Chess Computers

There is another chess computer website I have constructed at The new website already includes additional content and a better version of the Timeline.

If you are a regular visitor here Hello. Maybe you would like to change your link to that of the new website. This chess computer section will be closing down in March 2008.


In the Collection section of the website you will be able to read about, and view, my own assortment of chess computers, My interest in these electronic marvels falls into three broad categories. Firstly, and perhaps, most important for me are the old machines. Those over twenty years old from the “Golden Age”. The older and more retro the better. Secondly there are the robots. Chess computers which move their own pieces. Thirdly the upmarket auto sensory wooden chess computers with the stronger chess programs which I could not afford to buy back in the 1980s.

In my case chess computeritis dates from 1980. It was then that I was fascinated by a newspaper advertisement for the Sargon 2.5. The idea that a small computer could play chess at all, let alone beat most players, had me hooked. Despite the cost I had to have one. That Sargon 2.5 and it’s more powerful successors helped me to improve my chess to club standard, and from there to league matches and tournaments. The chess never got very good but I had a lot of enjoyment from it along the way. Ever since there have been a few chess computers around the house.

The collection you will see is fairly broad and representative, at least of the 1970s and 80s. Once the playing strength of PC programmes overtook the dedicated chess computers in the mid 1990s the new chess computers released went downhill and I have little interest in acquiring most of them. It is not my intention to make the collection any bigger. There just isn’t the room and building a very large collection is a time consuming and obsessive occupation. I intend to find good homes for as many of my spare machines as possible. Please look in at the Sale & Swap page and if you are interested in a deal please do not hesitate to say.

The collection list is set out in more detail than you will usually find on the web. There will be photos and technical information on many of them in time. I will also try to present games played illustrating the interesting features and the triumphs and failures of the machines.


I enjoy exchanging news and information with other chess computer enthusiasts. There is a great spirit of co-operation and encouragement in many who have this chess computer bug. To do my bit I have produced a chess computer Timeline. This shows in chronological order and by manufacturer the release dates for as many chess computers as I have reliable information. I have found nothing quite like it on the web and it should help both newcomers and experienced collectors to place the age of chess computers. An overview on one diagram is also helpful in understanding the development of chess computers. I will update it as further reliable date information becomes available. Development of the Timeline to provide links to hardware and software information and photographs of the machines is also a dream of mine. There is a page which explains the background to the Timeline and what other information you can find on the web. So please have a look at the Timeline if you are interested.



At present there is just a general collection of photos and a few links. In time I will photograph all of the more interesting and rare chess computers in my collection. Let me know if there is something that particularly interests you in my collection and I will try to take photos of that first.


To my surprise I was recently able to mend over half of the faulty machines in my collection. Only the sort of repairs that many enthusiasts of the old machines could do. By this I mean replacing reed switches and light emitting diodes (leds), soldering loose wires, switches, buttons and leds. Sometimes just opening up the chess computer to see if I could spot anything that was wrong.

Whilst I was doing this I posted photographs on my favourite chess computer forum. The Repairs page of this website will bring together my experiences. I hope others will be encouraged to have a go themselves and we can save a few more old soldiers from the scrapheap.