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For example, could modern Stockfish theoretically, with the hardware at the time, be entered into the 1974 World Computer Chess Championship? If so, would it be grandmaster level?

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could modern Stockfish theoretically, with the hardware at the time, be entered into the 1974 World Computer Chess Championship?

No. Modern Stockfish is not compatible with 1974 computer architecture.

Modern engines which can run on 64-bit Linux should be able to run on an early 90's Digital Equipment Corporation 64 bit Alpha PC running Unix with a suitable recompile and perhaps tweak of the code.

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  • Aren't there 32 bit versions of stockfish? – PeteyPabPro Oct 14 '17 at 22:49
  • @PeteyPabPro So what? The earliest fully 32 bit commercially available chip I'm familiar with is the Intel 80386 DX which came along in the early 90's. In other words at about the same time as DEC's Alpha. The Motorola 86000, first produced in 1979, had a 32 bit instruction set but only a 16 bit ALU and 16 bit external data bus. I don't think these extended to 32 bits until the late 80's / early 90's. In any case not available in 1974. The main problem in this era was the address space. Typically 24 bits = 16MB for IBM 360, for instance. Nowhere near enough for modern engines. – Brian Towers Oct 15 '17 at 12:18
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Stockfish is a C++ source code chess engine, so it will work if you can compile it. However, the C++ language was invented after the 1974 World Championship, so it wouldn't work even if you had the source code back in 1974.

No. Nothing would play at a grandmaster level on the 1974 hardware. Don't believe me? Limit your Stockfish to 100 nodes per move, and see what happens.

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  • Just curious, how do you get 100 nodes from as the capability of a 1974 machine? – PeteyPabPro Oct 14 '17 at 22:36

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