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  1. 10 Mar '10 05:57
    When I worked on the London Stock Exchange, a collegue showed me a stunning chess machine that had been sold to him cheaply by a client. It was a regular chess computer but what made it special was the board. It was about 1987 and I don't remember it well. It must have costs thousands originally.

    The board had some depth to it – an inch or so – and in that layer void operated an electric motor and sliding levers connected to a magnet. Above a thin wooden board were the pieces – all with magnets or ferrous material in the base.

    One made a move in the regular way and then waited for the chess computer to respond. The response took the form of one's opponent's pieces sliding across the board - apparently by themselves! My friend demonstrated how pieces taken, would miraculously slide their way off the board, manoeuvring between other pieces!

    I have never seen one before or since.

    Does anyone know any more?
  2. 10 Mar '10 07:00
  3. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Gonzalo de Córdoba
    10 Mar '10 08:20
    Originally posted by King Gambit
    When I worked on the London Stock Exchange, a collegue showed me a stunning chess machine that had been sold to him cheaply by a client. It was a regular chess computer but what made it special was the board. It was about 1987 and I don't remember it well. It must have costs thousands originally.

    The board had some depth to it – an inch or so – and in ...[text shortened]... between other pieces!

    I have never seen one before or since.

    Does anyone know any more?
    I've seen one of those for sale at the mall a 15-20 years ago.
  4. 10 Mar '10 10:19
    I think it was the Phantom.

    A brilliant piece of kit. I use to sell them when I ran my Games Shop.
    We sold Chess and D & D RPG stuff.
  5. 10 Mar '10 13:03
    Sounds similiar to the ChessHamster series, I think the latest is ChessHamster 9000. Same principle but instead of magnets and levers it used hamsters and levers. Great for a standard game but would tend to need a breather during blitz games.
  6. 10 Mar '10 13:47
    looks amazing!!
  7. Standard member orion25
    Art is hard
    10 Mar '10 16:12
    so how do the horseys jump?
  8. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Gonzalo de Córdoba
    10 Mar '10 16:26
    Originally posted by orion25
    so how do the horseys jump?
    They just kind of elbow their way through the other pieces.
  9. Standard member orion25
    Art is hard
    10 Mar '10 17:21
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    They just kind of elbow their way through the other pieces.
    Shame, I kind of hoped they had some kind of propelling device - note to creators: this is a must, if you don't do it I'll just sit here and never buy your product!
  10. 10 Mar '10 20:58 / 1 edit
    Hi.

    I had to go work just as I posted this morning.

    Had one in my shop window and at night I use to set it up for 15 minutes a move.
    My shop was right next to the bus top and a few doors along from Sandy Bells.

    When I came out of Bells you would often see people staring at it
    with one person saying;

    "Honestly, I tell you, I saw it move."

    and nobody else believing them.

    It was simply fascinating to watch it re-set the pieces up for the start of a new game.

    Bought 5 at cost and sold the lot. Tidy profit.

    It was in that shop I met a young student called Matthias Wullenweber,

    Who he?

    He first had the idea to develop a software program to store his many chess
    games and despite me telling him it was a naff idea. (I really did!).

    He went ahead anyway.

    Then of course the internal memory of computers was not very huge and
    the thought of carrying around 3 inch floppy discs did not appeal.

    You will most likely know Matthias Wullenweber's software idea as ChessBase.

    It's a good thing that friend Matthias Wullenweber did not post his idea in
    Site Ideas on here. We would still be using chess score books.
  11. 11 Mar '10 12:40
    Yeah it was called The Phantom, they cost about a thousand US dollars back in the mid-80's. Seems like they brought a model out a couple years ago that did the same thing and was only a few hundred, can't remember the name.
  12. 11 Mar '10 14:18
    Did anyone mention the Mirage? It was the self moving computer when I first joined the USCF.