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Print Page Chess Computer Community
    General Category => Discussions about Chess Computers => Message started by: Selective Brute on January 14, 2010, 01:05AM
	

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Title: Novag Star Opal
Post by: Brute13 on January 14, 2010, 01:05AM

Hello!

I have a question concerning the Novag Star Opal chess computer. I have read that the pieces have magnets in them. How strong magnets? Will the pieces drop of the board or change places if the board is tilted 70 or 80 degrees? The reason for this question is that I prefer to play lying down.

I have already two chess computers with peg pieces that I can play lying down: Saitek Mephisto Travel Chess and Advanced Travel chess. I would like to acquire a third computer that is stronger than the first but weaker than the second. In this range Saitek only have touch style chess computers with LCD-screens so I'm looking for other options.


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Title: Re:Novag Star Opal
Post by: Robert Weck on January 14, 2010, 06:40AM

Hello,

[quote author=Selective Brute link=board=1;threadid=1895;start=0#msg12519 date=1263459913]
I have already two chess computers with peg pieces that I can play lying down: Saitek Mephisto Travel Chess and Advanced Travel chess. I would like to acquire a third computer that is stronger than the first but weaker than the second. In this range Saitek only have touch style chess computers with LCD-screens so I'm looking for other options.
[/quote]
Hmm, i try to guess, which "Mephisto Travel Chess" (except your "Advanced") you could have. I know of: Micro Travel Chess; Touch Screen Travel Chess, Maestro Travel Chess and Expert Travel Chess. But only the last is a peg sensory computer...

Expert and Advanced are both much stronger than the Star Opal. TSTC and MaestroTC should be at least slightly stronger than the Star Opal (the Opal plus has a rating of 1436 in our Active Chess Elo list, while TSTC and MaestroTC have 1540/1542 (i have found them to be identical)

Only the MicroTC should be weaker (1389 ELO)

So i don't think, the Star Opal is an option for you...


best regards,
Robert


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Title: Re:Novag Star Opal
Post by: Brute13 on January 14, 2010, 07:06AM

I meant the cheapest and weakest of Saiteks current Mephisto line:http://www.chesscentral.com/Travel_Chess_Computer_p/travel-chess.htm (http://www.chesscentral.com/Travel_Chess_Computer_p/travel-chess.htm). It's strength is possibly under 900 elo. I'm a beginner and now I have played with it enough that I'm winning it using less time thinking my moves than it does thinking its moves. So maybe the Star Opal is not the best option for me because it is too strong. It would be nice to get a computer in the 900-1000 elo range so that beating it would be a realistic goal. Star Opal is too strong but it seems to be the best option in the market now - excluding the touch screen computers.


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Title: Re:Novag Star Opal
Post by: Robert Weck on January 14, 2010, 07:36AM

[quote author=Selective Brute link=board=1;threadid=1895;start=0#msg12521 date=1263481613]
I meant the cheapest and weakest of Saiteks current Mephisto line:http://www.chesscentral.com/Travel_Chess_Computer_p/travel-chess.htm (http://www.chesscentral.com/Travel_Chess_Computer_p/travel-chess.htm). It's strength is possibly under 900 elo.
[/Quote]
Ah, i see! You are right, this one is really weak (so weak, that it didn't come to my mind ;D)

But have you already tried all options to weaken your Advanced Travel Chess? It has ply-levels; setting it to 1-ply should make it really weak.

And have you tried the fun-levels?...


Robert
[/quote]


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Title: Re:Novag Star Opal
Post by: Brute13 on January 14, 2010, 08:12AM

Nothing wrong with the Advanced Travel Chess. Beginner level 3 is a good challenge :-[ . So you are right: I don't actually need a new chess computer :D. I just thought that I had a good excuse - a reward for myself after the astounding progress in my chess playing skills ;D. The Mephisto Micro Travel Chess would be perfect but I'm not sure if I want a touch screen computer.

So back to my original question concerning the Star Opal: How well does the pieces stay in place?


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Title: Re:Novag Star Opal
Post by: Robert Weck on January 15, 2010, 04:35AM

[quote author=Selective Brute link=board=1;threadid=1895;start=0#msg12523 date=1263485549]
I just thought that I had a good excuse - a reward for myself after the astounding progress in my chess playing skills ;D.
[/Quote]
ok, i understand ;D

I don't have a Star Opal, but i can try with my Opal II (the case is identical and so should be the pieces/magnets)


Robert[/quote]


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Title: Re:Novag Star Opal
Post by: Robert Weck on January 15, 2010, 08:28AM

[quote author=Robert Weck link=board=1;threadid=1895;start=0#msg12525 date=1263558952]
I don't have a Star Opal, but i can try with my Opal II (the case is identical and so should be the pieces/magnets)
[/quote]
I just tried it. The magnets are not very strong, but the pieces are very lightweight, so it was no problem to turn my Opal plus (not a Opal II) around and upside down without any pieces slipping or falling down. 45, 90, 180 degrees: no problem!

I had to shake it rather hard to make the pieces slip around...


best regards,
Robert


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Title: Re:Novag Star Opal
Post by: Brute13 on January 15, 2010, 08:48AM

That's good to hear. I will buy a Novag Star Opal (or Opal or Opal Plus) in the near future.

Thank you very much Robert!



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