Dedicated Chess Computers

Rare Dedicated Chess Computers

Mephisto (H&G) Wundermaschine (i486DX2-66 MHz) Genius 2
Written by MMO
First edited | 01/26/2014 | by MMO
Last edited | 07/12/2016 |
Additional Information:  original photos are from the ChessEval collection © MMO 2014 -  
Other Information:; Wiki-Elo-List;;

The Wundermaschine (i486DX2 66 MHz) Genius 2 was the winner of the WMCC at Munich (1993).
This computer is one of the few Wundermaschine produced by Hegener & Glaser and still with the original processor Intel 80486DX2, 66 MHz, 8 MB of RAM and the Genius 2 program of Richard Lang.
Very few of these computers escaped to the electronic scalpel of their zealous owners dreaming of more MHz power.
For this reason, because it was not modified, this computer deserves its place in the ultra rare section of our collection.

Originality of the Wundermaschine  i486DX2-66 Microprocessor

During the nineties, the i486DX2-66 was a very popular processor among the makers of video games.
It was first produced at the beginning of 1992.
Thus, it was used by H&G engineers for the Wundermaschine which was registered in 1993 for the WMCC of Munich.
Its speed was 66 MHz.
It was able to accept 8 to 16 MB of RAM and a VLB video card.
In the case of the Wundermaschine, there were 8 MB of RAM and 256 KB cache memory .

This CPU was the heart of a lot of great video games.
However, it was uneasy to program it with 3D graphics.
By the end of the nineties, the introduction of 3D graphics in the video games was closing the reign of the i486DX2-66.

Hegener & Glaser and its Mephisto brand were bought in 1994 by Saitek ending a prestigious era of the history of Dedicated Chess Computers.
With their Wundermaschine, Hegener & Glaser were reaching the borders of the PC world.
Still not crossing the frontier...
Six years after, the sixth-generation P6 microarchitecture was introduced on February 26, 1999: the Intel Pentium III.

At this period (H&G Mephisto was then the property of Saitek), some owners of Wundermaschine "modified" their computer by using the Intel Pentium III Processor getting 886 MHz, adding color display and CD-ROM... More powerful indubitably, but it was already the Genius 5 and no more the Genius 2 winner of the World Chess Computer Championship 1993...

Wundermaschine  Board

The wooden housing board is based on the Mephisto Munchen board.
Eight screws maintain the plateau in place on the frame.
They are easily unscrewed giving an immediate access to all the components of the Printed Circuit Board (PCB) and to the electrical power circuit.
This technique was very well known by the engineers of H&G and was already used in the design of the WM: World Machines of the WMCC in Portorose (1989), Lyon (1990) and Vancouver (1991)  and of the International Meeting of Madrid (1992).

Characteristics of the DH 4000 00503003 Wundermaschine (80486DX2, 66MHz, Genius 2)
- Original H&G Mephisto Wundermaschine (non modified)
- 1993
- Processor: Intel 80486DX2, 32 bits, 66 MHz
- RAM: 8 MB
      Base Memory size: 640 KB
      External Memory size: 7424 KB
- Floppy drive 1.2 MB, 5 1/4"
- 256 KB cache memory
- Program Genius 2 by Richard Lang
- Touchscreen black and white, mouse trackball
- Display type VGA/PGA/EGA
- Hard drive with Genius 2 and Genius 3 (see photos below for a list of the program files present in the hard drive)
- One serial connector, one parallel and one video connector for a second monitor
- One fan
- Board: Mephisto Munchen, 50x50x9.5 cm, 64 LEDs
- Adapter: AC/DC 220 V
- Id Number:
DH 4000 00503003 and  DH 4000 0050300
- Price: 15000 Marks (around 7500 Euros))
- Worl
d Champion at the WMCC Munich (1993)

Description of the DH 4000 00503003 Wundermaschine Genius 2

This computer is working perfectly and in excellent esthetic condition.
The program is the Genius 2 of Richard Lang, the winner of the WMCC Munich (1993).

Starting Screens and Specifications 


Serial Numbers

Power supply and Connectors 

Chess Programs in the Hard Drive of the Wundermaschine

- Fritz 2, Fritz 3
- Genius 2, Genius 3, Genius 4 ----> only Genius 2 is fully operational with the Munchen Board
- Hiarcs 3, Hiarcs 4
- Kallisto 1.83
- MCP4, MCP5, MCP6
- Rebel 7
- Socrates X
- Tasc Base

The Wundermaschine at the WMCC, Munich, 1993
- World Chess Computer Championship (manufacturer): Mephisto Wundermaschine Genius 2.
 (finale: Mephisto Wundermaschine Genius 2, Risc 2500, Tasc R30)
- World Microcomputer Chess Championship (software): Hiarcs
- Absolute World Microcomputer Chess Championship: Mephisto Wundermaschine Genius 2.
(finale: Mephisto Wundermaschine Genius 2, HIARCS)

Playing the Wundermaschine against Hiarcs
Source: Chess Programming Wiki: