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Computers - February 22, 2019

7 Fun and Funky Vintage Chess Computers

If you’re like me, you have got an older brother who loves chess. As you had been growing up inside the Nineteen Eighties, you watched him play the game after recreation within the back seat of a Dodge minivan towards tiny digital chess computer forums made by way of Radio Shack.

Thirty years later, you grew up, have become an expert journalist who wrote capabilities for PCMag and questioned: What different cool chess computers are out there?

Well, my pal, you’ve got come to the proper location. In my travels on the net over a previous couple of years, I had been accumulating examples of a number of the maximum exciting and weird vintage chess laptop devices ever made. We’re going way beyond Tandy and Radio Shack and entering into machines that circulate pieces via themselves (whether by arm or ghost), strange video game consoles, or even tiny Disney Castles.

When you are carried out reading, I’d like to hear about a number of your favored chess computers of the beyond inside the feedback.

Novag Robotic Adversary (1982)

Chess computer producer Novag brought one of the enterprise’s most novel variations within the Robotic Adversary, an digital chess board with a robotic arm that might move the pc player’s pieces. Unfortunately, the complicated mechanical nature of the device backfired, and they’re recognized to interrupt down without problems. With handiest 2,500 gadgets produced, the Adversary is one of the maximum sought-after chess computers, and it fetches an excessive fee—if you may find one.

Mattel Computer Chess (1980)

In 1980, toy large Mattel released Computer Chess, a lower-fee, customer-pleasant portable chess laptop with a battery-pleasant LCD and no pieces to lose. But it becomes no slouch within the brains department: It reportedly beat several competing chess computer systems handily on the time of its launch. Mattel employed chess grasp Bruce Pandolfini to sell the device, and his photograph is on the container.

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Videomaster Star Chess (1979)

You’re searching at one of the maximum uncommon online game consoles of all time: the Videomaster Star Chess. It’s a small device with faraway controllers that allows a modified sport of chess for 2 players (no single-participant AI) on a TV display screen. Instead of the traditional chess pieces, you flow area ships, and in case you’re inside the right spot, you could even fireplace missiles at your opponent!

Commodore Chessmate (1978)

Many humans realize Commodore from its collection of private computer systems—the names Commodore sixty-four, VIC-20, PET, and Amiga all possibly ring a bell. But few understand that Commodore also created a dedicated chess pc tool in 1978. Players used their own chess board and input/readout actions from the computer.

Boris the Talking Chess Computer (1977)

As one of the international’s first chess computers, Boris feels primitive today. But it packed numerous amazing functions into a small package deal, such as fold-out chess set in a handsome wood field and a segmented LED display able to showing messages to the participant. The player’s actions have been entered through the keypad at the unit, and players would study out Boris’ moves from the show and circulate the pieces thus.

Disney Magic Castle (1988)

It’s a small international after all. In 1988, Novus added this ornately distinct Disney-themed game laptop that could play not best chess but also checkers, tic-tac-toe, and bingo. Best of all, it included a miniature princess citadel attached to the board and all the gambling portions have been fashioned like classic Disney characters (Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, et al.)—by using some distance one of the most unique and thrilling chess computers ever produced.

Milton-Bradley Grandmaster (1983)

If you’ve ever desired to look at what gambling chess towards a ghost feels like, hunt down the antique Grandmaster chess computer with the aid of Milton Bradley. Using an electromagnet established to a movable arm below the board, the chess pieces ought to circulate as if via magic. Spooky!

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