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Print Page Chess Computer Community
    General Category => Discussions about Chess Computers => Message started by: Tommy on February  4, 2006, 09:45PM
	

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Title: My weakest computer
Post by: Tommy on February 4, 2006, 09:45PM

Just received my weakest computer in my collection from ebay. It is a LCD pocket sized computer called 'Chess Master' by V-Tech, manufactured 1983.

I began to suspect it was a weak computer when I read the instruction manual and it had the following quotes...

* Chess Master continues the game until one of the kings is actually captured.

* Chess Master allows your king to move into check (but will quickly claim a victory if you make such a move).

* Please note: Programming limitations cause the Chess Master to play by rules somewhat different from those in the official U.S. Chess Federation booklet included with the game.



So, as I always do, I decided to test the computer against my chess program Kanguruh. I set the Chess Master to its highest level - level 2, which averages about 5-10 seconds a move. Here is its first test game...


[White "V-Tech Chess Master"]
[Black "Kanguruh v1.91"]
[Result "0-1"]
[TimeControl "40/2400"]

1. Nf3 d5 2. Nc3 d4 3. Ne4 e5 4. Nxe5 Qd5 5. e3 Qxe4 6. Nf3 dxe3 7. d4 exf2+ 8. Kxf2 Be7 9. c3 Nf6 10. Qd2 O-O 11. Rg1 Ng4+ 12. Kg3 Bd6+ 13. Kh3 Nf2#
0-1

For amusement, I decided to test it against Shredder 9 UCI...

[White "V-Tech Chess Master"]
[Black "Shredder 9 UCI"]
[Result "0-1"]

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. Nc3 d5 3. e3 Bg4 4. Bb5+ c6 5. Ba4 Nbd7 6. O-O Ne5 7. d4 Nxf3+ 8. gxf3 Bh5 9. b3 Qd7 10. Re1 Qh3 11. Qd3 Bxf3 12. a3 Qg2#
0-1

So after performing these tests, I have come to the conclusion that this is my weakest chess computer.

Now I'm wondering which is the weakest chess computer ever built? Does anybody know?

Cheers,
Tom.



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Title: Re:My weakest computer
Post by: mychess on February 5, 2006, 06:17AM

Hi,

For me, there are 3 categories of chess computers :

- first, computers that agree all the rules of FIDE.
- second, computers that accept (or play) illegal move.
- And then, all the others not in the first AND the second category: computers that doesn't accept illegal moves, but doesn't accept all legal moves or not detecting special rules (under promotion, prise en p(oops!)ant, null by repetition...).
In each of these categories, there is a weakest computer.
In the last category (the largest), I think about Boris, CC3 or CC7, and Novag MK III in the major brands.
In 1980, I have a CC7 with a mistake in the opening, I do not take this bug as a illegal move (and so as a second category chess computer).

Mychess.


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Title: Re:My weakest computer
Post by: Ismenio on February 6, 2006, 10:55AM

[quote author=Tommy link=board=1;threadid=675;start=0#msg5159 date=1139118318]
Just received my weakest computer in my collection from ebay. It is a LCD pocket sized computer called 'Chess Master' by V-Tech, manufactured 1983.

I began to suspect it was a weak computer when I read the instruction manual and it had the following quotes...

* Chess Master continues the game until one of the kings is actually captured.

* Chess Master allows your king to move into check (but will quickly claim a victory if you make such a move).

* Please note: Programming limitations cause the Chess Master to play by rules somewhat different from those in the official U.S. Chess Federation booklet included with the game.

So, as I always do, I decided to test the computer against my chess program Kanguruh. I set the Chess Master to its highest level - level 2, which averages about 5-10 seconds a move. Here is its first test game...


[White "V-Tech Chess Master"]
[Black "Kanguruh v1.91"]
[Result "0-1"]
[TimeControl "40/2400"]

1. Nf3 d5 2. Nc3 d4 3. Ne4 e5 4. Nxe5 Qd5 5. e3 Qxe4 6. Nf3 dxe3 7. d4 exf2+ 8. Kxf2 Be7 9. c3 Nf6 10. Qd2 O-O 11. Rg1 Ng4+ 12. Kg3 Bd6+ 13. Kh3 Nf2#
0-1

For amusement, I decided to test it against Shredder 9 UCI...

[White "V-Tech Chess Master"]
[Black "Shredder 9 UCI"]
[Result "0-1"]

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. Nc3 d5 3. e3 Bg4 4. Bb5+ c6 5. Ba4 Nbd7 6. O-O Ne5 7. d4 Nxf3+ 8. gxf3 Bh5 9. b3 Qd7 10. Re1 Qh3 11. Qd3 Bxf3 12. a3 Qg2#
0-1

So after performing these tests, I have come to the conclusion that this is my weakest chess computer.

Now I'm wondering which is the weakest chess computer ever built? Does anybody know?

Cheers,
Tom.
[/quote]

That's for sharing that Tom. I didn't know about this model. It would be interesting to test other computers from that time to see if they have similar "features" ;)

Great picture! How did you take it? I usually have a hard time capturing LCD screens and yours looks perfect.

Regards,

Ismenio

@mychess: thanks for the message!!!


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Title: Re:My weakest computer
Post by: Mike Watters on February 8, 2006, 12:42AM

Tom

I have one of these VTech Chess Masters but I haven't played it as it came from Sicily completely new in it's polythene wrapping. The collector in me has the better of the chess player, at the moment, and I have left it in it's pristine condition. Good to see one working though.

As for what is the weakest chess computer I think it can depend on what level you feed them. There are some chess computers which throw pieces at you to take on their "fun" levels. The original Chess Challenger (CC1) has the lowest Elo of any chess computer seriously tested Elo 600 according to Kurt Kispert, though Wiki have it at 985, which looks way too high. :)

Now you're tempting me to play the CC1 against the VTech. :(

All the best
Mike


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Title: Re:My weakest computer
Post by: Tommy on February 8, 2006, 03:07AM

[quote author=Ismenio link=board=1;threadid=675;start=0#msg5169 date=1139252111]

That's for sharing that Tom. I didn't know about this model. It would be interesting to test other computers from that time to see if they have similar "features" ;)

Great picture! How did you take it? I usually have a hard time capturing LCD screens and yours looks perfect.

[/quote]

G'day Ismenio!

The secret to taking this picture was to take the computer outside in the sun shine and then take the photo. Remember, it's summer here! :) I'm planning on photographing my chess computers again, this time I will do it outside in the bright light because the photos come out much better compared to doing it inside.

Cheers,
Tom.


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Title: Re:My weakest computer
Post by: Tommy on February 8, 2006, 03:20AM

[quote author=Mike Watters link=board=1;threadid=675;start=0#msg5186 date=1139388171]
Tom

I have one of these VTech Chess Masters but I haven't played it as it came from Sicily completely new in it's polythene wrapping. The collector in me has the better of the chess player, at the moment, and I have left it in it's pristine condition. Good to see one working though.

As for what is the weakest chess computer I think it can depend on what level you feed them. There are some chess computers which throw pieces at you to take on their "fun" levels. The original Chess Challenger (CC1) has the lowest Elo of any chess computer seriously tested Elo 600 according to Kurt Kispert, though Wiki have it at 985, which looks way too high. :)

Now you're tempting me to play the CC1 against the VTech. :(

All the best
Mike
[/quote]

G'day Mike!

Playing the CC1 against the V-Tech would be great but, if you don't want to do that, then try the 4 move checkmate on the CC1. I just tried it on the V-Tech on level 1 and won. I have no other chess computer that would fall for this.


[Date "2006.02.08"]
[Round "-"]
[White "Tommy"]
[Black "V-Tech Chess Master"]
[Result "1-0"]

1. e4 Nf6 2. Bc4 Nc6 3. Qf3 Ng8 4. Qxf7#
1-0


Quote from V-Tech Chess Master instruction booklet...
"Chess Master gives you 3 separate levels of play. You can play at a HIGH level (L1) or at a HIGER level (L2) against the computer. Or you can play another person (MA)."

So there you go, it claims level 1 is a high level. :)

Cheers,
Tom.



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