MAIN EXCALIBUR MENTOR MAIN GAME CHARACTERISTICS:
- SKILL LEVELS -- Your MENTOR has a total of 128 level settings to choose from.
- TAKE BACK A MOVE - The MENTOR offers the possibility to take back 25 half-moves to enable you to rectify your last move in reverse.
- CHANGE OF COLOR -- The COLOR key can be pressed any time during a game and the color to move will be reversed. Any moves made prior to pressing this key will be erased and the game history will begin from this position.
- REFEREE LEVEL SETTING -- On this level the player can enter moves for Black and White. The computer will not calculate any moves but will check the legality of all moves entered. This level may be used to enter particular book openings or to allow 2 players to challenge each other.
- VERIFYING A POSITION -- Any time before entering your next move or after setting up a board position you can check the position of any of the pieces to see if the board position corresponds to the position stored in the computers memory.
- SETTING UP A POSITION -- This mode is designed to enable you to set up board positions to solve chess problems or to set handicaps by removing or entering a piece, as well as changing the positions of pieces.
- MOVE SUGGESTION -- The computer can suggest moves if you are not sure how to continue your game which is a great tutoring feature. When it is your turn to move press the HINT key and the computer will show the move it considers the best for the color to move. You can accept any suggested move or make a move of your own choice. If you don’t like the first HINT suggested by the computer press the HINT key again and the computer may suggest another move. Pressing the HINT key whilst the computer is calculating its counter move will show you (by the rank and file LED’s and on the LCD display) the current best possible move it is considering. The best possible move will vary dependent on the level setting that you have set.
- TRAINING FUNCTION -- This function is to help the novice player. When it is your turn to move press TRAINING key and the blinking LED’s (the square position is also shown on display) will show the “from” and “to” squares of the first piece with a legal move. If you continue to press the TRAINING key the computer will show you show you the next possible move of that particular piece. The computer will terminate the TRAINING function once you have cycled through the last chess piece.
Excerpts taken from the EXCALIBUR MENTOR User Manual.
The EXCALIBUR MENTOR is the exact same computer as the NOVAG MENTOR 16 which came out in 1989. Between the years 1995 - 2000, Excalibur must have made some agreements with Novag to enable them to rename and repackage some of their previously released computers. Some of these were:
- Excalibur Karpov 2294 = Novag Emerald Classic Plus
- Excalibur Mentor = Novag Mentor 16
- Excalibur Viper = Novag Amethyst
- Excalibur Escort = Novag Opal
Some minor modification in level choices and other features might have been made but none of these features provide a noticeable difference in game strength.