Stacey Campbell
 Free Internet Chess Server - 25 July 1995
Free Internet Chess Server - 25 July 1995
In early 1995, when the commercial internet was young, it crossed my mind that a lot of new and interesting services and information were being made available and that this was a very good thing. At the time I didn't have much to contribute to the internet commons, even though I had access to a full time internet connection and a fair bit of computing power.

So I decided to track down an open source chess program and put two automated players on the recently created Free Internet Chess Server. Now, I don't play chess, I doubt I could even explain the rules, but it felt like I was making some sort of contribution to the vast array of things available on the internet.

After a few years I switched the automated players from GNU Chess to Robert Hyatt's crafty. Those crafty programs are still running on FICS as of 2024. At the time of writing this page the programs have played rougly 2 million games of rated chess, and an uncounted number of unrated games. Many of the games have been archived (GriffySr, GriffyJr).

[I was actually running these programs pre-1995 on what was then called the Internet Chess Server, but in an early example of how supposedly FOSS projects can go awry, amidst a fair bit of drama, ICS went commercial.]

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