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Chess Wizard and Perfect Chess
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spacious_mind
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 12:15 am    Post subject: Chess Wizard and Perfect Chess Reply with quote

I have very recently received some chess computers from a chess friend in Spain, so I thought I would share a few of them with you.

Below is picture of Chess Wizard IQ II:



It seems to be the same as Novag Amethyst but in silver. From the box I see that this particular computer was imported by an Importer in Barcelona, Spain.

What is interesting is that there is no mention of Novag and instead it shows Copyright 1996 Mitco Industries, Hong Kong. So at a guess I would say manufactured in China and sold through Mitco with Copyright 1996. Novag probably had exclusivity for most countries because of the volume it could sell through its American and European markets, but it was not all exclusive. Additionally since we tend to attribute all Novag Computers to David Kittinger, it does becomes less certain or even less likely that he programmed programs such as Amethyst.?

At the time that Novag was operating in Hong Kong, you did not easily get access to mainland China and typically you had to do your negotiations with Hong Kong Trading Companies, or directly through some Chinese manufacturing consortiums which you could only meet with Embassy officials attending at all times. They also called them translators Smile

I know this for sure as in my young days in the late 70's and 80's, in the line of work I was in, I imported for the companies I worked for in the UK, directly from China and also Hong Kong. Singapore, Korea, Taiwan etc is different, with those countries you deal directly with the manufacturers. You also had a similar system back then for buying and selling in Eastern Europe, from places like, East Germany, Poland, Russia, Bulgaria, Romania etc.

So really it is not surprising to see different Copyrights surfacing once you do some research.

It is also possible that Novag had some shares or ownership of companies such as Mitco Trading in Hong Kong, but I think that is unlikely too ie. Chess Wizard.

All this has changed a lot nowadays, but that is the way it was back then. You communicated on Telex machines until Fax came along. And, fax was slow too. Not to mention copying documents Smile I wonder how many of us old farts remember all this? Smile E-Mails didn't exist in those early days.



Well this one is a little easier, this is the Zircon II. A David Kittinger for sure.



Well this computer you can find under a lot of Brands. The most obvious being Millennium and Krypton.



We now know, that this one is a Ron Nelson. The back of the box even says in Spanish "Programada en USA". But we knew that already after Ron's brief visit to Hiarcs a couple of years ago.

So it seems that with Novag you also have quite a bit of uncertainty on who made what and definitely not everything was David Kittinger.

Best regards
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Dave C
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 5:59 am    Post subject: collection additions Reply with quote

Hi Nick,

Nice additions to your collection. I recognize the last unit as being available in the US as an Excalibur unit. I purchased one recently. Do you know which company made the unusual "convertible" chess computer?

Regards,
Dave
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Chessmaster Ireland
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Nick

I remember contributing here quite a long time ago about Novag Chess Wizards so somewhere there are more photos. In the meantime I just found this. http://www.schaakcomputers.nl/hein_veldhuis/database/files/06-1996%20[O-1901]%20Novag%20-%20Chess%20Wizard%20IQ%20IV.pdf

Jeannine Curran (Auge) advised me when she sent me a 2Robot to test that their new brand 'Perfect Technology' was to be a cheaper alternative to their usual more expensive Novag brand.

Regards
Bryan
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paulwise3
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Nick,

The item about the Chess Wizard IV in Hein's database he made after I got one and asked him about it. Still wondering what Novag machine it is a clone of?

And I also have the Chess Wizard V (Zircon II clone). The interesting thing is, that my machine is 20% faster then the standard Zircon II, just like the Aquamarine RISC II Siglo XXI.
Here some timings with BT-2630 testpositions
Code:

BT-nr ZII  IQV 
  2   927  772 
  9   170  140 
 10   505  421 
 12    86   70   
 17   701  589
 19   478  408

(ZII=Zircon II, IQV=Chess Wizard IQ V)

Could you test how fast your IQV is? The easiest way is with testposition 12.

Curious regards,
Paul
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spacious_mind
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

paulwise3 wrote:
Hi Nick,

The item about the Chess Wizard IV in Hein's database he made after I got one and asked him about it. Still wondering what Novag machine it is a clone of?

And I also have the Chess Wizard V (Zircon II clone). The interesting thing is, that my machine is 20% faster then the standard Zircon II, just like the Aquamarine RISC II Siglo XXI.
Here some timings with BT-2630 testpositions
Code:

BT-nr ZII  IQV 
  2   927  772 
  9   170  140 
 10   505  421 
 12    86   70   
 17   701  589
 19   478  408

(ZII=Zircon II, IQV=Chess Wizard IQ V)

Could you test how fast your IQV is? The easiest way is with testposition 12.

Curious regards,
Paul


Hi Paul,

There are 3 types of Aquamarine Risc II:

1) Aquamarine Risc II 26,6 MHz
2) Aquamarine Risc II Siglio XXI 20 Mhz
3) Aquamarine Risc II Siglio XXI 26,6 MHz

Judging from that there may even be a 4th named Aquamarine RIsc II 20 MHz.

I will test the IQ V and let you know in a few days. To get a complete picture in my mind you should also compare the following:

All 26,6 MHz:
Amber
Emerald Classic Plus
Jade II
Turquoise
Excalibur Karpov 2294

And 20 MHz:

Emerald Classic
Obsidian
Ruby
Emerald

The 20 MHz ones would be good to probably compare closely to Aquamarine Risc II 20 Mhz.

Best regards
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spacious_mind
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:28 am    Post subject: Re: collection additions Reply with quote

Dave C wrote:
Hi Nick,

Nice additions to your collection. I recognize the last unit as being available in the US as an Excalibur unit. I purchased one recently. Do you know which company made the unusual "convertible" chess computer?

Regards,
Dave


Hi Dave,

It's 5 am here, so mind is still a bit fuzzy. Razz
Which one did you mean with "convertible" The Chess Station/Portal?

ps.. if you are referring to Chess Station per Ron Nelson records it was contracted for manufacture to Same Time Limited in Hong Kong.

Best regards
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Last edited by spacious_mind on Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:38 am; edited 1 time in total
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spacious_mind
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chessmaster Ireland wrote:
Hi Nick

I remember contributing here quite a long time ago about Novag Chess Wizards so somewhere there are more photos. In the meantime I just found this. http://www.schaakcomputers.nl/hein_veldhuis/database/files/06-1996%20[O-1901]%20Novag%20-%20Chess%20Wizard%20IQ%20IV.pdf

Jeannine Curran (Auge) advised me when she sent me a 2Robot to test that their new brand 'Perfect Technology' was to be a cheaper alternative to their usual more expensive Novag brand.

Regards
Bryan


HI Bryan,

Thanks for the link to Hein's place. I forgot he had written something about them.

Since Chess Wizard did IQ II, IV and V. It makes you wonder if there are such things as IQ I and IQ III.

Best regards
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paulwise3
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

spacious_mind wrote:

Hi Paul,

There are 3 types of Aquamarine Risc II:

1) Aquamarine Risc II 26,6 MHz
2) Aquamarine Risc II Siglio XXI 20 Mhz
3) Aquamarine Risc II Siglio XXI 26,6 MHz

Judging from that there may even be a 4th named Aquamarine RIsc II 20 MHz.

I will test the IQ V and let you know in a few days. To get a complete picture in my mind you should also compare the following:

All 26,6 MHz:
Amber
Emerald Classic Plus
Jade II
Turquoise
Excalibur Karpov 2294

And 20 MHz:

Emerald Classic
Obsidian
Ruby
Emerald

The 20 MHz ones would be good to probably compare closely to Aquamarine Risc II 20 Mhz.

Best regards


Hi Nick,

I do not own that many Novags, although I do have the Citrine, the Aquamarine RISC II, the Chess Wizard V, the Emerald, and a few lower rated ones.
The Emerald (clone of Ruby) is probably in effect a 10 MHz machine. And looking at the results of the BT-2630 test (see http://www.schach-computer.info/wiki/index.php?title=BT-2630 )it solves different problems, and the ones that are the same it needs about double the time, but one in half the time. So it seems to be a different program, or a program that has been parametrized in a different way.
My BT-2630 tests of the Chess Wizard V and the Aquamarine RISC II show that they are both identical to the Zircon II (and presumably also the Jade II), only a little bit faster. The other models have clearly different testresults.

About the Aquamarine RISC II, I thought there were only two known models, the ones that Berger mentions:
1) Aquamarine Risc II 26,6 MHz (in effect 13,3 MHz)
2) Aquamarine Risc II Siglio XXI 16 Mhz (in effect also 16 MHz)

My Aquamarine RISC II could also be 16 MHz, although the screws at the bottom are not all original, so it could be possible that a previous owner did tune it up.

Calling my Chess Wizard IQ V the "Zircon II Pro" regards Wink
Paul
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spacious_mind
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

paulwise3 wrote:


Hi Nick,

I do not own that many Novags, although I do have the Citrine, the Aquamarine RISC II, the Chess Wizard V, the Emerald, and a few lower rated ones.
The Emerald (clone of Ruby) is probably in effect a 10 MHz machine. And looking at the results of the BT-2630 test (see http://www.schach-computer.info/wiki/index.php?title=BT-2630 )it solves different problems, and the ones that are the same it needs about double the time, but one in half the time. So it seems to be a different program, or a program that has been parametrized in a different way.
My BT-2630 tests of the Chess Wizard V and the Aquamarine RISC II show that they are both identical to the Zircon II (and presumably also the Jade II), only a little bit faster. The other models have clearly different testresults.

About the Aquamarine RISC II, I thought there were only two known models, the ones that Berger mentions:
1) Aquamarine Risc II 26,6 MHz (in effect 13,3 MHz)
2) Aquamarine Risc II Siglio XXI 16 Mhz (in effect also 16 MHz)

My Aquamarine RISC II could also be 16 MHz, although the screws at the bottom are not all original, so it could be possible that a previous owner did tune it up.

Calling my Chess Wizard IQ V the "Zircon II Pro" regards Wink
Paul


Yes you have to half the speed on a H8. Therefore all the 20s would be 10 MHz and 26.6 13.3 MHz.

I don't know about a 16 MHz. I do now 20 MHz and 26.6 MHz exist. My mistake the 20 MHz actually only says Risc 20 MHz and not Risc II 20 MHz

For sure if Berger has a 16 MHz then it would say 16 MHz on the front of the computer. If it doesn't say that then it is possible that someone changed the quartz. All the Aquamarine Risc computers tell you what they are on the front of the computer.

And yes ooops I had forgotten about Citrine.

ps.... The IQ IV looks to me like a Novag Pearl.

Best regards
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Dave C
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:08 pm    Post subject: Re: collection additions Reply with quote

spacious_mind wrote:
Dave C wrote:
Hi Nick,

Nice additions to your collection. I recognize the last unit as being available in the US as an Excalibur unit. I purchased one recently. Do you know which company made the unusual "convertible" chess computer?

Regards,
Dave
Hi Dave,

It's 5 am here, so mind is still a bit fuzzy. Razz
Which one did you mean with "convertible" The Chess Station/Portal?

ps.. if you are referring to Chess Station per Ron Nelson records it was contracted for manufacture to Same Time Limited in Hong Kong.

Best regards
Hi Nick - I am a little fuzzy too... I should be more specific...by convertible I meant the Portal that can be a "hand-held" or connected to a board. The one I have from Excalibur is called the ChessStation, 2-in-1. The box has a different picture on the front compared to your Portal.

Thanks for the info.
Dave
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paulwise3
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

spacious_mind wrote:
(...)

Yes you have to half the speed on a H8. Therefore all the 20s would be 10 MHz and 26.6 13.3 MHz.

I don't know about a 16 MHz. I do now 20 MHz and 26.6 MHz exist. My mistake the 20 MHz actually only says Risc 20 MHz and not Risc II 20 MHz

For sure if Berger has a 16 MHz then it would say 16 MHz on the front of the computer. If it doesn't say that then it is possible that someone changed the quartz. All the Aquamarine Risc computers tell you what they are on the front of the computer.

(...)

Hi Nick,

To make it more precise: according to Berger the Siglo XXI has also 26.6 MHz written on it, but inside it runs with 16 MHz.
Do you have pictures of Aquamarine RISC II with 20 MHz written on it?

About the IQ IV: indeed it looks like a Pearl or a Crystal/Condor, the same nice board size. But the technical specs are much better. For instance, it solves mate in 6 (12 ply). If you look at Hein's item (we wrote it together), you will see that the specs seem most closely related to the Novag Agate and the Novag Opal II.

Best regards, Paul
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 1:12 pm    Post subject: Re: collection additions Reply with quote

Dave C wrote:
(...)
The one I have from Excalibur is called the ChessStation, 2-in-1. The box has a different picture on the front compared to your Portal.

Thanks for the info.
Dave

Hi Dave,

I'm afraid I have three Chess Stations, and to my surprise the battery part differs between them. Two have 2 batteries on top of each other, where one has 3 batteries next to each other... So if any collector is interested, I'm prepared to sell one for a small price Wink.

I think that Ron Nelson mentioned that this one has the same program as the Saber IV. Peculiar to the Saber IV is, that I have two, but on the comps itself there is no mention of "Saber IV", only on the box!? On the comp it only says "Electronic Chess Game". But the model numbers are the same!

By the way, both are very suitable for travelling. They are compact, and the magnetic pieces stay as glued on the board, even if you keep it upside down. And you can beat them...Wink

Beating the beast regards,
Paul
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spacious_mind
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

paulwise3 wrote:
Hi Nick,

The item about the Chess Wizard IV in Hein's database he made after I got one and asked him about it. Still wondering what Novag machine it is a clone of?

And I also have the Chess Wizard V (Zircon II clone). The interesting thing is, that my machine is 20% faster then the standard Zircon II, just like the Aquamarine RISC II Siglo XXI.
Here some timings with BT-2630 testpositions
Code:

BT-nr ZII  IQV 
  2   927  772 
  9   170  140 
 10   505  421 
 12    86   70   
 17   701  589
 19   478  408

(ZII=Zircon II, IQV=Chess Wizard IQ V)

Could you test how fast your IQV is? The easiest way is with testposition 12.

Curious regards,
Paul


Hi Paul,

I just completed positions 9 and 12.

I show a little difference in position 12.

IQ V

Position 12 = 66 seconds
Position 9 = 140 seconds

Best regards
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spacious_mind
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am beginning to lose track of all the Aquamarines.

Aquamarine Stile



Aquamarine Milenio



There is also a Aquamarine Milenio 2 (not shown).

And, this one is interesting:

Atenas



Best regards
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paulwise3
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

spacious_mind wrote:
paulwise3 wrote:
Hi Nick,

The item about the Chess Wizard IV in Hein's database he made after I got one and asked him about it. Still wondering what Novag machine it is a clone of?

And I also have the Chess Wizard V (Zircon II clone). The interesting thing is, that my machine is 20% faster then the standard Zircon II, just like the Aquamarine RISC II Siglo XXI.
Here some timings with BT-2630 testpositions
Code:

BT-nr ZII  IQV 
  2   927  772 
  9   170  140 
 10   505  421 
 12    86   70   
 17   701  589
 19   478  408

(ZII=Zircon II, IQV=Chess Wizard IQ V)

Could you test how fast your IQV is? The easiest way is with testposition 12.

Curious regards,
Paul


Hi Paul,

I just completed positions 9 and 12.

I show a little difference in position 12.

IQ V

Position 12 = 66 seconds
Position 9 = 140 seconds

Best regards


Hi Nick,

1. I think this is enough proof that your IQ V also runs at Siglo XXI speed.

2. You have some exotic Aquamarines! Very Happy
The Greek manual should really be a collector's item Wink

Best regards,
Paul
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