Dedicated Chess Computers

Dedicated Chess Computer World Winners (1980-1993)

World Microcomputer Chess Championship Budapest 1983
First edited | 07/03/2014 | by MMO
Last edited | 07/01/2016 |
Photos: MMO

Reference to cite: World Microcomputer Chess Championship BUDAPEST1983, July 2014,


After multiple announcements and delays, in 1983, Fidelity finally released the first Elite Auto Sensory boards just few months before the World Championship in Budapest.

The Elite Auto Sensory (EAS) board was offered in 3 different taints: blond, light brown and dark brown.
The thickness of the wood is 4 mm on the play surface.
This slim layer of wood was allowing a better detection of the movement of the chessmen and also... a lower cost of production. A simple PCB with magnetic sensors and leds was needed to register the movements of the chessmen on the surface of the board.
We are far from the design of the ARB and the Prestige:
- practically, one forth of the weight of a Prestige.
- no more need for a complex net of wires and dangerous drilling for the led and magnetic sensors to be closer to the surface of the wood.
- a wood thickness going from one inch to few millimeters.

The engineers were flipping 90 degrees the orientation of the board in regard of the real orientation of the wood board: to pass from the Prestige to the EAS, it was necessary to do a rotation of 90 degrees (from the right side of the board to the bottom side) in order to have the software (the program) working with the new orientation of the magnetic sensors.

With the Elite Avant Garde (EAG), the board was again rotated 90 degrees to follow the new orientation of the buttons from the EAS bottom side to the EAG right side. A special circuit on the Printed Circuit Board (PCB) is doing the rotation and also activates the option one display (EAS) or 2 displays (EAG).

This explains the pseudo incompatibility between Prestige, EAS and EAG.

All the Programs and PCB can use either the EAS or the EAG or the Prestige designs...
As a proof of this choice or option, the connector for the Prestige board is remaining in almost all of the Elite Avant Garde PCB series... including the V11 PCB of Bucke.

The EAS story starts with the Pre-Budapest.

EAS Pre-Budapest

The existence of the Pre-Budapest computer was short.
Its fate was sealed by the upgrade to the new World Champion Budapest Program.
A lot of buyers were happy to get their computers upgraded to the freshly crowned World Champion computer ...
The "Pre-Budapest" version became a rare bird...
It was including a program of Dan and Kate Spracklen in the line of the one of its predecessor, the Prestige.

My collection includes two Pre-Budapest.
Hardware and location production are different:
- the first one was built in USA, speaks English, serial number #32731262-EAS; blond wood.
- the second was made in Germany, speaks German, serial number #764666; dark brown wood.
The two PCB are different.

The two boards were tested by the classic sequence of keys: GC - CL - GC - D2.
This sequence allows to identify the version of the program:
- if D2 light is activated at the end of the sequence, it is a Budapest program;
- if D2 stays off at the end of the sequence, it is a pre-Budapest program;

EAS Budapest

The new version of the Elite program was the winner of the WMCC in Budapest.
A clear success...

The board was elegant with its one four digit display and its commands on the bottom of the board, on the white side.

The EAS were made in USA or in Germany.
In the German models, some minor modifications were appearing, prefiguring what was happening with the Privat (implementation of the EAS Printed Circuit Board in a separate box with the red leds and the commands).



EAS BudapestEAS Budapest

EAS Glasgow (2 Versions)

To identify a Budapest program from a Glasgow, it is necessary to observe the computer after entering a move:

- the Budapest has only "Your Move" flashing during the thinking process;

- the Glasgow flashes alternately "Your Move" and "check".


The Glasgow program exists in 2 versions: Glasgow 1 and Glasgow 2.

Characteristics of the Elite Auto Sensory Budapest and Glasgow
- microprocessor: 6502, 8 bit
- clock: 3.2 MHz (Budapest); 3,6 & 4 MHz (Glasgow)
- memory: ROM = 24 KB; RAM = 3 KB for the Budapest, 4 KB for the Glasgow
- l
ibrary : 9200 (Budapest); 10,000 (Glasgow)
- program by  Dan & Kate Spracklen
- Elo : 1700 (Budapest) 1720 (Glasgow)
- detection by magnetic sensors
- display of 4 digits, 7 segment LED
- adapter 9VAC, 1100mA
- board dimensions: 45.5 x 48.5 x 4 cm;





Finales - Budapest Chess World Championship (1983)

Finales - Glasgow Chess World Championship (1984)

Chess Programing Wiki has the results of these 2 World Championships.


ALL the computers and photos represent EXCLUSIVELY the computers I own (except for the Journal Section).