The Spacious Mind
Click to go back to Tournaments
About U1400 Blue Championship

It was sometime during February 2007 while competing in the 3rd Online WM at schach-computer.info that I started to wonder about why, with a few exceptions, no one ever writes anything with content about the actual playing abilities of chess computers rated below 1400 Elo. 

Even in schach-computer.info/wiki, (Wiki) the best informational resource available for dedicated chess computers, many were shown with an estimated Elo value. In the old SSDF Elo lists which are still available on the internet if you search hard enough, these machines were totally ignored. 

It seemed that people rarely published anything concerning their experiences regarding the actual gaming abilities of these chess computers. I posses several of these chess computers and I saw this a big frustration at that time of not being able to find more information about items in my collection. Especially, since so many of the vintage pre 1984 chess computers fell into this “lack-of-game-information” category. What had happened to all those Fidelity Chess Challenger 1 games? Did they ever exist? They all seemed to have disappeared from the face of this planet.

The analogy of waking up at the age of 40 and not knowing that you ever existed the day before, sprang to mind. It was at this point when I finally decided that I had enough and that I would instead of continuously frustrating myself with fruitless internet searches, try to recreate those birth years myself.  With this in mind, the idea of playing my own under 1400 Elo was formed.

At some point after sorting through my computers and establishing the tournament groups, I informed members at the Ismenio Chess Computer Community Forum which I frequently visit and very much enjoy about my under 1400 Elo chess tournament plans. 

Tom a great collector who runs his own wonderful and enormous chess computer website the “Overtom Chess Computer Museum” immediately pointed out the interest and knowledge value my tournament would provide. 

This sentiment was echoed by two other well respected collectors for whom I have the highest regard. Mike, a most knowledgeable collector from England whose chess computer web site Chess Computer UK, I frequent all the time because of his immense historical knowledge on the old manufacturers of the past. You should also go and read his detailed articles on “SciSys” as well as his unique “Timeline” that dates pretty much all the chess computers that have ever been manufactured.

And, then there was Alain from France who is another great collector of dedicated chess computers. Alain’s web site at Zanchetta.net is another fantastic source for information where he keeps a huge collection of user manuals for download.

In fact, Alain supported this U1400 Blue Chess Championship by entering his Mephisto Junior (the hand-held travel version) into Group F of Stage 1. These games were played live on the Chessgate server, which was an excellent way of getting acquainted with another fellow collector.

Encouraged by this interest, I went ahead and announced this tournament to my colleagues and community friends at Schachcomputer.Info where it was also received with the same warm welcome and support from the forum members. Especially from Micha the owner and chief chessguru at Schachcomputer.Info and from Robert who has an encyclopedia stored somewhere in the back of his mind with all kinds of knowledge and facts about our hobby. Hans-Juergen a fellow aficionado for the old under 1400 Elo chess computers was especially helpful and provided me with mountains of information about these old chess computers.

More about Hans-Juergen later in the Under 1400 Green Tournament, which is currently a work-in-progress.

The Rules

The Rules

U1400 Blue Championship

U1400 Blue Championship

U1400 Blue Championship

The Guidelines

Please click on the above icon if you wish to read the U1400 Blue Championship tournament rules.

Please click on the above icon if you wish to read the U1400 Blue Championship tournament stages.

The Contestants

Seventy-two dedicated chess computers were entered into the 2007 - U1400 Blue Championship Tournament. My first problem was how to decide on which Elo start value I give to each of the chess computers entered into this tournament. After searching around the internet and having no success in finding actual Elo values for these machines, I finally decided to use the values provided by Wiki as the best start reference for these chess computers. For the chess computers that had no value listed anywhere at all, I ended up providing my own estimates, while keeping these estimates in line with the existing Elo’s obtained from Wiki. I tried to keep each estimated value below 1400 Elo, in fact, the highest estimated value that I used was 1390 Elo. hence my maximum 360 point value reduction from any manufacturer published ratings that I may have considered.

The level settings were also a bit tricky. Many of the machines do not have an exact 30 seconds per move setting. But with trial and error and quite a lot of patience, I finally came up with the settings that I felt were the most applicable. Still, several older chess computers cheat with their time. In certain situations they will just go on in what seemed forever long calculations, doing whatever they are programmed to do until finally a beep announces a response. Nothing is perfect, therefore I just had to accept these darlings the way they are, in the way they were made. Which after all makes each dedicated chess computer unique in it’s own peculiar way.

The seventy-two chess computers were split into eight evenly matched groups of nine contestants:

Stage 1 Groups

Please click on any of the group headers to see the group results.

New

under construction

U1400 Blue Stage 1 Group A

U1400 Blue Stage 1 Group A

U1400 Blue Stage 1 Group B

U1400 Blue Stage 1 Group B

under construction

under construction

U1400 Blue Stage 1 Group C

U1400 Blue Stage 1 Group C

U1400 Blue Stage 1 Group D

U1400 Blue Stage 1 Group D

under construction

under construction

U1400 Blue Stage 1 Group E

U1400 Blue Stage 1 Group E

U1400 Blue Stage 1 Group F

U1400 Blue Stage 1 Group F

under construction

under construction

U1400 Blue Stage 1 Group G

U1400 Blue Stage 1 Group G

U1400 Blue Stage 1 Group H

U1400 Blue Stage 1 Group H

Stage 2 Groups

Please click on any of the group headers to see the group results.

Coming Soon

U1400 Blue Stage 2 Group 1

U1400 Blue Stage 2 Group 1

U1400 Blue Stage 2 Group 2

U1400 Blue Stage 2 Group 2

U1400 Blue Stage 2 Group 3

U1400 Blue Stage 2 Group 3

U1400 Blue Stage 2 Group 4

U1400 Blue Stage 2 Group 4

U1400 Blue Stage 2 Group 5

U1400 Blue Stage 2 Group 5

U1400 Blue Stage 2 Group 6

U1400 Blue Stage 2 Group 6

U1400 Blue Stage 2 Group 7

U1400 Blue Stage 2 Group 7

U1400 Blue Stage 2 Group 8

U1400 Blue Stage 2 Group 8

Final 16 Stage

Please click on Final 16 buttons to see the results.

under construction

U1400 Blue Final 16

U1400 Blue Final 16

under construction

U1300 Blue Final 16

U1300 Blue Final 16

Quarterfinals

Please click on Quarterfinal buttons to see the results.

under construction

under construction

U1400 Blue Quarterfinals

U1400 Blue Quarterfinals

U1300 Blue Quarterfinals

U1300 Blue Quarterfinals

Semifinals

Please click on Semifinal buttons to see the results.

under construction

under construction

U1400 Blue Semifinals

U1400 Blue Semifinals

U1300 Blue Semifinals

U1300 Blue Semifinals

3rd Place Playoff

Please click on Playoff buttons to see the results.

under construction

under construction

U1400 Blue 3rd Plave Playoffs

U1400 Blue 3rd Plave Playoffs

U1300 Blue 3rd Plave Playoffs

U1300 Blue 3rd Plave Playoffs

Final

U1400 Blue Championship

U1400 Blue Championship

U1400 Blue Championship

Please click on Final buttons to see the results.

under construction

under construction

U1400 Blue Final

U1400 Blue Final

U1300 Blue Final

U1300 Blue Final

Final Comments

This tournament took about fifteen months to complete. A total of eight-hundred-and-thirty-eight games were played. I think it was Hans-Juergen who told me recently that this tournament may hold the world record as the largest computer tournament played in the history of chess computers. According to him some tournament held between two cities in Germany held the previous record with four hundred and something or other games. I will need to ask him sometime about the exact numbers.

World record or not, the main satisfaction for me is that I achieved the goal that I set at the beginning. I now know a whole lot more about these computers. I also take a lot of pleasure in seeing that all these chess computers have finally taken their deserved place in schach-computer.info’s Active Chess Elo List.

[Home] [Collection] [Tournaments] [Tests] [Computers] [What's New] [Links]