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Extreme Chess & Fidelity's "Excellence" and "Par Excellence"



 
 
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  #1  
Old August 27th 03, 03:17 AM
GreyHipster
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Default Extreme Chess & Fidelity's "Excellence" and "Par Excellence"

Dear Chess Friends,
I got some spam a few months ago: "free software, pay only for
shipping." So for $3.95 I got Extreme Chess in the mail. It appears
to contain two chess engines: Fritz 3.10 "Hong Kong," and Fritz 4.01.
Unless I severely handicap them, both engines seem unbeatable. (I had
an 1800 USCF rating in 1972). Extreme installed and works fine on Win
XP, (Celeron @ 2.00 GHz, 256 MB RAM), but I can't get access to the
50,000 game database. I've tried opening the .cbf and .pgn files from
the "open" window, with the CD-rom in the drive. All I can get from
the database are the games I've played with Extreme. Any suggestions?
Also...if I run out and buy the latest version of Fritz or Shredder
or Junior or Hiarcs, would I find them noticably stronger than
Extreme?? It seems hard to believe! Extreme kicks ass and is
ruthlessly machine-like!! The old anti-computer tactic of "taking it
out of the book" doesn't work like it does for, say, Fidelity's
"Excellence."

Sometime in the mid-80's I saw an ad in Chess Life advertising
Fidelity's "Par Excellence" table-top computer. Chess Life really
plugged this computer and claimed it had a rating of something like
1900. I was intrigued and decided to buy one. I went to the one and
only shop in my area that sold chess equipment and computers, (a
"Gamekeeper" store in a mall). They told me that they had never heard
of the "Par Excellence" but assured me that the "Excellence," (model
EP12), was the latest model. The blurbs on the box made it sound
identical to the "Par Excellence." I bought it. I think I paid $125.
I took it home and was immediately impressed. I lost three games in
a row. The 1900 rating was no joke. It did and does play an
interesting game of chess, though it's nowhere near as strong as
"Extreme." (Oh yeah....three weeks after I bought the Excellence, it
started malfunctioning. It would sometimes freeze and lights would
flash at random...Fidelity was quick in fixing it...it still works.)
Eventually I found ways to beat it, even at the higher levels.
Certain openings it played poorly and taking it out of the book was
very effective...
Anyway.....(I'm a long-winded old fart..lol..my apologies), what was
the difference, if any, between the "Par Excellence" and the
"Excellence?" Is it possible that the "Par" was sold only through
Chess Life and was the "house brand" of the USCF? I have seen other
"Excellences" through the years but never a "Par Excellence."
warm regards, GreyHipster
  #2  
Old August 27th 03, 09:11 AM
Michael Byrne
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Posts: n/a
Default Extreme Chess & Fidelity's "Excellence" and "Par Excellence"

(GreyHipster) wrote in message . com...
Dear Chess Friends,
I got some spam a few months ago: "free software, pay only for
shipping." So for $3.95 I got Extreme Chess in the mail. It appears
to contain two chess engines: Fritz 3.10 "Hong Kong," and Fritz 4.01.
Unless I severely handicap them, both engines seem unbeatable.


They are strong.

(I had
an 1800 USCF rating in 1972). Extreme installed and works fine on Win
XP, (Celeron @ 2.00 GHz, 256 MB RAM), but I can't get access to the
50,000 game database. I've tried opening the .cbf and .pgn files from
the "open" window, with the CD-rom in the drive. All I can get from
the database are the games I've played with Extreme. Any suggestions?


Create a folder called database (or anything else with 8 or less
characters and no spaces or special symbols) on your "c" drive. Copy
the database from the cd to this folder. Uncheck the read-only
attribute. You should be in business.


Also...if I run out and buy the latest version of Fritz or Shredder
or Junior or Hiarcs, would I find them noticably stronger than
Extreme??


No. If you are more than 700/800 points below your opponent - there
is no way for you to distinguish between a 2450 and 2600 player


It seems hard to believe! Extreme kicks ass and is
ruthlessly machine-like!! The old anti-computer tactic of "taking it
out of the book" doesn't work like it does for, say, Fidelity's
"Excellence."

Sometime in the mid-80's I saw an ad in Chess Life advertising
Fidelity's "Par Excellence" table-top computer. Chess Life really
plugged this computer and claimed it had a rating of something like
1900. I was intrigued and decided to buy one. I went to the one and
only shop in my area that sold chess equipment and computers, (a
"Gamekeeper" store in a mall). They told me that they had never heard
of the "Par Excellence" but assured me that the "Excellence," (model
EP12), was the latest model. The blurbs on the box made it sound
identical to the "Par Excellence." I bought it. I think I paid $125.
I took it home and was immediately impressed. I lost three games in
a row. The 1900 rating was no joke. It did and does play an
interesting game of chess, though it's nowhere near as strong as
"Extreme." (Oh yeah....three weeks after I bought the Excellence, it
started malfunctioning. It would sometimes freeze and lights would
flash at random...Fidelity was quick in fixing it...it still works.)
Eventually I found ways to beat it, even at the higher levels.
Certain openings it played poorly and taking it out of the book was
very effective...
Anyway.....(I'm a long-winded old fart..lol..my apologies), what was
the difference, if any, between the "Par Excellence" and the
"Excellence?"


2 mhz and $120
http://www.alte-schachcomputer.de/index.htm


Is it possible that the "Par" was sold only through
Chess Life and was the "house brand" of the USCF? I have seen other
"Excellences" through the years but never a "Par Excellence."
warm regards, GreyHipster


not sure....
  #3  
Old August 27th 03, 09:22 AM
Leonardo Ljubicic
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Posts: n/a
Default Extreme Chess & Fidelity's "Excellence" and "Par Excellence"


Sometime in the mid-80's I saw an ad in Chess Life advertising
Fidelity's "Par Excellence" table-top computer. Chess Life really
plugged this computer and claimed it had a rating of something like
1900. I was intrigued and decided to buy one. I went to the one and
only shop in my area that sold chess equipment and computers, (a
"Gamekeeper" store in a mall). They told me that they had never heard
of the "Par Excellence" but assured me that the "Excellence," (model
EP12), was the latest model. The blurbs on the box made it sound
identical to the "Par Excellence." I bought it. I think I paid $125.
I took it home and was immediately impressed. I lost three games in
a row. The 1900 rating was no joke. It did and does play an
interesting game of chess, though it's nowhere near as strong as
"Extreme." (Oh yeah....three weeks after I bought the Excellence, it
started malfunctioning. It would sometimes freeze and lights would
flash at random...Fidelity was quick in fixing it...it still works.)
Eventually I found ways to beat it, even at the higher levels.
Certain openings it played poorly and taking it out of the book was
very effective...
Anyway.....(I'm a long-winded old fart..lol..my apologies), what was
the difference, if any, between the "Par Excellence" and the
"Excellence?" Is it possible that the "Par" was sold only through
Chess Life and was the "house brand" of the USCF? I have seen other
"Excellences" through the years but never a "Par Excellence."
warm regards, GreyHipster



Fidelity Excellence and Fidelity Par Excellence were 2 different machines,
both running on 6502 CPU which was very popular at a time. Later Fidelity
switched to Motorola 68000 CPUs. Par Excellence run on 5 MHz, and was the
stronger one, while 2 versions of Excellence used slower 3 and 4 MHz. I do
not recall if there was any difference between the software, but I would
thing there was. And yes, taking them out of book early worked fine!

Leonardo



  #4  
Old August 27th 03, 09:50 AM
Anders Carlsson
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Posts: n/a
Default Extreme Chess & Fidelity's "Excellence" and "Par Excellence"

"Leonardo Ljubicic" writes:

6502 CPU [...] run on 5 MHz,


I wonder which series of 6502 that is. The standard 6502C does 4 MHz,
while the 65CE02 (1988) does 0-10 MHz (yes, the data sheet says it
can do 0 MHz) and the G65SC02 (1987) does 1-6 MHz. Maybe Fidelity
over-clocked their chess computer or there was another version of
6502 which I don't find.

--
Anders Carlsson

"Please not to close to the hair, finger, clothes to run about the
inside's vehicle, in order to prevent quilt involvement." -- Bit Racer
  #5  
Old August 27th 03, 11:07 AM
Leonardo Ljubicic
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Extreme Chess & Fidelity's "Excellence" and "Par Excellence"


"Anders Carlsson" wrote in message
...

6502 CPU [...] run on 5 MHz,


I wonder which series of 6502 that is. The standard 6502C does 4 MHz,
while the 65CE02 (1988) does 0-10 MHz (yes, the data sheet says it
can do 0 MHz) and the G65SC02 (1987) does 1-6 MHz. Maybe Fidelity
over-clocked their chess computer or there was another version of
6502 which I don't find.

--
Anders Carlsson

"Please not to close to the hair, finger, clothes to run about the
inside's vehicle, in order to prevent quilt involvement." -- Bit Racer



It was 6502C, and they overclocked it to 5 MHz for Par Excellence. I think
Fidelity was the first in chess computer market that used overclocking, they
even had illegaly overclocked machines on a human tourney in USA, which was
discovered accidentaly. Hehe.

Leonardo


  #6  
Old August 27th 03, 11:31 AM
Anders Carlsson
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Posts: n/a
Default Extreme Chess & Fidelity's "Excellence" and "Par Excellence"

"Leonardo Ljubicic" writes:

It was 6502C, and they overclocked it to 5 MHz for Par Excellence.


Cool. I assume these dedicated chess computers are much more competitive
than computer chess for 8-bits (both 6502 and Z80 based computers)? If
the software in written only in assembler and not using any dedicated
hardware, it would be interesting to port it to a 1 MHz version and
compare with the traditional software.

--
Anders Carlsson

"Please not to close to the hair, finger, clothes to run about the
inside's vehicle, in order to prevent quilt involvement." -- Bit Racer
  #7  
Old August 28th 03, 01:52 AM
GreyHipster
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Extreme Chess & Fidelity's "Excellence" and "Par Excellence"

Anders Carlsson wrote in message ...
"Leonardo Ljubicic" writes:



Cool. I assume these dedicated chess computers are much more competitive
than computer chess for 8-bits (both 6502 and Z80 based computers)?


That's what I heard. The better dedicated chess computers could
easily beat early versions of Sargon and Chessmaster and the various
programs written for the Commodore64 and the TI99A. And there is
something to be said for self-contained chess computers. I set mine
on the ottoman and play chess while I watch TV or on the dinner table
and play chess while I eat! warm regards, GreyHipster

p.s. And thanks for the information, chess friends! :-)
p.p.s. so far the score for Fritz 4.01 vs. Excellence is 7-0 (in
favor if Fritz, of course. But the games are interesting!)
 




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