The Smallest Game of Chess Takes Up Just 487 Bytes

Illustration for article titled The Smallest Game of Chess Takes Up Just 487 Bytes

In this age of digital bloat, you might be surprised to hear that making a game as small as possible is an attractive challenge. But this tiny implementation of chess is just that—and takes up just 487 bytes on your hard drive.


BootChess was released this month. It trumps the previous smallest chess game—1K ZX Chess—which held the record for 33 years with its rather extravagant demand for 1024 bytes of storage. As you'd expect, you can forget any graphical interface: instead, pieces are represented by ASCII characters (capitals and lower case represent white and black) and moves are made using the usual chess square notation.

You can download the game; it'll run on Windows, Linux, OS X, DOS and more. It perhaps wouldn't challenge any Grand Master, but if you're not much of chess player it may still make you sweat. [BootChess]


And the world's smallest compiler is something like 250 bytes.

This is why we could go to the Moon with hardware less powerful than today's graphing calculators.

Imagine how most applications could reduce resource requirements if they were written from scratch without all the pre-built extensions and tools in them. But it's quicker/easier to load in a dozen 25Kb libraries than re-write the dozen 1K functions you need, right?