The only information we originally had on this game comes from a CES show in Chicago, USA in 1987. Basically the game was to be a chess game, with the background being shown as a landscape.
Avalon Hill made its name as a board game company, and is famous for its historical war games. They still operate today and are a subsidiary of Wizards Coast.
Combat Chess was not quite a game of chess like you might think, certainly not with a chessboard – but had chess like rules across a landscape map. We know this thanks to the Atari release which did manage to make it out.
As for a C64 edition though – it isn’t known how close the game was to being released, or even completed. Presumably it had reached a demo level if it was announced at a CES show, but beyond that we couldn’t say. Avalon Hill’s computer games were not massively well regarded at the time and it may be this reason that the game was pulled.
As the company is still around today, there is a chance we may find out more about this game from someone still at the company or perhaps from a fan, but if not, then it looks like Combat Chess will be another MIA for the Commodore 64 at least.
Contributions: Anders, Chris, Frank Gasking (amendments)
08/09/23 – Confirmation that Atari version was released at least and a quick tweak of the piece that Alex originally wrote back in 2012 or possibly earlier.