Congratulations on your purchase of RADIOSHACK 2-in-1 e-Chess & Checkers! You've purchased both your own personal trainer and a partner who's always ready for a game - and who can improve as you do!
The RadioShack 2-in-1 e-Chess & Checkers is easy to use. Your RadioShack 2-in-1 e Chess & Checkers is packed with features! Each key has two labels. To activate the feature named below the key, just press the key. To enjoy the features given above the key, first press 2nd and then the key.
Layout of RADIOSHACK 2-in-1 e-Chess & Checkers.
At the beginning of the game, you may select one of sixteen of the word's greatest chess games by pressing 2nd, then OPTIONS, and then pressing the LAST PIECE or NEXT PIECE key to select a game number.
Along with the game number you will see the position of the game after the first two moves were played. Press the CLEAR key to return to normal play starting at move three. You take the winning side. The display will show your total great-game score in two digits (zero at the start) on the left. On the right, the display also shows the amount of points you will win if you play the correct next move.
If you don’t play the correct great-game move, an error buzz will sound and the points for this move will be divided by half. If the bonus goes to zero, the correct move will automatically flash. Most moves start with 4 bonus points, but some brilliant moves start with 8 points.
HOW TO CHANGE LEVEL OPTIONS
When the level is displayed, pressing the OPTIONS key shows:
FAST: In this mode, 2-in-1 e-Chess & Checkers uses a more selective search for thinking. It may miss a tactical move, but it can look more deeply into the position. Press NEXT PIECE to turn FAST on or off. Or press the OPTIONS key again to show:
rAnd: Allows the computer to randomly choose between two good moves so that you get to practice and play against different responses. Press the NEXT PIECE key to turn random on or off.
CHECKERS (CHANGING GAMES)
Whenever CHESS is shown on the display, you may change to Checkers by pressing the 2nd key, and then pressing the NEW GAME key. The LCD display will show O1CHECr and will also show the checker board with all the pieces on their starting squares.
There are 15 levels of play for checkers varying from 1 second to 60 seconds per move. Level 16 is an infinite level.
Excerpts taken from the RadioShack 2-in-1 e-Chess & Checkers User Manual.
Excalibur distributed the 2-in-1 e-Chess & Checkers to RadioShack who sold it as Cat. No. 60-2730.
MORE ABOUT RADIOSHACK E-CHESS & CHECKERS ELECTRONIC CHESS COMPUTER
Ron Nelson reported that he spent 9 months developing a new 4 Bit chess program which became the foundation for many future Excalibur models as well as its continued use by Excalibur's successor EB Electronics. The first 4 Bit Model 375 Excalibur LCD Chess was launched in the year 2000. This program can also be found inside many chess computer models sold by other companies such as Radio Shack.
This 4 Bit program seems to be per Nelson's comments an even further slimmed down version of the original Nelson H8 program, compressed into this much smaller hardware and trimmed with many of the features of the original stronger H8 program removed in order to squeeze a workable chess program into the lesser ram space available on the 4 Bit hardware. This included removal of many of the more sophisticated chess routines used in stronger chess programs such as Nelson's Attack Bit Map Tables, much smaller opening books, removal of any pondering routines and excess search routines.
Nelson commented he had a great interest in developing a capable program suitable for any beginning or hobby chess player and thereby finding larger outlets of distribution for the Excalibur chess products. Excalibur e-Chess & Checkers, a very playable and capable chess program ideal for most players was one of the many creations that followed as a result of this nine month period of new program development in 1999.
Radio Shack e-Chess & Checkers Model 60-2730 was was contracted by Excalibur Electronics for manufacturing to Cybertronics (Expert) in the Shenzen Province of China. Radio Shack e-Chess & Checkers Model 60-2730 was primarily made available to Radio Shack/Tandy Corporation for resale through their 4,000+ stores in 2004.
The chess program is Ron Nelson's Version 3.8 24K 4 Bit program which comprised of his 16K 4 Bit chess program plus 8K additional programming. Part of this additional 8K programming was to create a Universal I/O to allow easier adaptation to other chips used in other Excalibur chess computer models.