Chess Computers

 
One way I've improved my chess is by playing against chess computers.  These computers have been around since 1977 and from humble beginnings have developed into quite formidable opponents.  Below is a list (in order of year of release) of the chess computers I own/have owned.  The alternative is playing against chess programs on computers.  Whilst this is extremely useful, I prefer the mindset of a board and pieces to help improve my over the board chess.  My ultimate aim is to trade in my current stash of chess computers and buy a Novag Saphire!
 
 
Fidelity Chess Challenger 10
 

Board Size: 335mm x 215mm x 22mm

Square Size: 22mm2

King Height: 53mm

Year of Release: 1978

Description:

This machine runs from a mains adaptor and set into a wooden base, making it a computer to play at home rather than on the go.  But coming in a briefcase, it is easy to package away.  The playing board itself is relatively small, making the pieces seems slightly oversized for the board. There is a verify position option it makes it very portable.  Easy to read LCD screen for moves.

The openings book is relatively deep and chosen at random.  This machine has take back, multi-move and problem solve functions.

I'm not compeletly sure of the rating, but when I am this information will go here.  The machine seems to play well on first glance.

A classic of the chess computer world. 

 
 
SciSys Kasparov Companion III
 
 

Board Size: 314mm x 237mm x 31mm

Square Size: 25mm2

King Height: 48mm

Year of Release: 1986

Description: 

This sensory chess computer can run on either batteries or from the mains, with the pieces stored in the base.

WIth a 16 Kilobyte program a challanging game is often given: helped by the computer thinking on the opponents time.  There are 17 levels including blitz, handicap, teaching and problem solving upto mate in 10.

There's takeback upto 8 ply as well as position verification and set up capability.  The computer remembers the position for 2 years, if turne off.

Follows all draw options, such as 50-move rule, stalemate and 3-fold repetitionELO 1440 to 1560.

 
 
Novag Solo
 

Board Size: 185mm x 135mm x 30mm

Square Size: 13mm2

King Height: 2mm

Year of Release: 1987

Description: 

This is one of the most enjoyable travel chess computers I've had.  Itis very small, very neat and easy to use.  The compact magnetic discs have a secure place to rest and the unit fold into 3 pieces.

There are eight levels, though none of these particularly strong.  The computer makes strange moves once behind, leading to quick victories.  The computer answers quickly, regardless of level, and for short journeys is very useful. 

There are takeback and verify position functions, but overall it is the lack of competition (ELO 1370) that has made me give up playing this great little machine.

 
 
 
Systema Jupiter Deluxe
 

Board Size: 294mm x 242mm x 25mm

Square Size: 25mm2

King Height: 48mm

Year of Release: 1995

Description:

This is a very easy to use machine, that runs off 4xAA batteries, with a/c input possible.  Being very light, containing a carry bag for the magnetic pieces and a verify position option it makes it very portable.  Easy to read LCD screen for moves.

The openings book is not very deep and chosen at random.  This machine has take back, swap sides, multi-move, problem solvs and hint functions as well as a useful teaching mode, where certain pieces are not in play.  Making this machine very versatile.

Only a 4 Kilobyte program is run on an 8-bit chip, but the computer does think on the opponents time to help it out, giving it an ELO rating of approximately 1400.

Overall, fun but easy to beat for a regular player.

 
 
Saitek Kasparov Alchemist Plus
 

 

Board Size: 325mm x 250mm x 35mm

Square Size: 25mm2

King Height: 48mm

Year of Release: 2000

Description: 

Alec laughs, cries, and even shows his impatience if you take too long to move, on the clear LCD screen.

Large LCD also displays moves and game information, along with the elapsed time for both sides!

There are functions for hints, takebacks, teaching, position verify and referee (makes sure human versus human is legal moves only).

Entering moves is amazingly natural, using the 8-inch sensory chessboard!  The chess computer powers down to save battery life and remembers the position being played. 

 
 

Saitek Olympiad Kasparov Chess Computer

 

 
 

 

Board Size: 

Square Size: mm2

King Height:

FIDE Rating: ??

Description: 

Currently, the chess computer I play on most.  A good opening repertoire with strong play, even in quick games.

 
 
Systema Horizon (1996)
 
 

Board Size: 185mm x 135mm x 30mm

Square Size: 13mm2

King Height: 2mm

Year of Release: 1987

Description: 

 
 
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