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  1. 21 Feb '10 08:50
    Hi all,

    I am quite new to chess and just learning the basics, I have a cheap chess computer with a very small board and even smaller plastic pieces...
    As I prefer using an actual chess set to a pc screen (though i do enjoy red hot pawn!) could anyone recommend a chess computer with a good sized playing area that allows for a rubbish player, that will hopfully, improve to a decent standard over time...also i prefer wooden pieces....
    I am interested in the connecting to a pc with a real board but do not know anything about this side of things and how you actually get the pc to 'talk' to it....
    Any comments to do with chess computers appreciated.....
    Thanks...
  2. 21 Feb '10 11:13
    Get yourself a reasonably old (1990s say) chess computer from Tandy/Radio Shack. I have a 1680X that gives a reasonable game without me getting hammered every time. It doesn't come with wooden pieces but I just use a nice wooden set I found in the local market. Total cost £20 for computer and posh wooden bits. My reason for recommending this particular machine is that it will make strangely human errors - it doesn't behave like the Chessmaster personalities, dropping a piece and then playing like a grandmaster. It just seems to miss stuff occasionally. Other Tandy machines are similar, just don't buy the 2200X, it will destroy you on a regular basis. I have one of those and I swear it was programmed by Satan himself.

    Apart from my suggestion above, my only other comment would be that you should not go for the strongest computer on the planet. It will beat you every time. Getting beaten by a machine becomes depressing and very boring after a while. Although we learn more from a loss than a win we do need something to keep our interest alive.
  3. 21 Feb '10 11:50 / 1 edit
    Just get one of these:

    http://www.chessusa.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=83-N01&Category_Code=PCC1&Product_Count=0

    As for connecting a board to a PC, someone made one years ago but it cost as much as a chess computer and didn't sell because all one need do is make the moves off the monitor on the board of your choice. It was a lot of money for nothing.
  4. 21 Feb '10 12:50
    Thanks all so far for the very useful info.....
    with ref. to the connecting to a pc it is because i find it helps it helps to see whats going on in a visual way - more sort of depth if you see what i mean and i saw it on the net - looked a good option....may be expensive though!!
    thanks again.
  5. 21 Feb '10 15:12
    Dream Cheeky make a roll up board that connect to the USB port, it's inexpensive. Pieces are plastic but ....

    http://www.dreamcheeky.com/index.php?pagename=product&pid=8
  6. Standard member Talisman
    Time traveller.
    21 Feb '10 15:29
    Originally posted by gooses
    Hi all,

    I am quite new to chess and just learning the basics, I have a cheap chess computer with a very small board and even smaller plastic pieces...
    As I prefer using an actual chess set to a pc screen (though i do enjoy red hot pawn!) could anyone recommend a chess computer with a good sized playing area that allows for a rubbish player, that will hopf ...[text shortened]... e pc to 'talk' to it....
    Any comments to do with chess computers appreciated.....
    Thanks...
    Im currently using a Fritz programme to train against which is nice but a 3d board is obviously better. I've tried moving the pieces on a real board whilst using my laptop but it's all a bit cumbersome really. If you have a mobile phone or a pda you can down load some pretty useful master strength programmes( you can adjust the levels) and it's far easier to use a pda when moving the pieces on a board. here's a couple of options

    http://www.shredderchess.com/chess-program/shredder-mobile.html
    http://hiarcs.com/palm_hiarcs.htm

    failing that, a good quality chess computer is the way to go, the only thing i find with most of the chess computers i've tried is that they take an age to move in anything over a 45 minute game setting!
    However if i had to invest, here's one of the best on the market. Unfortunately it doesn't have the wooden pieces.

    http://saitek.com/uk/prod/masterchess.htm

    Cheers T
  7. 21 Feb '10 16:58
    Originally posted by dirtysniper
    Dream Cheeky make a roll up board that connect to the USB port, it's inexpensive. Pieces are plastic but ....

    http://www.dreamcheeky.com/index.php?pagename=product&pid=8
    I see no prices on their web site and no way to order via mail. What, they don't want to actually sell this stuff?
  8. 21 Feb '10 17:06
    Originally posted by Talisman
    However if i had to invest, here's one of the best on the market. Unfortunately it doesn't have the wooden pieces.

    http://saitek.com/uk/prod/masterchess.htm
    It's a nice one, but I've noticed that the fun levels for beginners are a bit strong. (Eric Hallsworth at Selective Search has also noted this.)
  9. 21 Feb '10 17:17
    Originally posted by Mad Rook
    I see no prices on their web site and no way to order via mail. What, they don't want to actually sell this stuff?
    I saw them on Amazon for $44.00 USD, Ebay for $30.00 and up USD.
  10. Standard member Talisman
    Time traveller.
    21 Feb '10 17:54
    Originally posted by Mad Rook
    It's a nice one, but I've noticed that the fun levels for beginners are a bit strong. (Eric Hallsworth at Selective Search has also noted this.)
    Yes i hadn't really loked into that. I Know saitek lead the way in comp chess technology though so one of their other models may be the way to go. This one looks the bees knees and it's quite reasonably pricd to.

    http://saitek.com/uk/prod/chessexplpro.htm
  11. 21 Feb '10 18:29
    Hey that rubber keyboard looks interesting as it hooks up to the usb......but i like the feel of wood!.....i have been looking on the net at some of the Novag computers.... they do look nice but not cheap!! anyone had a play with them?
    Thanks..
  12. 21 Feb '10 18:33 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by gooses
    Hey that rubber keyboard looks interesting as it hooks up to the usb......but i like the feel of wood!.....i have been looking on the net at some of the Novag computers.... they do look nice but not cheap!! anyone had a play with them?
    Thanks..
    Yes, I had a Novag Citrine for a short time. Very posh, cost several arms and legs and the bloody thing hammered me flat every time. I sold it at great loss about a month after buying it.

    That USB thing has one or two issues, the major one being that the board doesn't like to lie flat.
  13. 21 Feb '10 18:49
    Yeah just been looking .... i live in the uk and i have seen the usb rubber set here for around £10 which is very cheap.... the citrine is around £250..... quite a massive jump up from the rubber thingy!! but the novag just shouts out quality.....
  14. 21 Feb '10 19:22
    Originally posted by gooses
    Yeah just been looking .... i live in the uk and i have seen the usb rubber set here for around £10 which is very cheap.... the citrine is around £250..... quite a massive jump up from the rubber thingy!! but the novag just shouts out quality.....
    Yup, it certainly was quality. The reason I sold it was its ability to annoy. I am sure it wouldn't have shouted out quality quite so much if i had given in to temptation and thrown it out the window. Another fancy box programmed by Satan.
  15. 21 Feb '10 19:46
    lol.... that satan bloke really is a bugger! .... met him quite a few times over the years!!