EXCALIBUR THE NEW YORK TIMES MODEL 974
Congratulations on your purchase of Excalibur Electronics’ The New York Times Electronic Chess. You'll enjoy owning both your own personal chess trainer and a full-featured chess computer that's always ready for a game. What's more, your computer offers you 501 chess problems by The New York Times weekly chess columnist, international grandmaster Robert Byrne. Byrne is a former US chess champion and world championship candidate who was inducted into the US Chess Hall of Fame in Miami in 1994. You'll learn a lot of chess by working at the puzzles he has written for you!
Your New York Times Electronic Chess is packed with features! Each key has two labels. To activate the feature named below the key, just press the key. To enjoy the feature given above the key, first press NEXT/2nd and then the key.
MAIN EXCALIBUR THE NEW YORK TIMES MODEL 974 GAME CHARACTERISTICS
BOOK OPENING TRAINER
Excalibur The New York Times Electronic Chess makes it easy for you to learn the same openings that world chess champions play! At the beginning of a game, you may choose to learn one of 34 popular book openings ways to begin the game used by chess masters. Press MODE, then OPTIONS, to display OPEN, and then press the right or left DIRECTION to select the number of the opening you want to learn. (See below.) Then press the CLEAR key to return to normal play.
Now play a move. If your move is not the correct opening move, an error buzz will sound. To learn the correct move press HINT. When the computer comes back with its move, you will briefly see the word OPEN on the screen if you have another opening move to make. If the word OPEN does not appear, you may continue normal play. You have completed the training for that opening line. The names of the openings are:
THE NEW YORK TIMES CHESS PROBLEMS
Your mission is to find the master move for each position. If you do not play the master move, an error beep will sound. The HINT key may be pressed to see the master move. Electronic Chess will remember the last problem number you worked on for each of the five options. Before selecting a problem, first set the level to 72, so that you have a good opponent if you play on after the correct move.
Excerpts taken from the Excalibur The New York Time Model 974 user manual
MORE ABOUT EXCALIBUR THE NEW YORK TIMES MODEL 974 ELECTRONIC CHESS COMPUTER
In 1999 Ron Nelson spent 9 months in 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 on his 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 The New York Times is 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.
The manufacturing of Excalibur The New York times was contracted to Same Time Limited in Hong Kong.