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Print Page Chess Computer Community
    General Category => Discussions about Chess Computers => Message started by: Ismenio on April 20, 2005, 04:03PM
	

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Title: Chess King - Handheld - any info?
Post by: Ismenio on April 20, 2005, 04:03PM

I got this handheld today but I have no information on it.
Does anyone else have one of these or know anything about it? The manual doesn't even have the name of the company.

Ismenio









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Title: Re:Chess King - Handheld - any info?
Post by: Mike Watters on April 20, 2005, 04:28PM

[quote]I got this handheld today but I have no information on it.
Does anyone else have one of these or know anything about it? The manual doesn't even have the name of the company.

Ismenio

[/quote]Ismenio

I had one of those for a while back in the 1980s. I had forgotten all about it. I remember it was extremely weak and the magnetic pieces kept falling out of it.

Looking at KBs collection list, he has CGL and Chess King listed separately but no less than 4 Chess King Pocket Micros are listed. CGL are Computer Games Limited. I have a Computachess II on the way to me. That is also made by them. Possibly a Hong Kong company?

Tom has a smaller version in his collection, the one bought at Heathrow.

Sorry I have no information on it. I think I must have thrown mine away. :-[

Mike


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Title: Re:Chess King - Handheld - any info?
Post by: Ismenio on April 20, 2005, 04:44PM

Thanks for the reply Mike. I'm embarr(oops!)ed now! I had to read your post and look at my own pictures to see the CGL right in front of me!
I was heading back to Tom's page to check his units when I read your message.

Ismenio


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Title: Re:Chess King - Handheld - any info?
Post by: steffen on April 20, 2005, 11:34PM

Hello,

Chess King was a U.K.-based company which didn´t live very long. The chess computer YOU have seems to be the most sold one by them. There exists a similar one from Mephisto.

I do have 3 EXTREMELY rare chess computers from them, the Chess King Philidor (other than the Mark VI Philidor), the Chess King Counter Gambit and the Chess King Triomphe, all with OVP.

Best,
steffen


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Title: Re:Chess King - Handheld - any info?
Post by: Mike Watters on April 21, 2005, 01:09AM

[quote author=steffen link=board=1;threadid=207;start=0#msg1427 date=1114065244]
Hello,

Chess King was a U.K.-based company which didn´t live very long. The chess computer YOU have seems to be the most sold one by them. There exists a similar one from Mephisto.

I do have 3 EXTREMELY rare chess computers from them, the Chess King Philidor (other than the Mark VI Philidor), the Chess King Counter Gambit and the Chess King Triomphe, all with OVP.

Best,
steffen
[/quote]Hello Steffen

Could you give us some information on these Chess King machines please? I know about the Triomphe now because of the recent auctions, but I have not seen pictures or any information on the Philidor or Counter Gambit.

BTW I now have the card to do the Cyberchess copies and if you email me your address I will get them done.

Viele Grüße
Mike


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Title: Re:Chess King - Handheld - any info?
Post by: Overtom on April 21, 2005, 04:49AM

[quote author=steffen link=board=1;threadid=207;start=0#msg1427 date=1114065244]
Chess King was a U.K.-based company which didn´t live very long (...)
[/quote]

No wonder it didn´t live very long! The Counter Gambit (I probably bought mine at Heathrow as well ;)) had chessmen of a very brittle kind of plastic. They stuck out a centimetre above the top of the box. I broke several of them just by moving my hand close to the board.

The computer´s end came when I used a Mephisto adapter to power it. Obviously its polarity was not the same as Mephisto´s. Although it probably takes little more than a few diodes to safeguard against such an event, this was obviously too much expense for the Chess King Company.

The same goes for Excalibur. I put a regular Mephisto adapter into it and bang!! But fortunately you can't see that in the picture on my website ;)


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Title: Re:Chess King - Handheld - any info?
Post by: Dick Schneiders on April 21, 2005, 04:58AM

[quote author=Overtom link=board=1;threadid=207;start=0#msg1435 date=1114084168]

The same goes for Excalibur. I put a regular Mephisto adapter into it and bang!! But fortunately you can't see that in the picture on my website ;)
[/quote]

Tom,

You ought to consider doing what Ismenio does - have some videos of your computers on your web site. It would be quite interesting to have a video of this "bang", as you put it, for all to see and admire. :D

Dick Schneiders


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Title: Re:Chess King - Handheld - any info?
Post by: Endspielgott on April 21, 2005, 05:19AM

[quote author=Dick Schneiders link=board=1;threadid=207;start=0#msg1437 date=1114084725]
[quote author=Overtom link=board=1;threadid=207;start=0#msg1435 date=1114084168]

The same goes for Excalibur. I put a regular Mephisto adapter into it and bang!! But fortunately you can't see that in the picture on my website ;)
[/quote]

Tom,

You ought to consider doing what Ismenio does - have some videos of your computers on your web site. It would be quite interesting to have a video of this "bang", as you put it, for all to see and admire. :D

Dick Schneiders
[/quote]

Dick,

I should have known beforehand that you are interested in bangs...I once made the fault to plug the power supply of my Turniermaschine in the socket (wall) first, and than connected the other end of the cable with the computer. A shower of sparks rained on me :o :o :o...

That was when I thought of selling this device...

Christian


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Title: Re:Chess King - Handheld - any info?
Post by: Overtom on April 21, 2005, 05:24AM

[quote author=Dick Schneiders link=board=1;threadid=207;start=0#msg1437 date=1114084725]

You ought to consider doing what Ismenio does - have some videos of your computers on your web site. It would be quite interesting to have a video of this "bang", as you put it, for all to see and admire. :D

Dick Schneiders
[/quote]

Well, to be honest, the bang was not as spectucalar as the term may suggest - more a bang when my feelings of bliss were suddenly shattered - after all, I'd had the computer in the house for no longer than ten minutes. So apart from the fact that my website is approaching the 50MB limit that my ISP has imposed, it wouldn't be the spectacular kind of stuff as can be admired at Ismenio's.

But I mention such events as part of the computer's description at my site because I think ill-constructed computers should be warned against. Excalibur seems to follow in the tracks of its predecessor: just like Fidelity, I admit they make pretty-looking computers. But too little thought has gone into sensible construction and other seemingly humdrum features. I think on that point they could learn a lot from Saitek, where they use well-constructed modules over and over again - be it parts of the housing, the software or the chessmen!


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Title: Re:Chess King - Handheld - any info?
Post by: Overtom on April 21, 2005, 05:29AM

[quote author=Endspielgott link=board=1;threadid=207;start=0#msg1440 date=1114085986]
I once made the fault to plug the power supply of my Turniermaschine in the socket (wall) first, and than connected the other end of the cable with the computer. A shower of sparks rained on me :o :o :o...

That was when I thought of selling this device...
[/quote]

Please reveal your eBay alias and I'll know which sellers to avoid ;)


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Title: Re:Chess King - Handheld - any info?
Post by: Endspielgott on April 21, 2005, 05:45AM

[quote author=Overtom link=board=1;threadid=207;start=0#msg1442 date=1114086543]
[quote author=Endspielgott link=board=1;threadid=207;start=0#msg1440 date=1114085986]
I once made the fault to plug the power supply of my Turniermaschine in the socket (wall) first, and than connected the other end of the cable with the computer. A shower of sparks rained on me :o :o :o...

That was when I thought of selling this device...
[/quote]

Please reveal your eBay alias and I'll know which sellers to avoid ;)
[/quote]

Well it is identical with the first part of my email adress....
easy to find out for wise and careful buyers ;D

But: I do not sell stuff very often.

C

P.S. The buyer of the Turniermaschine did not hunt me down ;)


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Title: Re:Chess King - Handheld - any info?
Post by: Mike Watters on April 21, 2005, 05:49AM

Hi Tom good to see you have joined the "mad-house".

All I will say about Ebay IDs is that you should watch out for a seller of Tasc goods. ;)

Which reminds me. Christian if you have a spare interface when the package finally arrives please can you let me know?

All the best
Mike


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Title: Re:Chess King - Handheld - any info?
Post by: Endspielgott on April 21, 2005, 05:53AM

[quote author=Mike Watters link=board=1;threadid=207;start=0#msg1444 date=1114087740]
Hi Tom good to see you have joined the "mad-house".

All I will say about Ebay IDs is that you should watch out for a seller of Tasc goods. ;)

Which reminds me. Christian if you have a spare interface when the package finally arrives please can you let me know?

All the best
Mike
[/quote]

Mike,

your request will be granted if it is in my power :)
The package left the USA at the beginning of this week, but US Postal service garantees delivery within 4-10 days :(...so maybe I have to wait another week.
But there is an advantage: There is more time to (oops!)emble my tools ;D

Maybe there is soon a sparky Smartboard for sale...

Sincerely

Christian


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Title: Re:Chess King - Handheld - any info?
Post by: Mike Watters on April 21, 2005, 06:41AM


on 1114087740]
Hi Tom good to see you have joined the "mad-house".

All I will say about Ebay IDs is that you should watch out for a seller of Tasc goods. ;)

Which reminds me. Christian if you have a spare interface when the package finally arrives please can you let me know?

All the best
Mike
[/quote, Endspielgott link=board=1;threadid=207;start=0#msg1445 date=1114088013]
[quote author=Mike Watters wrote
:


Mike,

your request will be granted if it is in my power :)
The package left the USA at the beginning of this week, but US Postal service garantees delivery within 4-10 days :(...so maybe I have to wait another week.
But there is an advantage: There is more time to (oops!)emble my tools ;D

Maybe there is soon a sparky Smartboard for sale...

Sincerely

Christian
Thanks Christian. :)

Let the sparks fly.

P(oops!) the sledgehammer, Nurse.

Beste Grüsse
Mike


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Title: Re:Chess King - Handheld - any info?
Post by: Mike Watters on April 21, 2005, 07:11AM

Ok as mentioned on the other thread this is the review of the Chess King Micro by Michael Basman (IM) December 1983.

The Chess King Micro: This is a dear little computer. It has a folding pocket board, magnetic, over which you move the pieces; you key in the moves. The play is fairly trivial, on four levels, it hits about grade 60 at top. (this is 60 BCF which is about 1080 Elo). That means that it certainly cannot see mates in two coming and makes "higher material errors", though it does not leave pieces en prise. It cannot work through a capture sequence on one square leading to a loss of material for it. It sells at around £32. Recommended for novices.

BTW he reviews these others :-

Fidelity Mini Sensory £50
Portachess (CGL) £40
Computachess II (CGL) £60
Advanced Computachess (Eureka) £35
Computachess (Eureka) £30
Novag Micro II £40
Scisys Travel Mate £20
Scisys Travel Sensor Chess £45
Scisys Explorer £?

He is complimentary about the playing strength of the Scisys Explorer which was mentioned by Bernhard a while back in connection with Kaare Danielsen.

Mike


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Title: Re:Chess King - Handheld - any info?
Post by: Mike Watters on April 22, 2005, 02:09AM

[quote author=Ismenio link=board=1;threadid=207;start=0#msg1423 date=1114040692]
Thanks for the reply Mike. I'm embarr(oops!)ed now! I had to read your post and look at my own pictures to see the CGL right in front of me!
I was heading back to Tom's page to check his units when I read your message.

Ismenio
[/quote]Ismenio/Steffen

If you look at the Chess King Pocket Micro photo amongst Steve's pictures you will see that it does not mention CGL.

http://us.f2.yahoofs.com/users/41724fb6z87a8eebb/f650/__sr_/2020.jpg?phdnLaCBWmp3EqKn

I think that "Chess King" is probably a name used by a Hong Kong company and Computer Games Limited is a British distributor. The company that actually made it is anyones guess. I find it difficult to believe that anything like this was made in Britain in the 1980s.

Sometimes you will see other references to British companies - Eureka, Systema and Acetronic. I do not believe that any of them manufactured either. Being a colony at the time there was a lot of British investment in Hong Kong and that is where a lot of these handhelds were made.

Does anyone know who made Chess Kings?

Mike


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Title: Re:Chess King - Handheld - any info?
Post by: Ismenio on April 22, 2005, 07:30PM

That raises a question: Do we have a complete list of all companies that have produced (even a licensed clone, or not) at least 1 chess computer? I haven't seen that around.

Ismenio


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Title: Re:Chess King - Handheld - any info?
Post by: steffen on April 24, 2005, 03:46AM

HI Mikey,

I´m pretty sure that Chess King was a U.K.-based company. The guy who had sold both the Philidor and the Chess King to had mentioned that.
Sorry that I can´t post photos of them, my PC is too bad for this (5 years old).

How about your progress in the CyberChess?

Best,
steffen


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Title: Re:Chess King - Handheld - any info?
Post by: Mike Watters on April 24, 2005, 04:19AM

[quote]
How about your progress in the CyberChess?

Best,
steffen
[/quote]Hi Steffen

Then you did not get my message earlier in this thread? See over half way down it. I need your home address to send them to you.

All the best
Mike


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Title: Re:Chess King - Handheld - any info?
Post by: Mike Watters on April 27, 2005, 06:09AM

Further to the question of who made chess computers, and particularly those from the Far East, I received a Computachess II the other day :-

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=5186018915&rd=1&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWN%3AIT&rd=1

It is an unremarkable, even dull machine. One of the first attributed to CXG/Newcrest Technology. Made in 1982, hence my interest.

The front of the box says CXG 002.
The back of the box says - Manufactured by Newcrest Technology Ltd, but there is also a sticker which says Made in China.
The manual says that the program in the chess computer is the copyright of White and Allcock Ltd. (David Levy?)

So Hong Kong companies were already outsourcing some manufacturing to China, even at that time. Something that has increased greatly in recent times.

I have found various chess computers designed in Britain e.g Intelligent Chess, Novag Super System III and Scisys Chess Champion Mark V. Many were programmed by Britons notably Richard Lang and David Levy. Even more were distributed from Britain. But I have yet to find a single chess computer which was actually made in Britain.

The search continues.

Mike

BTW - CXG 001 is the "Sensor Computachess", made in 1981. It is the same machine as the "Computachess" (USA - wrongly attributed by some to White and Allcock) and the Eureka and Systema badged "Computachess" versions (UK) and no doubt other clones.

For CXG the list goes something like this :-

001 - Sensor Computachess (1981)
002 - Computachess II (1982)
003 - ?
004 - Galaxy Mark VI (Kurts site - dubious?)
005 - ?
006 - Advanced Computachess
007 - ?
008 - Computachess III
009 - Super Computachess

Can anyone fill in the blanks please?



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Title: Re:Chess King - Handheld - any info?
Post by: Ismenio on April 28, 2005, 10:15AM

Thanks for that post Mike. I'm very much interested in this.

Another version of Chess King is on eBay. I'll try to get it, as long as the price stays low.


http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=5190634794

Based on Steffen's previous post I think this one is less common than the one I just got.
Notice how the seller stays it's the "world's smallest chess computer" when that's not accurate.
The Fidelity Chess Card and the Sphinx Chesscard are the smallest ones.

Ismenio


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Title: Re:Chess King - Handheld - any info?
Post by: Mike Watters on April 28, 2005, 11:17AM

Ismenio

This seems to be the Mighty Midget, which is on Karsten Bs list and is the same as the Chess King on Tom's website.

Rugby is only about 30 miles up the M1 Motorway. So if the deal goes wrong let me know and I can sort them out for you, after consulting Dick on strong-arm methods.

Mike


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Title: Re:Chess King - Handheld - any info?
Post by: Mike Watters on May 26, 2005, 01:15AM

[quote author=Ismenio link=board=1;threadid=207;start=0#msg1634 date=1114708529]
Thanks for that post Mike. I'm very much interested in this.

Another version of Chess King is on eBay. I'll try to get it, as long as the price stays low.


http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=5190634794

Based on Steffen's previous post I think this one is less common than the one I just got.
Notice how the seller stays it's the "world's smallest chess computer" when that's not accurate.
The Fidelity Chess Card and the Sphinx Chesscard are the smallest ones.

Ismenio
[/quote]Ismenio

As you probably remember Steve B bid highest for the one shown in your picture, but surprisingly another one turned up on Ebay.

This time I got it :-

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=5196257220&rd=1&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWN%3AIT&rd=1

It arrived today. Opening the little machine up, on the inside it says - Designed and Manufactured in England. At last I have found a chess computer actually made here. :)

All the best
Mike


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Title: Re:Chess King - Handheld - any info?
Post by: Ismenio on May 26, 2005, 02:35PM

Yes, I remember that one :)
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=5190634794
Because I also wanted it!

Congratulations! I especially liked the price!

By the way, did you see this? http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=5194368387
:o

Ismenio


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Title: Re:Chess King - Handheld - any info?
Post by: Mike Watters on May 26, 2005, 03:14PM

[quote]By the way, did you see this? http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=5194368387
:o

Ismenio
[/quote]Crikey!! Dick really made tradingman dig into his savings and must have been surprised that he didn't get it.

Of course this one is brand new, which makes a difference. I cannot remember what the Milton Keynes one was but only a fraction I think?

Mike


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Title: Re:Chess King - Handheld - any info?
Post by: Ismenio on May 26, 2005, 05:53PM

Oops! I hadn't looked at the list of bidders! 8)
So Dick strikes again! ;D

I can't recall how much the Sphinx card cost but my Fidelity one, complete with all package and with the pieces still in the magnetic plate cost me about $9 a year ago ;)
But that wasn't on eBay!

Ismenio


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Title: Re:Chess King - Handheld - any info?
Post by: Mike Watters on June 3, 2005, 12:54AM

Tom

Congratulations on the latest addition to the Overtom family.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=2554&item=5202311705&rd=1

I shall be chasing the next one to appear.

Mike


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Title: Re:Chess King - Handheld - any info?
Post by: Ismenio on June 3, 2005, 05:09AM

Tom, you almost got competition here ;)
These past days I've been so busy that I haven't had time even to check on the computers I have on my watch list and that I was interested in. That was one of them, mostly because of the box.
Congratulations! Let us know when we'll be able to see it on your great site! I especially enjoy seeing the little babies there. I know some collectors stay away from the handhelds but those are some of favorite ones!

Any update on the delivery of that Chessica from the US?
Let me know if I can help you with that.

Best,

Ismenio


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Title: Re:Chess King - Handheld - any info?
Post by: Overtom on June 3, 2005, 07:22AM

[quote author=Ismenio link=board=1;threadid=207;start=0#msg2324 date=1117800576]Tom, you almost got competition here ;)
These past days I've been so busy that I haven't had time even to check on the computers I have on my watch list and that I was interested in. That was one of them, mostly because of the box.
Congratulations! Let us know when we'll be able to see it on your great site! I especially enjoy seeing the little babies there. I know some collectors stay away from the handhelds but those are some of favorite ones!
Any update on the delivery of that Chessica from the US?
Let me know if I can help you with that.
Best,
Ismenio
[/quote]
Thanks for ignoring the Chess King! There are not many goodies around at the Anglosaxon side of eBay these days. Many new and uninteresting computers - at least to me >:(.

The Chessica cost me more than I expected: the Dutch post delivered an additional bill for 35 euros clearance and expenses - the first time I ever had to pay customs clearance on eBay goods.

But I already took the first picture. I could not completely avoid all reflections. :(



As usual, Excalibur does not volunteer too much information about processor, memory and things like that! If you have any information, it would be most welcome.

By the way, I'm trying to gauge its strength, so I'm trying to get some games going with other computers. The first candidate is the Star Ruby - which is so UNintuitive to operate that the first two games were broken off because I just did not manage to persuade it to go on: very user-UNfriendly indeed!

But in the meantime, if you have any info on that Chessica .... (I only found out this was the Chessica you described the other day when she started talking ;))

Best regards,

tom



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