JScript vs. Nintendo DS

You’ve probably seen (C# + Silverlight 1.1) clobbering JScript at Chess in the Silverlight Chess demo.

The Nintendo DS has a chess program, Clubhouse Games, which isn’t very good, as I mentioned earlier here.

So then I wondered who would win at chess: Jscript or the Nintendo DS .


(Caveat: I recognize this isn’t comparing anything useful. They have different hardware, computational abilities, the programs are using different algorithms, etc… Regardless, it seemed cute. )

To find out, I had one game on the Nintendo DS that was: DS vs Human. And then I had a second game in the browser that was JScript vs. Human. And then I manually entered the JScript moves for the DS’s human opponent, and I manually entered the DS’s moves for the JScript human opponent. Regarding keeping fair time per turn: The JScript program had a fixed upper time limit per turn. DS did not, but it had a difficulty setting that indirectly influenced time. I set the DS difficulty to get an approximate time around what the JScript program had.

On a sidenote, I actually had a few cases of the games getting out of sync because I’d mistakenly enter the wrong move. Sometimes, I could play for quite a while with them being out a sync without realizing it. This has some cute parallels to multi-player networked games.


Final score: JScript won 3 games, DS won 1.

The breakdown:
I played 4 games total. 2 for JSsript being white, 2 for DS being white.

DS was white;  JScript was black.
1) Jscript won, 22 moves.
2) JScript won in 48 moves.

JScript was white. DS was black.
3) DS won in 8 moves. This kind of looked like the DS got lucky. JScript gave away the queen.
4) JScript won in 64 moves. Slow game. JScript was well ahead early, but went for a strategy of advancing its pawns. It eventually had 3 queens. JScript was lucky it didn’t end in stalemate.


Based on the playing style I observed, JScript seemed soundly better. If I had 100 data points instead of just 4, I’d still bet on JScript.

Comments (5)

  1. Chris Nahr says:

    The chess algorithm of Clubhouse Games is truly terrible.  Actually, from what I can tell the AI in all the games is terrible.  Not that the collection isn’t a great time waster, thanks to the sheer diversity and many games that depend partly or wholly on luck.

    But if you want a good chess game for the DS you should get a dedicated cartridge — I think a Chessmaster version should be available.  JScript certainly won’t beat that one. 🙂

  2. " I think a Chessmaster version should be available"

    Should is ambiguous here.

    Do you mean that "you think a Chessmaster game will be available soon" or did you mean "In an ideal world, a Chessmaster game would be available."

  3. Chris Nahr says:

    There is definitely a Chessmaster version for the GBA which is already available and compatible with the DS:


    And on Amazon I just found a new Chessmaster version specifically for the DS which is scheduled for release in September:


    There are other chess games for the GBA and DS, although the incompetent Amazon search doesn’t bring them up.  Some may be out of print, or perhaps they were not released in America.

  4. goose says:

    Chessmaster for the NDS is comming about September 2007. Chessmaster for the GBA is rubbish. Really poor. The original gameboy version of 1989 is better ! The best chess program for GBA [and it will work for nds] is ultimate brain games. That chess program is really strong probably about 2000 ELO [European not USA = 2200]