Dedicated Chess Computers

Dedicated Chess Computer World Winners (1980-1993)

First edited | 07/03/2014 | by Maurice M. Ohayon
Last edited | 07/02/2016 |
Photos: MMO

Reference to cite: MM Ohayon, Introduction... July 2014,

In 1980, a first World Microcomputer Chess Championship was organized in London.
Fidelity with the Sensory Voice Chess Challenger won the competition.

The World Microcomputer Chess Championship was a big event for the manufacturers and the developers.
The companies competing in this event built models with experimental software and hardware: special libraries, fast microprocessors, particular design...

After the Championship, the subsequent models were more or less using the characteristics of these Championship machines.
Very few of the experimental models were made. Some were sold to a restricted set of wealthy clients.

The commercialized versions were slightly different of the ones winning the Championship.

Many variations were introduced in term of speed of the microprocessor, libraries, quality and type of the board in order to satisfy the demand and finances of the potential clients.

Sometimes, to avoid giving their libraries or program algorithms to the competition, the manufacturers were modifying the winning program and library (cf. Fidelity Elite Travemunde sold with a weaker version of the Program X (winner of the WMCC 1981), a slower microprocessor and a smaller amount of memory.

After 1991, the dedicated chess computers lost their first place.
The Personal Computers were becoming too strong and more attractive to the public by their price and their polyvalence.
In 1993, at Munich, the Wundermaschine won the manufacturer group of the WMCC.
It was the "chant du cygne", the swan song of the dedicated chess computers...
The Wundermaschine was the most achieved dedicated chess computer for the period and also the end of an era.


The following table is a list of the WMCC from 1980 to 1993. There was no WMCC in 1992.
In the fourth column, the commercialized versions of the World Chess Championship computers are listed.

This list must be completed and verified. Your help will be appreciated.

If you have any information, please contact me (

London Travemunde Budapest Glasgow Amsterdam Dallas Rome Almería Portorose Lyon Vancouver




Original WCC Computers (X, eXperimental, WM) 
Corresponding Commercial Dedicated Computer Models
Fidelity, Chess Challenger X
Fidelity, Chess Challenger Sensory Voice
Fidelity Chess Challenger Champion
Fidelity Elite X

Commercial Group: Chess Champion Mark V

Fidelity X
EliteTravemunde with Program X
Elite with plaque
Chess Champion Mark V
Fidelity Elite Auto Sensory (EAS)
 EAS Budapest

Fidelity Elite X, Mephisto, Princhess X, Psion
Fidelity Elite X
EAS Glasgow
Mephisto III-S Glasgow
Conchess Princhess X
Mephisto Amsterdam / Nona
Mephisto Amsterdam 68000 (12MHz)


Mephisto Dallas
Mephisto Dallas
->Models 68020, 68000


Commercial Group: Mephisto Roma
Mephisto Roma

->Models TM (25MHz), 68020 (14MHz), 68000 (12MHz), 68000 (Roma II-10MHz)


Mephisto Almeria
Mephisto Almeria
->Models WM,TM,68020,68000


Mephisto Portorose
Mephisto Portorose

->Models WM,TM,68020,68000


Mephisto Lyon
Mephisto Lyon

->Models WM,TM,68020,68000




ChessMachine (Gideon)

Manufacturer Group: Mephisto Vancouver WM

Tasc R30 and R40
Mephisto Risc 1 and 2
Mephisto Vancouver
->Models WM,TM,68020,68000
1993 Munich Hiarcs
Manufacturer Group: Mephisto WunderMaschine Genius 2
Mephisto WunderMaschine Genius 2



From 1980 to 1984, Fidelity, the company of Syd Samole, was leading the WMCC.

They used programs made by Dan and Kate Spracklen.

The participating computers were equipped with the X ( for eXperimental) program and library versions.

After the competition, the versions released for the public were modified in order to protect library and  program originality from the competition.


From 1984 to 1990, Mephisto, the firm of Hegener and Glaser, dominated the WMCC and their official programmer, Richard Lang, was cumulating the World Microcomputer Championship awards.
Mephisto developed a series of computers using the winning program in several versions for the 68030, 68020, 68000 microprocessors.
The WM (World Machine) were the original computers.
The TM were the Tournament Machines, made in small quantity after the Championship for some amateurs.
Finally, a series of modules with different types of microprocessors (Motorola 68020, Motorola 68000) were produced in larger quantity inside of Munchen, Exclusive or Modular boards.




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