Chess For Everyone
Until the mid-1970s, playing computer chess was the privilege of a few people with access to expensive computers at work or school. The availability of home computers, however, allowed anyone to play chess against a machine.
The first microprocessor-based chess programs were produced by hobbyists who shared information openly through computer clubs and magazines. As computer chess became commercialized, the increased investment in programming and marketing produced better programs and a larger audience. Even beginning chess players could learn and improve their game without the need for a human opponent.
The sophistication of microprocessor-based chess software had improved so much by the mid-1980s that these systems began winning tournaments against supercomputer-based programs and even top-ranked human players.