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Knight
 
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2005 10:21 pm
Posts: 36
Location: Chicago, IL - USA
 Post subject: Does anyone else have an old-school portable chess computer?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 6:11 am 
Many years ago (in the 80s I think) my brother and I received for Christmas a gift of a chess computer.

It is called Radio Shack Chess Computer 1450. In small print, it says "endorsed by World Champion Garry Kasparov" I suppose this means that the Elo rating at the highest level is 1450. (way above my level, hehehe)

The size of the unit is 4 1/4" x 6 3/8" x 5/8". The pieces are tiny little pegged pieces. To register your move, you press in on the piece. This actuates a button under the board. You then move the piece to where you want to put it (while removing a captured piece if necessary) and press down again. There is an LED for each rank and file, and the computer shows you where to move by lighting up the coordinates, kind of in the style of the old board game Battleship.

Anyway, I've grown attached to this thing and I'm still working my way up through the levels. Anyone else who has one of these will realize this is a slow process, since at the higher levels the weak little processors take soooo long to think. I'm working against level 4 now (out of 9) and it can take a few minutes for the computer to come up with a move.

Does anyone else still have their first chess computer? Do you still like it, if only for sentimental reasons, or have you forsaken it for the newer, faster, and stronger computers and software? Just curious.

Jeremy


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Site Admin
 
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2003 2:20 pm
Posts: 907
Location: Maryland
 Post subject: Re: Does anyone else have an old-school portable chess compu
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 10:48 pm 
Smaug wrote:
Does anyone else still have their first chess computer? Do you still like it, if only for sentimental reasons, or have you forsaken it for the newer, faster, and stronger computers and software? Just curious.

Jeremy


I still have every chess computer I ever bought. I sometimes collect really old ones if the price is right -- I have one of the Boris computers from the mid-1970's (the one that came in its own wooden box).


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Newbie
 
Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2005 1:53 am
Posts: 2
Location: Florida
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 2:10 am 
RS 1680-L

Yes, I still have both chess computers that I purchased in the (distant) past.

About 1982/1983, I bought a Fidelity "Chess Challenger". That sucker was tough! I think I had read that it had won a number of computer tournaments, so that impressed me. I think (I'm not positive) I read that it's playing strength is in the 1500-1600 range, but I could be wrong. I still have a hard time beating it.

Then, about 1991, I bought a Radio Shack 1680-L computer. This thing was a pretty nice looking set. The board was black and silver, and so were the pieces...very "modern" looking set...The board (like C Challenger) was a membrane board, so you would press the piece down on the "from" square and then press down on the "to" square.

Challenger had an LED light on every square, so it would light the from and to squares. The R Shack model used 8 lights along the side and bottom of the board, and would light the file/rank lights of the from square and then the "to" square. That took a little getting used to, but I liked that computer a lot... (mostly because I could beat it on most of it's levels).

And Steve, you mentioned the "Boris" computer... I remember that one very well...I think that was probably the first chess computer I ever saw in a store... I grew up in New Jersey, but worked in New York for a few summers before I came down to Florida, and I used to go to Macy's to play Boris on my lunch hour (as well as after work)...

Of course, most of us had no idea where computers would take the chess world, and it's staggering to think of what these programs can do today... But I remember the first time I bought Chess Challenger to the office (around 1988 or so, and I worked in a Bank) and a bunch of people stayed late one night after work to play against this thing... it totally crushed all of us! Most of the human players ended up resigning rather than being totally humiliated...

I like playing Chessmaster (not THE Chessmaster, but the different personalities the program contains), but in my case, using the ol' Challenger or the Radio Shack 1680 is the closest I'll get to playing over the board... just about nobody I know will admit to playing chess... so I'm kind of on my own...but I love the game, even though I may never get past the "low intermediate" stage.


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Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2003 2:20 pm
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:45 pm 
The Bloop wrote:
... just about nobody I know will admit to playing chess...


You need to start runnin' with a different crowd. :D


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Pawn
 
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 9:58 pm
Posts: 12
Location: Florida
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2005 2:27 am 
Steve Lopez wrote:
The Bloop wrote:
... just about nobody I know will admit to playing chess...


You need to start runnin' with a different crowd. :D



u absolutely got THAT right!

There are a couple of local chess clubs in my town (I guess that's the definition of local), but they only meet during the day, and some of us have to work for a living...

I think RHP will be great for me, and in the next month or so, I expect to start playing some correspondence games online here... this is a great site!


BTW Steve - thank you so much for putting that web page together about installing pocket fritz2 ... I bought pf2 last week (it arrived on Friday) and found out that my PDA (Toshiba e740, purchased in 2002) apparently didn't have the right kind of processor to install the program properly, but I was able to install it using the "copy" and "paste" method, and it installed directly on my Pocket PC,and it works beautifully...thanks for all of your technical help... you are indeed a great resource for all of us!


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Site Admin
 
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2003 2:20 pm
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2005 3:42 pm 
Thanks! I'm happy to help and I'm glad you got it up and running.


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Pawn
 
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 12:33 am
Posts: 17
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 5:11 pm 
Some old chess computers are highly desirable by collectors, especially if they have some unique feature. The 'Phantom' chess computer (which moves its own pieces) goes for $500 and up on ebay regularly!
If you have a good condition phantom u r sitting on a packet!


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Newbie
 
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2008 9:25 pm
Posts: 1
 Post subject: radio shack 1680 chess computer
PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 9:29 pm 
I've just got hold of one of these but it came without instructions. Can anyone out there tell me how to work it?!


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