf3 Lg7

5 Lg5 Pe4 6 cxd5 Pxg5 7 Pxg5 e6 8 Dd2 exd5

9 De3 Kf8 10 Df4 Lf6 11 h4 h6 12 Pxd5.
order 4, cxd5 where Bronstein the Quality sacrifice on a1

Budapest gambit with 3 Sg4 and Se4
1 d4-Pf6 2c4-g6 3Pc3- Lg7 4 e4-d6, 5 f4-0-0, 6 Pf3-c5, also possible 7 0-0 and then after cxd4 and Pxd4
With this Variant, the Black (J. Nunn, the author of this opening) won against the TASC R30.

And 1 d4 d5 2 c4 Pc6 3 Pc3 dxc4 and then ,order 3 ...Pe5 4 Dd4 f6!! order 3... Pa5 4 Da4 c6 5 b4 b5 6 Dxa5 Dxa5 7 bxa5 b4.

watch it: side variants are also very dangerous
also 1d4-Sf6, 2 c4-g6, 3 Sc3-d5 4, g4!!

King Gambit where the 2.23 sacrifices his Knight on f3; after g4 from Black he castles 0-0 !



1993 Munchen: TASC R40 version 2.23 versus Wundermaschine Genius 2.

I suppose that one of the reasons of the defeat of the TASC R40 was because of the Wundermachine faster microprocessor...

Wundermaschine Genius 2 (ChessEval Collection)


A precision: in the following text, by “WC Book”, I mean the Book that was used in the Match between the Mephisto Wundermaschine and the TASC R40 2.23.

This was the only time the EPROMs where used in the R40.


Before the Match Ossi Weiner was terrified by the Book of C de Gorter and asked him:  “Did you create a killer book against the Mephisto? “

The reply was: “ No, I just put more openings in the 2.23 program: it will allow it to understand and go faster with some  positions”.

It means that the Book of C de Gorter would sacrifice one or two pawns to have more time to develop its game? This could be wrong of course, but I suppose that the owners of a R30/R40 will understand what point I am making here...



TASC Version 2.23 versus the Tournament Machine London

1 d4-Sf6 2 c4-g6 3 Sc3-Lg7 4 e4-d6 o:p>

5 f4-0-0 6 Sf3-c5 7 d5-e6 8 Le2-exd5 9 e5!-dxe5

10 fxe5-Sg4 11 Lg5-Db6 12 Sxd5! -Dxb2 13 Tb1-Dxa2

14 0-0-Sxe5?!

Here, ends the book of the TASC v2.23.

The TM London stayed in book untill move  9 .

Bad move if taking the pawn! Better is Sc6 for Black.

Four moves later on move 18 , the  R30 2.23 tries Dd6 Checkmatt in 7 !!
15 Se7+ -Kh8 16 Sxe5 -Lxe5 17 Txf7!-Te8 18 Dd6 #7 !!!



Another interesting point is to know why this version has never been released

In 1993, the competition was becoming difficult for the Dedicated Chess Computers: the PC world was finding its way to more powerful microprocessors and more efficient chess programs.

The era of the Dedicated Chess Computers was reaching its end.

TASC did not release its version 2.23 for economical reasons:

a floppy disk with a strong program was costing less than 100 Euros without the need of a Dedicated Chess Computer...


The EPROMs version 2.23 can be used on any R30/R40 with the Smartboard 1 (the SmartBoard version II will not work).

If you are Interested by this Version, feel free to contact me through this website