In December, 1978 an improved Sargon II competed in the 9th ACM North American Computer Chess Championships. There Sargon II took on the giants of the computer chess world. In an electrifying fourth round game Sargon defeated Awit, a program running on a five million dollar AHMDAL computer. Sargon tied for third place in that event.
Your new MODULAR GAME SYSTEM brings you Sargon 2.5; improved over its astonishing performance against multi-million dollar machines. Sargon should provide you with countless hours of chess excitement.
Excerpt taken from the SARGON 2.5 Module User Manual printed in 1979
Although the Chafitz Sargon 2.5 user manual has a print date of 1979, it is unlikely that Sargon 2.5 was sold as a module for the Modular Game System, prior to 1980. The same program but named Boris 2.5 performed during the last week of September, 1980 in a North American Tournament held in San Jose, California. Boris 2.5 finished tied 2nd together with Boris Experimental which later became the Chafitz Morphy chess game module, sold in 1981. Winner of this tournament was the Fidelity Electronics Inc. Champion Sensory Chess Challenger.
A few weeks earlier during that 1st week of September, 1980 a MGS Sargon 2.5 had participated in the 3rd PCW Microcomputer Chess Championship finishing 6th.
First published Magazine review that I could find for an actual Chafitz Sargon 2.5 combined with a Modular Game System (“MGS”) is from January 1981 titled “The Newest Sargon 2.5”. A German Sales brochure printed in February and August 1980 advertises the MGS Sargon 2.5
It does seem uncertain that MGS Sargon 2.5 was delivered to the general public in any large quantities before 1980.
Sargon 2.5 playing as a module inside a Chafitz Auto Response Board was available since January, 1980. This module is a different type of module to what is used in a MGS or GGM.
An MGS advert from 1979 shows a prototype looking MGS and states modules will be available soon. Shown, advertised and performing as a prototype in 1979 is certainly correct.
Sargon 2.5 works with Chafitz Modular Game System and Chafitz Great Game Machine. Boris 2.5 and Sargon 2.5 are the same chess programs but with different names, perhaps initially planned to target different World markets with for example Sargon 2.5 for Europe and Boris 2.5 for North America. Or possibly the name change is a result of Dan & Kathe Spracklen leaving Chafitz and joining Fidelity Electronics.
Sargon 2.5 is compatible with Modular Game System (“MGS”) and Great Game Machine (“GGM”).