Chess Engine - Categorizations - Commercial Dedicated Computers

Commercial Dedicated Computers

In the 1980s and early 1990s, there was a competitive market for strong dedicated chess computers. Many form-factors were sold, from handheld peg-board computers to wooden auto-sensory boards with state-of-the-art processors. This market changed in the mid-90s when the economical embedded processors in dedicated chess computers could no longer compete with the fast processors in personal computers. Nowadays, most dedicated units sold are of beginner and intermediate strength.

  • Chess Challenger, a line of chess computers sold by Fidelity Electronics from 1977 to 1992. These models won the first four World Microcomputer Chess Championships.
  • ChessMachine, an ARM-based dedicated computer, which could run two engines:
    • "The King", which later became the Chessmaster engine, was also used in the TASC R30 dedicated computer
    • Gideon, a version of Rebel, in 1992 became the first microcomputer to win the World Computer Chess Championship
  • Mephisto, a line of chess computers sold by Hegener & Glaser. The units programmed by Richard Lang won six consecutive World Microcomputer Chess Championships. They bought out Fidelity in 1989.
  • Novag sells a line of tactically strong computers, including the Constellation, Sapphire, and Star Diamond brands.
  • Saitek sells mid-range units of intermediate strength. They bought out Hegener & Glaser and its Mephisto brand in 1994.
  • Excalibur Electronics sells a line of beginner strength units. Excalibur was started in 1992 by the son of the founder of Fidelity Electronics.
  • Phoenix Chess Systems makes limited edition units based around StrongARM and XScale processors running modern engines and emulating classic engines

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