The Spacious Mind
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About RFT/VEB Erfurt

Since chess used to be more popular in the Eastern European countries, it was not surprising that an enterprising East German group of people or consortium, eventually took it upon themselves to produce their own dedicated chess computers.

What was surprising is that instead of having someone write their own chess program, they creatively took the programming and insides out of a Fidelity computer and copied this into their own first electronic chess computer efforts.

The first computer made by VEB Mikroelektronik Erfurt the SC1 in 1981, was very unsuccessful with very few quantities produced. Their second effort the SC2 used a Fidelity Chess Challenger 10 as a base but it was more successful.

It was not until 1983 when the Chess-Master was produced that the East Germans finally had a nice looking wooden board machine. Although it is thought that the insides were still taken out of Fidelity Computers which in this case may have been a Chess Challenger 7.

The last effort was made in 1988 when the Chess-Master Diamond was introduced. This was another nice looking wooden machine estimated at 1600 ELO. It also had an opening module and and endgame module available to it.

Try lifting a Chess-Master it has to be one of the heaviest dedicated chess computers ever made. But perhaps Chess-Master Diamond is even heavier.

G-5003 1987

RFT Chess-Master

RFT Chess-Master (1987)

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