Atari's Chess game was a remarkable technical achievement, since Atari's own programmers had deemed chess as an impossibility on the 2600 from the start. The 2600 could only display three sprites in a row, or six using smart programming tricks (as displayed in the equally groundbreaking Space Invaders). A chess set has up to eight pieces in a row, and to overcome the six-sprite limitation, Bob Whitehead came up a technique known as "Venetian blinds". By changing the sprite positions on each scan line, the illusion of eight, or even more sprites could be attained. Since each sprite was only drawn on every second scan line, all chess pieces were striped, but at least the VCS could display eight pieces which it otherwise was not able to.
Video Chess is the game that inspired Atari to create bank-switching ROMs for the Atari 2600, which allowed games to use more that 4k of memory. Ironically, Video Chess did not use bank-switching ROMs, itself.
Originally, Atari was not going to make a chess game for the 2600 but the original Video Computer System box showed a chess piece and Atari ended up being sued by someone in Florida for false advertising because of the lack of a chess game. Add