Dedicated Chess Computers

Rare Dedicated Chess Computers

Fidelity Decorator Challenger
Written by MMO
First edited | 02/24/2014 | by MMO
Last edited | 07/12/2016 |
Additional Information:  original photos are from the ChessEval collection © MMO 2014 -  
Other Information: Wiki-Elo-List; Chess Computer UK; (Wolfgang.Rausch);

A beautiful, rare and impressive unit made by Fidelity. My unit speaks English.
Fidelity advertised it in a brochure as an OLD WORLD CRAFTMANSHIP!
The Decorator was released in 1981. It was essentially commercialized in America.

The Decorator is sharing the same architecture and electronics than the Grand Master Voice.
However, there are many differences between these two boards:
- the Grand Master Voice has a keyboard and display recovered by a wooden plaque in the tone of the rest of the board. The keyboard/display of the Decorator has a metallic aspect (similar to the one of the Chess Challenger Voice).
- the Grand Master Voice has not the 4 carved legs of the Decorator.
- the Grand Master Voice is lighter than the Decorator: the frame of the Decorator is more massive.
Conversely, the board of the Grand Master Voice is closer to the aspect of wood than the Decorator.
Their similarities:
- both have 2 drawers for the Chessmen.
- both have a cable with 2 prongs to connect to the classical adapter Fidelity 8.5VAC, 1.5A.
- both are equipped with a full Fidelity Chess Challenger Voice Advanced. However, the Decorator has 12 KB of ROM (8KB in the Chess Challenger Voice Advanced).
- the chessmen of the Decorator and Grand Master Voice are classical Staunton made in France.
Finally, the size of the Decorator (28-1/2 x 23-1/3 x 4-3/4 inches) is giving squares of 5.5cm. On this board, were attached the 4 legs adding to the height of the board... A true piece of furniture!
The Decorator was coming too late... The ARB was not so far with its Spracklen, Sargon 2.5 program, its board with 64 LEDs and its full massive wood: twenty one inch square with a beautiful technology for the period.
Still the Decorator and the Grand Master Voice stand beautifully in this Gallery of Dedicated Chess Computers as the way the era of the Dedicated Chess Computers was starting...

This one is particular by the borders not painted in black: the borders have the natural color of the wood.

Comparison with Fidelity Grand Master