Manfred Hegener and Florian Glaser started their business in 1969 in order to produce semi-conductors.  In 1978 they came into contact with programmers Thomas Nitsche and Elmar Henne.  In 1980 the Brand “Mephisto” was created and the first German chess computer Mephisto, also nicknamed “Das Brickett” (The Brick) was sold to the German public.

In 1984 Hegener & Glaser managed to add programmer Richard Lang to their Team who in that year with his “Psion” chess computer software had just finished in a shared 1st place with three other competitors in the 1984 World Microcomputer Chess Championship (WMCCC). Theoretically Richard Lang’s “Psion” although equal on points would have won this tournament due to the tougher Swiss pairing, however as four machines finished in equal first place; they all agreed to share the championship. Since Thomas Nitsche and Elmar Henne’s Mephisto III-S Glasgow also competed in this 4th WMCCC, this meant that Hegener & Glaser now had two world champion programmers in their Team. Interestingly, Mephisto III-S Glasgow was a commercial program whereas the other first place finishers where an either an experimental computer not yet available in the market or as in “Psion’s” case a software program. Hegener & Glaser could therefore claim and advertise their Mephisto III-S Glasgow as the 1984 Commercial World Champion.

Richard Lang’s Mephisto programming at Hegener & Glaser proved to be an extremely successful venture as he went on to wins the next six World Microcomputer Chess Championships:

      04. 1984 Glasgow    Fidelity Elite X, Conchess X, Mephisto III-S Glasgow, Psion
      05. 1985 Amsterdam   Mephisto Amsterdam
      06. 1986 Dallas    Mephisto Dallas
      07. 1987 Rome      Mephisto Roma
      08. 1988 Almeria    Mephisto Almeria
      09. 1989 Portoroz   Mephisto Portorose
      10. 1990 Lyon     Mephisto Lyon

This success made Mephisto the World's largest and successful manufacturer of dedicated chess computers during the 1980’s.

In 1989 Hegener & Glaser bought their flailing American competitor Fidelity Electronics, but by 1992 Hegener & Glaser themselves were in trouble due to the changing market demand which had switched to the increased mass of cheap but strong personal computer chess software.

Finally in 1994, Hegener & Glaser sold their company to Saitek Ltd. after having suffered some large losses and setbacks in the previous two years, many of which were caused when they had to absorb enormous losses made by Fidelity Electronics in North America which ultimately caused the downfall of both companies.

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Dear Chess Friend!

Congratulations on the purchase of your MEPHISTO chess- computer!!

We would like to welcome you to the growing club of owners of MEPHISTO chess computers and hope that you will have many hours of entertainment with your new partner. Your MEPHISTO is a high-quality product, manufactured in Germany. It is simple to use and yet offers a large number of features.

We would like to wish you hours of fun and exciting chess with your MEPHISTO!

“Welcome”  message taken from a Mephisto User Manual.

Mephisto Academy (1989) Electronic Chess Computer

1989

Academy

Table Top

1993

Alaska

Table Top

1996

1997

1996

America

Atlanta

America II

Table Top

Table Top

Table Top

Mephisto Alaska (1993) Electronic Chess Computer
Mephisto America II (1996) Electronic Chess Computer
Mephisto Atlanda (1997) Electronic Chess Computer

124455 - 1993

025509 - 1995

026001 - 1995

1992

1994

Avanti

Beach in Red

Beach in Yellow

Berlin 68000

Berlin Professional

Coming Soon
Mephisto Beach in Red (1995) Electronic Travel Chess Computer
Mephisto Beach in Yellow (1995) Electronic Travel Chess Computer
Mephisto Berlin 68000 (1992) Electronic Chess Computer
Mephisto Berlin Professional (1994) Electronic Chess Computer

Table Top

Travel

Travel

Table Top

Table Top

1996

025509 - 1995

440 - 1995

1987

1990

Berlin Pro London Upgrade

Bistro in Red

Champion

Europa

Europa A

Mephisto Berlin Pro London Upgrade (1996) Electronic Chess Computer
Mephisto Bistro in Red (1995) Electronic Chess Computer
Mephisto Champion (1995) Electronic Travel Chess Computer
Mephisto Berling Pro London Upgrade (1996) Electronic Chess Computer

Table Top

Table Top

Travel

Table Top

Table Top

Coming Soon
Coming Soon

1990

3003 - 1992

126503 -1996

1993

1987

Junior

Junior Travel

Madison

Manhattan

Marco Polo

Mephisto Junior (1990) Electronic Chess Computer
Mephisto Junior (1992) Electronic Travel Chess Computer
Mephisto Madison (1996) Electronic Chess Computer
Mephisto Manhattan (1993) Electronic Chess Computer

Table Top

Travel

Table Top

Table Top

Travel

Mephisto Marco Polo (1987) Electronic Travel Chess Computer
Many Mephisto chess computers were endorsed by the Austiran Chess Federation.
Many Mephisto chess computers were endorsed by the French Chess Federation.

Several “MEPHISTO” chess computers were also endorsed by the Austrian, Dutch and French Chess Federations.

Many Mephisto chess computers were endorsed by the Dutch Chess Federation.

1988

1991

M08 - 2000

1980

1981

Mega IV

Mein Erster

Melbourne

Mephisto I

Mephisto II

Coming Soon
Mephisto Mein Erster (1991) Electronic Chess Computer
Coming Soon
Mephisto I (1980) Electronic Travel Chess Computer

Table Top

Table Top

Table Top

Travel

Travel

1983

1987

M02 -1999

1998

1991

Mephisto III

Merlin 16K

MeXs

Miami

Milano

Mephisto III (1981) Electronic Travel Chess Computer
Coming Soon
Mephisto MeXs (1999) Electronic Chess Computer
Coming Soon

Travel

Table Top

Table Top

Travel

Table Top

Mephisto Milano (1991) Electronic Chess Computer
mephisto_ii_muse

Mephisto Muse

Picture taken from a Mephisto Chess Computer Box.

225008 - 1996

1989

1986

1992

1986

Milano Pro

Mini

Mirage Modular Board

Modena

Monaco

Mephisto Milano Pro (1996) Electronic Chess Computer
Mephisto Mini (1989) Electronic Travel Chess Computer
Mephisto Mirage Modular Board (1986) Electronic Chess Computer
Mephisto Modena (1992) Electronic Chess Computer

Table Top

Travel

Table Top

Table Top

Travel

1985

1987

1988

1998

1987

Mondial

Mondial II

Mondial 68000XL

Montana

Monte Carlo

Coming Soon
Mephisto Mondial II (1987) Electronic Chess Computer
Coming Soon
Coming Soon

Table Top

Table Top

Table Top

Table Top

Table Top

Mephisto Monaco (1986) Electronic Travel Chess Computer
Mephisto Monte Carlo (1987) Electronic Chess Computer
The Hungarian Chess Federation endorsed Mephisto chess computers.
The Polish Chess Federation endorsed Mephisto chess computers.

Some more Chess Federations who endorsed MEPHISTO chess computers. The Hungarian and Polish Chess Federations.

1989

1990

1993

1995

M03 - 1998

Monte Carlo IV

Monte Carlo IV Limited Edition

Montreal

Montreux

Mystery

Coming Soon
Mephisto Monte Carlo IV Limited Edition (1990) Electronic Chess Computer
Coming Soon
Coming Soon

Table Top

Table Top

Table Top

Table Top

Table Top

129504 - 1995

1993

475 - 1995

200500 - 1995

1989

Mythos

Nigel Short

Schachcomputer 64

Schach-Trainer

Schachschule

Mephisto Mythos (1995) Electronic Chess Computer
Mephisto Nigel Short (1993) Electronic Chess Computer
Mephisto Schachcomputer 64 (1995) Electronic Travel Chess Computer
Coming Soon

Table Top

Table Top

Travel

Table Top

Table Top

Hegener & Glaser were headquartered in Munich, Germany.

Hegener & Glaser were headquartered in Munich, Germany.

Picture taken from an old brochure.

Mehisto chess computers, your entrance to the world of chess.

Mehisto chess computers, your entrance to the world of chess.

468 - 1996

1986

1989

1992

1986

Solar King

Super Mondial

Super Mondial II

Supermini

Teufelchen

Mephisto Solar King (1996) Electronic Chess Computer
Coming Soon
Mephisto Super Mondial II (1989) Electronic Chess Computer
Mephisto Supermini (1992) Electronic Travel Chess Computer

Table Top

Table Top

Table Top

Travel

Travel

Mephisto Mystery (1998) Electronic Chess Computer
Mephisto Schachschule (1989) Electronic Chess Computer
Coming Soon
Modular Games Systems

MEPHISTO produced three types of modular game systems for chess. The MOBIL/MIRAGE portable versions for traveling, the early ESB table top versions and the hugely successful MODULAR table top versions. All these systems are still very popular today amongst chess collectors because of the variety of electronic opponents available to compete against.

Modular Systems for Travel

1984

1984

Mirage Module

Mobil Module

Coming Soon
Coming Soon

Travel

Travel

ESB Chess System Boards

1983

1981

ESB 3000

ESB 5000

Mephisto ESB 3000 (1983) Modular Electronic Chess Board
Coming Soon

Table Top

Table Top

1982

ESB 6000

Coming Soon

Table Top

Mephisto modular wooden chess boards.  Above picture shows the Mephisto Exclusive modular chess board.

Mephisto modular wooden chess boards.  Above picture shows the Mephisto Exclusive modular chess board.

Modular System Chess Boards

1983

Mdular

Coming Soon

Table Top

1983

Exclusive

Coming Soon

Table Top

Many Mephisto chess computers were endorsed by the German Chess Federation.

Many Mephisto chess computers were endorsed by the German Chess Federation.

1985

1990

Muenchen

Bavaria

Mephisto Muenchen (1985) Wooden Modular Electronic Chess Board
Coming Soon

Table Top

Table Top

Modular Chess Modules
Mephisto modular wooden chess boards.  Above picture shows the Mephisto Muenchen modular chess board.

Mephisto modular wooden chess boards.  Above picture shows the Mephisto Muenchen modular chess board.

1985

B & P

Coming Soon

8 Bit Module

1983

MM I

Coming Soon

8 Bit Module

1984

Mirage

Mephisto Mirage Game Module (1984) Electronic Chess Computer

8 Bit Module

1985

MM II

Mephisto MM II Game Module (1985) Electronic Chess Computer

8 Bit Module

1983

MM 3000

8 Bit Module

1987

MM IV

Mephisto MM IV Game Module (1987) Electronic Chess Computer

8 Bit Module

1990

MM V

Mephisto MM V Game Module (1990) Electronic Chess Computer

8 Bit Module

1996

MM VI

Coming Soon

8 Bit Module

Mephisto 8 Bit Modules
Mephisto 16 Bit Modules
Mephisto Chess & Games.  Above picture was taken from the Mephisto 1991 Catalog.

Mephisto Chess & Games.  Above picture was taken from the Mephisto 1991 Product Catalog.

1984

III-S Glasgow

Coming Soon

68000 - 16 Bit Module

1988

Almeria

Mephisto 68000 Almeria 16 Bit Game Module (1988) Electronic Chess Computer

68000 - 16 Bit Module

1985

Amsterdam

Mephisto Amsterdam 16 Bit Game Module (1985) Electronic Chess Computer

68000 - 16 Bit Module

1986

Dallas

Coming Soon

68000 - 16 Bit Module

1996

London

68000 - 16 Bit Module

1989

Polgar

Mephisto Polgar Game Module (1989) Electronic Chess Computer

8 Bit Module

1990

Lyon

Mephisto 68000 Lyon 16 Bit Game Module (1990) Electronic Chess Computer

68000 - 16 Bit Module

1989

Portorose

Coming Soon

68000 - 16 Bit Module

1987

Roma

Coming Soon

68000 - 16 Bit Module

1989

Roma II

Mephisto 68000 Roma II 16 Bit Game Module (1989) Electronic Chess Computer

68000 - 16 Bit Module

1991

Vancouver

68000 - 16 Bit Module

Above picture was taken from the Mephisto 1987-1988 Product Catalog.

Above picture was taken from the Mephisto 1987-1988 Product Catalog.

32 Bit Modules

1988

Almeria

Coming Soon

68020 - 32 Bit Module

1986

Dallas

Coming Soon

68020 - 32 Bit Module

1993

Genius

Coming Soon

68030 - 32 Bit Module

1996

Genius London

Coming Soon

68030 - 32 Bit Module

1996

London

68020 - 32 Bit Module

1990

Lyon

Mephisto 68020 Lyon 32 Bit Game Module (1990) Electronic Chess Computer

68020 - 32 Bit Module

1998

Magellan

Mephisto SH7034 Magellan 32 Bit Game Module (1998) Electronic Chess Computer

SH7034 - 32 Bit Module

1989

Portorose

Mephisto 68020 Portorose 32 Bit Game Module (1989) Electronic Chess Computer

68020 - 32 Bit Module

1987

Roma

Coming Soon

68020 - 32 Bit Module

1998

Senator

SH7034 - 32 Bit Module

1991

Vancouver

Coming Soon

68020 - 32 Bit Module

Mephisto Modular Board and Travel Case, includes game module, display module and piece storage module (center).

Mephisto Modular Board and Travel Case, includes game module, display module and piece storage module (center).

The 8 Bit chess modules were the first modules that Mephisto developed for their new modular system. Initially on their first modules MM 1 and Mirage, an 8 MHz CDP 1806 microprocessor was used with a ROM size of 32 KB and 4 KB RAM.  In 1985 with the B & P module, Mephisto replaced the CDP 1806 with the MOS Technologies 65C02 microprocessor running at a speed of 3.7 MHz.  The speed was increased in subsequent modules to 5 MHz.  In 1996 while under the ownership of Saitek, MM VI, the last Mephisto 8 bit chess module was sold using a Hitachi H8 microprocessor.  You might occasionally see or read about modules at other speeds, these have been modified and no longer have the original Mephisto specifications.

The first 16 Bit computer Mephisto sold using a Motorola 68,000 microprocessor was Mephisto Excalibur in 1983 running at a speed of 8 MHz.  This was followed in 1984 with Mephisto III-S Glasgow running at 12 MHz.  Subsequent Mephisto models that used the 68,000 microprocessor were all sold with 12 MHz speed with the exception of Roma II which had 10 MHz.  You might occasionally see or read about modules at other speeds, these have been modified and no longer have the original Mephisto specifications.

The first 32 Bit computer Mephisto sold using a Motorola 68,020 microprocessor was Mephisto Dallas in 1986 running at a speed of 14 MHz.  With the exception of Roma that also ran at 14 MHz, subsequent 68,020 microprocessor modules sold by Mephisto ran at 12 MHz.  The 16 Bit range of chess modules were the more affordable range whereas the 32 Bit range targeted the more affluent chess enthusiasts.  Generally the 68,020 range was twice as fast as the 68,000 range, making the programs stronger.  With the exception of Mephisto Tournament machines, Mephisto also sold a 33 MHz 68,030 module named Genius.  London was never sold officially by Mephisto. this was ROM that was sold by the programmer Richard Lang.  It was made available for the Motorola 68,000, 68020 and 68,030 microprocessors.  You could swap out the ROM of the appropriate chess modules.  London works with Almeria, Portorose, Lyon, Vancouver and Genius. Magellan and Senator were sold in the last few years in the life of Mephisto, while under the ownership of Saitek.  These two modules used a 20 MHz SH7034 microprocessor.  You might occasionally see or read about modules at other speeds, these have been modified and no longer have the original Mephisto specifications.

ARM Processor Modules

In 1992 with Risc and in 1994 with Risc 2, Mephisto produced two modules for the modular chess boards,  using a 32 Bit  ARM2 32 microprocessor from the British manufacturer Acorn.  These modules ran at a speed of 14 MHz.

1992

Risc

Mephisto Risc 32 Bit Game Module (1992) Electronic Chess Computer

ARM - 32 Bit Module

1994

Risc 2

Mephisto Risc 2 32 Bit Game Module (1994) Electronic Chess Computer

ARM - 32 Bit Module

Judit Polgar endorsing Mephisto.  Picture was taken from a Mephisto Catalog.
MephistoTournament Machines

Judit Polgar endorsing Mephisto.  Picture was taken from a Mephisto Catalog.

To celebrate their World Championships Mephisto sold a select number of Tournament Machines at a high cost to the public.  Needless to say not many were sold making them a sought after collectors item nowadays.

1990

TM Lyon

Coming Soon

68030 - 32 Bit

1991

TM Vancouver

Coming Soon

68030 - 32 Bit

1986

Rebell 5.0

8 Bit Module

Mephisto MM 3000 Game Module (1983) Electronic Chess Computer
Mephisto Rebell 5.0 Game Module (1986) Electronic Chess Computer
Coming Soon
Mephisto 68000 Vancouver 16 Bit Game Module (1991) Electronic Chess Computer
Mephisto 68020 London 32 Bit Game Module (1996) Electronic Chess Computer
Coming Soon
a_button_2_11

1996

PC Modul

Coming Soon

PC Connection Module

Many Mephisto chess computers were endorsed by the British Chess Federation.

Many Mephisto chess computers were endorsed by the British Chess Federation.

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