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The Sphinx Commander CXG 3018

Written by Hans van Mierlo
First edited | 01/26/2014 | by MMO
Last edited | 02/04/2016 |
Photo: ChessEval Collection and Mierlo Collection
Additional Information: and
Reference to cite: Mierlo H, The Sphinx Commander CXG 3018, 5, June 2015,

A lot of information exists about the Commander program of Frans Morsch, but very few on a rare computer housing the Commander Program...
The CXG Sphinx Commander 3018  is a very rare bird based upon the board of the CXG Chess 3008.



The Commander program

The Commander Program was written by Frans Morsh.
Frantz Morsch is a Dutch programmer.
His first program Nona was written in Assembly for the 6502 microprocessor.
He is well known for his program Fritz.  

Version 2.00 had some bugs. Until the version 2.04, the bugs remained.
The version 2.05 is allegedly without bugs.
The CXG 40 and 50 plus have the version 2.00, while the Commander has a version 2.04.

How to know which version is in your computer?
Press knight and pawn buttons when you start up the computer, then it will say TEST -2.00, for example.

Release date of the versions
- Sphinx Galaxy (Morsch, Dominator V1.03) Q3/88
- Sphinx 40/50 Plus (Morsch Dominator V2.00) Q3-4/88
- Sphinx Dominator V2.00 Q4/88
- Sphinx Dominator V2.04 Q4/89
- Sphinx Commander (V2.04) Q4/89
- Updates for the Galaxy and Dominator in 1989, but it seems not for the 40 plus and 50 plus.

The Commander program is housed in many chess computers:
- CXG Galaxy
- CXG Commander
- CXG 40 plus
- CXG 50 plus
- CXG Dominator
- Mephisto Modena
All these computers have the version 2.00 to 2.05.  

The Sphinx Commander CXG-3018

Finally, we arrive at the decisive point, true reason of this paper in the ChessEval Journal...

A Commander Program inside of a CXG Chess 3008...


The story of Hans van Mierlo

A few years (2013) ago, I was on holiday in Germany, and I was searching on Dutch sites for Chess computers. And suddenly, it was a CXG Commander!!!

I looked the photos and it was difficult to see clearly and to say what it was.

My first impression was: "Well this is a CXG without doubt", but i was thinking that it was the CXG Chess 3008 programmed by Kaare Danielsen.

So, my thought was that the guy who uploaded this offer was wrong...
Nevertheless, I was obviously interested as well by the 3008 of Kaare Danielsen
I called the seller and I took an appointment.
After my holidays, I went to see him.
Then  I saw the computer …... a CXG Chess 3008 with on the right side the official CXG emblem with standing CXG Commander...

To be honest, i was stunned. of course I bought it immediately.
Some days after, I posted a message on
I was wondering if anyone had seen this Computer before.
This is the link:


Based on the comments of other collectors, the conclusion was clear: VERY RARE !!!

During all these years of experience with chess computers, I had never seen or heard about this version.
Obviously, I asked the previous owner about this Chess Computer and how he got it.
He told me that he bought it in Netherlands at Wegam Trading. Later, he did the upgrade of the EPROM from version 2.00 to 2.04. This could mean that the version 2.05 was never released for the Commander.

The Sphinx 40 Plus/50 Plus were released only up to version 2.04.

Then I was thinking that, maybe, CXG was staying with old CXG 3008 boards in stock and they did release some CXG Sphinx 3008 with the commander version in order to succeed to sell them.

But was that true or wrong ?

Well, i can tell you, I was fully right !
How I know ?

A few weeks ago, I met somebody from Denmark, and he proposed me a Commander for sale or swap.

I said that I was interested and he sent me the photos .
I was stunned: again a CXG Commander in 3008 housing ,and now, with the original box as well!!!

On the box, the picture of the the CXG 3008 with on the right side CXG Commander !
Conclusion: CXG have originally released this computer with this electronic hardware and the Commander program of Morsch.

I was lucky not only once, but twice...

Now, I wonder how many of these computers are out, waiting another lucky collector... or again me... :)

By the way, I was not taking myself this second CXG 3018 Commander, I proposed to the guy to swap his computer with my friend Maurice Ohayon.


Sphinx Commander CXG-3018
P5250008.JPG (3160268 bytes)P5250009.JPG (3063817 bytes)CXG Chess 3008 CommanderP5250007.JPG (3132371 bytes)
CXG Chess 3008 CommanderP5250006.JPG (3203334 bytes)CXG Chess 3008 Commander