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About Fidelity Electronics
“FIDELITY WELCOME MESSAGE” Used by Fidelity Electronics in some of their product catalogs

“FIDELITY WELCOME MESSAGE”

Used by Fidelity Electronics in some of their product catalogs

FIDELITY ELECTRONICS was formed in 1959 in Chicago, Illinois and sometime later moved to Miami, Florida. Originally Fidelity produced medical equipment and also imported hearing aids from Austria.

In 1968 Sidney Samole became General Manager at Fidelity and by 1970 he had bought out all the other shareholders thereby becoming sole owner and president.

Sid Samole
Sid Samole

At some point during 1976 as Sidney was watching with fascination a Startrek episode in which Mister Spock was playing chess against a ship computer, the idea for creating a dedicated chess computer was formed after spending a restless night thinking excitedly about this Startrek episode.

The next day he discussed his thoughts with his secretary who after hearing his ideas informed him that her husband was working on a chess program as a hobby in his spare time. Upon hearing this news Sidney of course immediately employed this person. His name was Ron Nelson.

Ron Nelson went on to write for Fidelity all the chess programs for the early range of chess computers.

Finally in January 1977, Fidelity was ready to show to the world the world’s first dedicated chess computer the FIDELITY CHESS CHALLENGER 1.

The Chess Challenger 1 had many faults, it was a very weak program and very user unfriendly. But it started the dedicated chess computer era. It was quickly replaced by Chess Challenger 3 which went on to enjoy huge worldwide sales.

Fidelity used this success to quickly establish themselves as the world’s premier chess computer manufacturer and in the years that followed launched a large continuously improved range of excellent machines.

Meanwhile Ron Nelson who had proven to have great abilities in the hardware side of chess computers began working more in production and engineering.

Fidelity wanting to ensure their status as the top manufacturer successfully engaged Dan and Kathe Spracklen, who joined their Team sometime in 1979, after having recently terminated their relationship with Chafitz Inc.

Kathe & Dan Spracklen
Kathe & Dan Spracklen

Success for the Spracklen’s at Fidelity was immediate after entering their first Fidelity project the Fidelity Chess Challenger X into the 1st World Microcomputer Chess Championship (WMCCC) in 1980. Where it won the tournament and became the 1st World Microcomputer Champion with a perfect score of five wins in five games.

Fidelity and the Spracklen’s went on to win the first four World Microcomputer Chess Championships that were held before they had to concede the crown to Hegener & Glaser’s Mephisto computers and programmer Richard Lang. Fidelity were never able to win another World Microcomputer Chess Championship after this.

First 4 World Microcomputer Chess Championships (WMCCC)

       1. 1980 London      Fidelity Chess Challenger X
       2. 1981 Travemünde  Fidelity X (Open Grouo), CC Mark V (Commercial Group)
       3. 1983 Budapest    Fidelity Elite X (A/S Budapest)
       4. 1984 Glasgow     Fidelity Elite X, Conchess X, Mephisto III-S Glasgow, Psion

By the late 1980’s the sales for dedicated chess computers began to decline due increasing competition from Home Micro Pc’s and rapidly improving software which was sold at a fraction of the cost of a comparably skilled dedicated chess computer.

Finally in 1989 after having made some huge financial losses Fidelity Electronics was sold to their major competitor out of Germany, Hegener & Glaser.

Fidelity continued to make large losses in North America until finally Hegener & Glaser decided to completely close the Fidelity operations in 1992. 

The last computer produced by Fidelity may have been a Chess Mate or Avanti. In either case both machines were very poor efforts when compared to the many great machines produced during the Fidelity glory days.

Challenger Series product brochure from 1980/81 Challenger Series product brochure from 1980/81

Challenger Series product brochure from 1980/81

WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF THE FUTURE BROUGHT TO YOU BY FIDELITY

The CHALLENGER series of microprocessor based games utilizes all solid state electronic circuitry. The “Brain”, or thinking part of the electronics is a mini-computer (or more technically a micro-computer).

A little more than ten years ago, the CHALLENGERS, in their present compact size, would not have been possible. Computers were too big and the resultant product would be clumsy, costly and impractical.

The development of solid-state electronic components made small size possible. But the most significant breakthrough was the invention of the chip. The single chip micro-computer came on the scene in 1971. It contains all the elements of a near room-sized computer on one chip of silicon less than one-fifth of an inch square and only a few thousands of an inch thick. Just a few years ago, a comparable system would have required more than 20,000 transistors and related components at a cost of more than $10,000.

The chip can be programmed to perform many different functions. A CHALLENGER game is a complex device comprised of a chip -- we call it the Central Processing Unit -- and numerous other components that work together to digest the information provided as input by the human player, and to ultimately reach conclusions as directed by programmed instructions.

The programmed instructions contain both the rules of the game and the strategy of play. For example, a CHESS CHALLENGER no only responds to your move, it also it also investigates all of the possible moves and countermoves and then selects its best response based on a plus or minus points factor. The “level of play” function, which the player selects, instructs the computer how many moves and countermoves it is permitted to examine for that particular level. Thus, the level of difficulty (or capability) is restricted to accommodate your own experience or ability at playing the game.

Think of it this way: Whereas a calculator will always give the same response to a given input, the CHALLENGER’S computer “thinks” of the probabilities before making a decision.

Excerpt taken from the back of a “Fidelity Challenger” brochure.

Fidelity Collection

6137 - 1992

COMING SOON

CSC - 1981

6115 - 1990

COMING SOON

Avanti

Advanced Challenger Voice

Champion Sensory Challenger

Chess Card

Chess Challenger 1

Fidelity Avanti (1992) Electronic Chess Computer

Coming Soon

Fidelity Chess Challenger Champion Sensory Voice (1981) Electronic Chess Computer

Fidelity Chess Card (1990) Electronic Chess Computer

Coming Soon

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“CHALLENGER” computerized games that challenge YOU!

“CHALLENGER” computerized games that challenge YOU!

Picture take from a 1979/80 Fidelity product brochure.

COMING SOON

COMING SOON

BCC - 1979

CCX - 1978

CCX - 1978

Chess Challenger 3

Chess Challenger 3 Upgrade

Chess Challenger 7

Chess Challenger 10 Version A

Chess Challenger 10 Version B

Coming Soon

Coming Soon

Fidelity Chess Challenger 7 (1979) Electronic Chess Computer

Fidelity Chess Challenger 10 Verions A (1978) Electronic Chess Computer

Fidelity Chess Challenger 10 Verions B (1978) Electronic Chess Computer

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“Fidelity Chess Challenger”

“Fidelity Chess Challenger”

Picture taken from a Fidelity Designer box.

FIDELITY CHESS CHALLENGER

In early 1976, the concept of making a commercially available chess computer was first conceived by FIDELITY. A prototype was built. U.S. Patent # 4235442 was issued, and the first unit was introduced in January 1977. Both the prototype and the first commercially available unit were inducted in the Hall of Fame by the United States Chess Federation on May 20, 1988 at New Windsor, New York.

Since 1977 CHESS CHALLENGER has won the first four World Microcomputer Chess Championships, every United States Computer Chess Open and currently holds the highest certified rating of any computer chess program. FIDELITY is the only American computer chess manufacturer and from its home in Miami, Florida distributes products in over 60 countries around the world.

Excerpt taken from a Fidelity Chess Computer box.

UCC10 - 1979

COMING SOON

COMING SOON

COMING SOON

COMING SOON

CChess Challenger 10 Upgrade

Chess Challenger Voice

Chess Mate

Chess Pal

Chesster

Fidelity Model UCC10 Chess Challenger 10 Upgrade (1979) Electronic Chess Computer

Coming Soon

Coming Soon

Coming Soon

Coming Soon

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Family playing against a Fidelity Chess Challenger 7

Family playing against a Fidelity Chess Challenger 7

Picture take from a 1979/80 Fidelity product brochure. This photo is also on the front of the Fidelity Chess Challenger 7 box.

COMING SOON

COMING SOON

6079 (CC8) - 1985

6099 - 1988

COMING SOON

Chesster Phantom

Chesster Phantom Eyeball

Classic

Computachess IV

Decorator Challenger

Coming Soon

Coming Soon

Fidelity The Classic (1985) Electronic Chess Computer

Fidelity Computachess IV (1988) Electronic Chess Computer

Coming Soon

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WOULDN’T YOU JUST LOVE TO GET YOUR HANDS ON THIS? - “FIDELITY DECORATOR CHALLENGER” picture taken from a Fidelity product brochure.

WOULDN’T YOU JUST LOVE TO GET YOUR HANDS ON THIS?

“FIDELITY DECORATOR CHALLENGER” picture taken from a Fidelity product brochure.

6111 - 1990

6102 - 1988

6105 - 1988

COMING SOON

6106 - 1988

Designer 1500 Chess Coach

Designer 2000

Designer 2000 Display

Designer 2100

Designer 2100 Display

Fidelity Designer 1500 (1990) Electronic Chess Computer

Fidelity Designer 2000 (1988) Electronic Chess Computer

Fidelity Designer 2000 Display (1988) Electronic Chess Computer

Coming Soon

Fidelity Designer 2100 (1988) Electronic Chess Computer

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CHESS CHALLENGER “10”

CHESS CHALLENGER “10”

Taken from a Challenger Series product brochure from 1979/80

COMING SOON

COMING SOON

COMING SOON

COMING SOON

COMING SOON

Designer 2265 Master

Designer 2325 Master

Eldorado

Elite A/S

Elite A/S Budapest

Coming Soon

Coming Soon

Coming Soon

Coming Soon

Coming Soon

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FIDELITY DESIGNER SERIES

FIDELITY DESIGNER SERIES

Picture taken from a Fidelity Designer box.

DESIGNER SERIES

The DESIGNER SERIES CHESS CHALLENGER COMPUTERS, continues FIDELITY’s championship software with the elegance and sleek styling of Italian design.

This design was created by the famous FRANCO ROCCO DESIGN STUDIO of Milan, Italy. Signor Rocco is an accomplished architect and sculptor, who excels in creating a fascinating blend of form and function. Each Designer Model carries the signature of his studio and the beauty of his artistry. His concept of a chess board within a chess board creates another dimension while retaining the integrity of this ancient game. The critics have acclaimed his design as attaining the look of Hi-Fashion, Hi-Tech, or a combination of both.

FIDELITY is proud to present this new series for your pleasure and enjoyment.

Excerpt taken from a Fidelity Designer Chess Computer box.

COMING SOON

COMING SOON

6081 - 1986

COMING SOON

6094 - 1987

Elite A/S Glasgow

Elite A/S Version 11

Elite A/G Mobile Master

Elite A/G 2100

Elite A/G Version 2

Coming Soon

Coming Soon

Fidelity Elite Avant Garde Mobile Master (1986) Electronic Chess Computer

Coming Soon

Coming Soon

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CHESS CHALLENGER “7”

CHESS CHALLENGER “7”

Taken from a Challenger Series product brochure from 1979/80

6094 - 1987

6093 - 1987

EP12 - 1985

6080 - 1985

6084 (1) - 1987

Excel 68000 (Mach I)

Excel Display

Excellence Version A

Excellence Version B

Gambit (Version 1)

Fidelity Excel 68000 (Mach I) (1987) Electronic Chess Computer

Fidelity Excel Display (1987) Electronic Chess Computer

Fidelity The Excellence Model EP12 (1985) Electronic Chess Computer

Coming Soon

Fidelity Gambit (Version 1) (1987) Electronic Chess Computer

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FIDELITY ELECTRONIC, LTD

FIDELITY ELECTRONIC, LTD

This picture is taken from the top of the Fidelity Chess Challenger “10” carrying case.

6084 (2) - 1987

6084 (3) - 1987

6095 - 1987

6108 - 1989

6127 - 1990

Gambit (Version 2)

Gambit (Version 3)

Gambit Voice

Genesis

Kishon Chesster Challenger

2Fidelity Gambit (Version 1) (1987) Electronic Chess Computer

Fidelity Gambit (Version 3) (1987) Electronic Chess Computer

Fidelity Gambit Voice (1987) Electronic Chess Computer

Fidelity Genesis (1989) Electronic Chess Computer

Fidelity Kishon Chesster Challenger (1990) Electronic Chess Computer

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“We’re Proud We’re Number One”

“We’re Proud We’re Number One”

A Fidelity Challenger certificate which was included in the boxes of Challenger series chess computers 1980/1981.

6125 - 1991

6125 - 1992

6097 - 1987

6097 - 1988

6098 - 1988

Little Chesster Challenger A

Little Chesster Challenger B

Mach II “B” Version

Mach II “C+” L.A. Version

Mach III Master

Fidelity Little Chesster Challenger A (1991) Electronic Chess Computer

Fidelity Little Chesster Challenger B (1992) Electronic Chess Computer

Fidelity Mach II "B" Version (1987)Electronic Chess Computer

Fidelity Mach II "C+" L.A. Version (1988) Electronic Chess Computer

Fidelity Mach III Master (1988) Electronic Chess Computer

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FRANCO ROCCO DESIGN STUDIO designed the Designer Series computer.

FRANCO ROCCO DESIGN STUDIO designed the Designer Series computer.

Picture taken from a Fidelity Chess Computer box.

COMING SOON

6096 - 1991

6096 - 1991

6107 - 1989

6083 - 1986

Marauder

Micro Chess - 12 Buttons

Micro Chess - 16 Buttons

Mini Chess Challenger

Par Excellence

Coming Soon

Fidelity Micro Chess Challenger 12 Buttons (1991( Electronic Chess Computer

Fidelity Micro Chess Challenger 16 Buttons (1991) Electronic Chess Computer

Fidelity Mini Chess Challenger (1989) Electronic Chess Computer

Fidelity Par Excellence (1986) Electronic Chess Computer

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Travel

Travel

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VOICE CHESS CHALLENGER

VOICE CHESS CHALLENGER

Taken from a Challenger Series product brochure from 1979/80

COMING SOON

SC6 - 1982

SCC - 1980

SC9 - 1982

SE12 - 1983

Phantom

Sensory Chess Challenger 6

Sensory Chess Challenger 8

Sensory Chess Challenger 9

Sensory Chess Challenger 12

Coming Soon

Fidelity Sensory Chess Challenger 6 (1982) Electronic Chess Computer

Fidelity Sensory Chess Challenger 8 (1980) Electronic Chess Computer

Fidelity Sensory Chess Challenger 9 (1982) Electronic Chess Computer

Fidelity Sensory Chess Challenger 12 (1983) Electronic Chess Computer

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A “FIDELITY INTERNATIONAL” Mission Statement

A “FIDELITY INTERNATIONAL” Mission Statement

Picture taken from a Fidelity Chess Computer box.

6086 - 1984

SCC - 1984

Super “9”

DS9 - 1984

6087 - 1986

Sensory Chess Challenger 12B

Septennial

Super “9”

Super “9” Deluxe

The Silver Bullet

Fidelity Sensory Chess Challenger 12B (1984) Electronic Chess Computer

Fidelity Septennial (1984) Electronic Chess Computer

Fidelity Super 9 (1982) Electronic Chess Computer

Fidelity Super 9 Deluxe (1984) Electronic Chess Computer

Fidelity The Silver Bullet (1986) Electronic Chess Computer

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Travel

Travel

“Fidelity Challenger”  Advertisement taken from a Fidelity product catalog

“Fidelity Challenger” Advertisement taken from a Fidelity product catalog

6118 - 1991

6122 -1991

USCF - 1984

6092 - 1985

VSC - 1980

Tiny

Travel Master

U.S. Chess Federation SE

Voice Excellence

Voice Sensory Challenger

Fidelity Tiny (1991) Electronic Chess Computer

Fidelity Travel Master (1991) Electronic Chess Computer

Fidelity U.S. Chess Federation Special Edition Chess Challenger Series Electronic Chess Computer

Fidelity Voice Excellence (1985) Electronic Chess Computer

Fidelity Voice Sensory Chess Challenger (1980) Electronic Chess Computer

Travel

Travel

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