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Anybody here still enjoy those older dedicated chess computers?

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burke3gd

I had never thought about the colors.happy It's too bad they didn't use the same design with a stronger computer.

Antonin1957

I have a little Radio Shack 1650. I bought it at a thrift store several years ago and was surprised to see that it still works. For my level of skill it is just fine. 

chessmaster_diamond

The best bangs for the buck as far as old chess computers go at the moment are the Saitek Kasparov Centurion and the (Saitek) Mephisto Explorer Pro. Both have the same engine by Frans Morsch, rated around ELO 2,000. They can be had for around 40 to 50 bucks.

GM_Homer_J_Simpson

And what is your favourite vintage chess computer as far as looks and design are concerned (sorry if this topic has already been discussed)? I love round function keys and tray for chess pieces on the Mini Sensory Chess Challenger and the (back then) kind of 'futuristic' design of Tandy, which remind me of computers in the old sci-fi movies happy.png

chessmaster_diamond

I never liked these tiny computers very much, you always had to be extra careful not to lose any of these teeny-tiny pieces. Apart from the two above I still got a Boris Diplomat (non-sensory) and a Saitek "Cosmos", the latter being the strongest of them all (ELO 2000, the same engine as on the Saitek Centurion and Mephisto Explorer Pro above). Never had much fun playing with either of them.

The most beautiful? Well, probably one of the larger wooden boards, like the Novag Expert or the CC A/S Elite. I still got one Elite, albeit not in the greatest shape (though functional).


 

Filphil

The Saitek Cougar and Centurion are related, but not clones. Cougar clocks at 16 mhz with Centurion at 10, while having perhaps the same opening book. Cougar elo is 2056. Centurion is 2021. Explorer Pro is 2056 elo with a vastly larger opening repertoire and clocks at 16 like Cougar. Cosmos on the other hand does appear to be one in the same with Centurion at 2021 elo , clocking 10 mhz with the same size opening library.

chessmaster_diamond

The Cougar and the Centurion ARE clones (as are the Mephisto Explorer and Explorer Pro), of the earlier Saitek GK 2100 and GK 2000, respectively. Only the designs were modernized.

Saitek was an expert at rebadging older engines.

Filphil

Im going on a whim to assume you value these machines lower since you live in Germany. Anyone would be lucky to snatch up the units and prices you describe. Im paying that shipping for stuff ive bought from "overseas"

Filphil

Like i already have a Cosmos, but if you want to sell me yours for near 40, im all in pal. Im actually purchasing a Mephisto Milano from Germany as we speak. I cant wait to open the board up and replace the 2032 battery that serves as its backup memory function. Then i can examine the eproms that i will eventually replace to turn it into a Nigel Short! Fun!! 

Antonin1957
chessmaster_diamond wrote:

I never liked these tiny computers very much, you always had to be extra careful not to lose any of these teeny-tiny pieces. 


 

Yes, those tiny pieces are a problem, especially for those of us who are "up in age." With my little Radio Shack 1650 I have trouble telling the bishop and the pawn apart. But, on the plus side, it is a worthy opponent who is always ready to play whenever I want.

AlexiZalman

Aye, and dedicated chess computers are never bad losers!

GM_Homer_J_Simpson
Antonin1957 napisał:
chessmaster_diamond wrote:

I never liked these tiny computers very much, you always had to be extra careful not to lose any of these teeny-tiny pieces. 


 

Yes, those tiny pieces are a problem, especially for those of us who are "up in age." With my little Radio Shack 1650 I have trouble telling the bishop and the pawn apart. But, on the plus side, it is a worthy opponent who is always ready to play whenever I want.

I can't even tell how many games I've lost trying to push my pawn forward which turned out to be a bishop happy.png I've seen a couple  Radio Shack 1650 for sale with bishops dotted red at the top.

anonanist
I saved my pocket money and bought a tiny Novag Solo in 1988. The following year I was given a Novag Alto. Both now sadly gone. Since then I’ve had a long series of thrift store computers like Radio Shavks and Hanimexs and now I’m collecting interesting (to me) machines mainly for aesthetics or point of difference rather than gameplay. Current collection is a VEB Chess Master Diamond (wooden auto sensory from East Germany), a Boris Diplomat, a Milton Bradley Phantom, and a Saitek President. What I really covet is the Izot U30M 1042C (Bulgarian Fidelity Voice Challenger clone/pirate): a masterpiece in utilitarian Eastern Bloc design. And of course a Novag Robot Adversary!
GM_Homer_J_Simpson
anonanist napisał:
I saved my pocket money and bought a tiny Novag Solo in 1988. The following year I was given a Novag Alto. Both now sadly gone. Since then I’ve had a long series of thrift store computers like Radio Shavks and Hanimexs and now I’m collecting interesting (to me) machines mainly for aesthetics or point of difference rather than gameplay. Current collection is a VEB Chess Master Diamond (wooden auto sensory from East Germany), a Boris Diplomat, a Milton Bradley Phantom, and a Saitek President. What I really covet is the Izot U30M 1042C (Bulgarian Fidelity Voice Challenger clone/pirate): a masterpiece in utilitarian Eastern Bloc design. And of course a Novag Robot Adversary!

Can you please share a photo of Izot U30M 1042C?

anonanist
http://www.chesscomputeruk.com/html/izot_u30m_1042c.html
anonanist
So ugly it’s beautiful!
GM_Homer_J_Simpson
anonanist napisał:
So ugly it’s beautiful!

Thanks! I love the keys. It reminds me of Commodore C64 a bit happy.png

Antonin1957
GM_Homer_J_Simpson wrote:
 

...I've seen a couple  Radio Shack 1650 for sale with bishops dotted red at the top.

That is a great idea!

chessmaster_diamond
anonanist hat geschrieben:
So ugly it’s beautiful!

THIS was the ugliest chess computer of them all:

Unsurprisingly, it was made in East Germany: The RFT SC2. They couldn't even create their own engine. Instead, the bought the electronics and program of the Chess Challenger 10A. 

I've still got one of those. In real life, it's even uglier.