Latest Stories View all

Mephisto Phoenix - Luxury Electronic Chess System

The most powerful chess computer of all time Phoenix comes in a modern glass touch screen design and offers both the newest computing technologies along with retro engines from decades past. Beautifully designed modern cabinet The new high-end chess device with state-of-the-art technology offers almost everthing you'd expect from the royal game. The modern cabinet comes with a large color touch screen made from real glass, matching its wooden board perfectly. With its clear and very responsive touch menu system, it is the perfect home station for chess enthusiasts of all ages, playing strengths, and experience levels. the Phoenix with a Rosewood Board Bundle Three ways to buy Mephisto Phoenix Sold out Sold out Sold out Preorder Offer Save $150 when you pre-order Phoenix for delivery in early 2023. To save $150 today, apply coupon M92PRE You will receive a special and unique FREE Gift with your order! 00 DAYS : 00 HOURS : 00 MIN : 00 SEC With your order of any Phoenix package, we'll include a very special surprise gift. (Hint: it's a perfect pairing but it's not a chess accessory.) The Engines In cooperation with Ruud Martin, the owner of Phoenix Chess Systems in the Netherlands, a multi-engine system has been developed, adding great variety.With Shredder Neuronal and Stockfish 15 NNUE, you see the world's first dedicated chess computer using most modern neuronal engine technologies. The two high class commercial engines Hiarcs and Komodo are on board as well.See and feel how different modern engines behave! With the large informative screen, you'll observe easily what the engine thinks and how differently things are evaluated. Online Play Coming The ability to use the ChessLink App directly on the unit without the need of any additional device will be implemented as a free update in 2023. This allows you to play on LiChess directly from your Phoenix using internal WiFi. You can play with millions of people all over the globe. (Meanwhile, you can still connect ChessLink Module MIL822 to the board to accomplish this now). WiFi System Updates Updates come via WiFi directly on the unit. If you purchase additional software in webstore it is installed as easy as the press of a button. Powerful Hardware The Phoenix uses a 1.5G 64-Bit Quadcore processor with 4G Ram provided by a Raspberry Pi 4B. It's 7 inch TFT screen with 1024x600 resolution gives you great insights into chess computers thinking processes and makes it easy to control the countless functions. Powerful speakers bring you modern and clear sound effects fitting the systems look and feel perfectly. It's suitable for the 40cm (17.5") Exclusive and the 55cm (21.7") Supreme boards with Piece Recognition. The module has a size of approximately 18x13x9cm (7.1 x 5.1 x 3.5"). At more than 700 grams (1.5lbs), it's a device that feels sturdy.   It offers connection to Millennium Boards with piece recognition, USB Type A for updates via USB Drive or PGN downloads, 9V DC In and WiFi Connection. Brand New Board Construction The chess boards with full sets bring several advantages compared to current Exclusive and Supreme Millennium boards. They are made with MDF base construction with wooden veneer on the sides. They have a full protective dark rosewood and bright maple look. Everything is covered with transparent protective lacquer, bring more resistant to scratches and bumps as well as providing excellent protection against discoloration by sunlight. The LEDs are now fully flat integrated. The new boards feature a Mephisto badge matching the Phoenix. Phoenix T model above shows the 21.7" Tournament board in Rosewood and Maple Bright LEDs help you understand every piece movement and placement. Software Features The basic system is a UCI based multi-engine chess computer, expanded with classical chess computer emulations running at a remarkable high speed as well as the capability to play online on LiChess directly from the system. It comes with 4 different Top-Class Engines on Board: Shredder 13.5, Komodo 14.1, Hiarcs 14.2 and Stockfish 15 NNUE. More engines are coming Most powerful chess computer of all time Of the built-in chess programs, Stockfish and Komodo in particular offer an extremely high playing strength which not even the current world champion could overcome. Beginners on up Starting from a very simple level, which is also suitable for absolute beginners, the system can reach a maximum performance of over 3400 ELO. In fact, there are countless options to adjust the playing strength to your individual needs. The system covers the widest playing strength range ever provided by a chess computer.   The large screen offers deep insights. Setting your strength To set the strength, you can take the easiest route and let the computer adjust to your playing strength on its own. Use Shredder's ELO levels to adjust the program to your needs or choose Komodo's skill levels as a natural but not unbeatable chess opponent. Or you use the speed limiter and fine-tune the engines without limiting them in an unnatural way. Whether you let a 6-year-old child playing against the computer or you always wanted to challenge a world chess champion, here you finally have the system to do it all. Get your own ELO Rating Shredder offers a highly interesting new function with its fully automatic self-adapting playing strength with ELO rating. In this way you can continuously monitor your progress and see how much you have improved through training with the computer. Komodo also contains an adaptive playing strength function which, in contrast to Shredder, adjusts itself while the game is in progress. Innovative neuronal engines Shredder and Stockfish can be used with their neuronal algorithms. MEPHISTO PHOENIX is the first chess computer to use this new technology. Experience how these powerful programs compare to classical engines. Easy Game Evaluation The evaluation bar beside the chess boards tells you at first glance how the engine is seeing the position. Any blunders are quickly noticed that way and you always have a feeling on how good you do.   Many different level settings: Here are the tournament time controls. Comfort Menu for Quick Access Starting with the unit is easy. The comfort menu gives you the choice out of 6 well balanced, predefined profiles for each commercial engine. The Mephisto Development Team has set them with great care to show you the variety of the software and invite you to try them out. There is one for each type of player for sure! Just switch it on and start playing! Of course: Welcome to modify the profiles per your needs. You like the game to be more aggressive? The ELO Limit a little lower? Just modify the values with the touch screen menu and save them in your profiles. You can create up to 18 different profiles this way! The Profile Selection makes it easy to try the different engines at various levels. UCI Engine Commands Made Easy Each UCI Engine comes with its own set of very special settings, giving you a huge choice of influencing its play. You'll see the most important ones in the general menu where you can always find them easily. However, if the special ones provided only by individual engines appeal to you, access them by a dynamically created engine options sub menu. This allows Millennium to add any UCI Engine in the future along with convenient access of the most special options. Great opening training per your needs The machine comes with various opening books. The standard one by Mark Uniacke provides you with more then 1,000,000 positions, all from master play. This is the biggest opening book ever provided by a dedicated chess computer. There is furthermore a "fun" book with more unusual openings and also three specially designed books playing typical openings from chess stars like Carlsen, Fischer and Kasparov. The system does not only allow you to limit the depth of book moves, but also you can advise the engine to use e.g. only the best 25% of moves. What if you dislike an opening or like to train a special one? Just take back the move made by the engine, press move and it will play the second best automatically. So you can "scroll" through the opening options for your position directly on the board. Powerful Analysis - Training Made Easy With more then 3100 ELO for example with Komodo, you can setup any position via the position mode and take a deep look into the engines analysis. Also here the Evaluation Bar shows you quickly how the engine thinks. Switch on all the display options to see all the evaluations even during the game itself. Emulate Classical Chess Computers from the 80s and 90s The system can provide you with 20 historical Chess Computer Emulations. The Programmers Richard Lang, Johan de Koning, Ed Schroeder as well as Elmar Henne & Thomas Nitsche gave their permission to use their world champion systems from the past in this new computer. Most remarkable is the “Mephisto Glasgow”, the legendary world championship program of 1984 - which runs on the Mephisto Phoenix system at a speed approximately 66 times faster than the original machine of the time. Imagine what these classics can do with the todays processing power. With the speed bar you easily control the emulation speed or set it to the speed of the original chess computer, button and display layout follows the originals. Get back to the 1980s to explore the rise of computer chess. Compared to the well know Revelation II chess computers, the Phoenix offers several advantages on its emulations: The higher speed is one aspect, the direct control of all functions with the touch buttons is another one. The highest focus however went into the new speed bar. It allows not only a seamless speed setting, but also to set the original speeds of the different chess computers available with the according program. Users can for example choose King 2.5 and toggle through Tasc R30 and Tasc R40 by simply pressing the middle of the emulation display. This way, each emulation provides access to a wider series of chess computers with different hardware. The Profile Selection makes it easy to try the different engines at various levels. Mephisto Glasgow is up to 66 times faster than the original computer back in 1984. the Mephisto Phoenix is right for you if you > wish to own the most powerful chess computer ever made, building a bridge between past glory days and todays modern style of playing chess off-and online, > are interested in modern engine technologies, e.g. NNUE Technology, > like to play with retro chess computers and see how these programs play on modern hardware, > plan to play online on LiChess directly from your board, without the hassle of any additional connections or distracting communication devices (2023 update), and that's just the beginning! Three ways to buy Mephisto Phoenix Sold out Sold out Sold out

Detective Cookie's After School Chess Project

Selena is an aspiring youth in Detective Cookie’s pilot program that has turned from a summer experiment into a remarkable success story of intergenerational cooperation – much needed in communities across the country. When I spoke with long time chess promoter and Seattle Police Detective Denise (aka Detective Cookie), I immediately recognized this story needs to be told. Selina, at just 10 years old played against much older women and won the 1st prize Under 1400 rated section in the Washington Women’s Championship this September. - Detective Cookie Many of these young people didn’t know what to do with their time… Now they are playing chess with seniors on a regular basis, getting to know them, and even be able to tell highlights of “their senior’s” life story in a mini presentation. The seniors are honored and provided with an outlet to make a difference in these young people’s lives – or even learn chess from the youth already excelling at chess. “Bringing youth and elders together weekly to play chess has been outstanding” says Denise Bouldin. “These youth have gotten the opportunity to interact with their elders and to learn the history of many of their elders. They both have coached each other in the game of chess. Some of the chess teens/kids are very good at chess and have given each other a tough challenge. “Bringing youth and elders together weekly to play chess has been outstanding”  A couple of the seniors were new to chess and it was wonderful to see the youth teaching them how to play chess.” Key to kicking off the program were small incentives at several stages, easier than it sounds. Several people who heard about this story were so pleased, they stepped forward with donations including chess equipment. The Detective Cookie CHESS PARK Opening September 2022 Seattle Police Detective Denise “Cookie” Bouldin started a chess club for Rainier Beach youth. The game served well as a metaphor for life’s important decisions. Since then, Detective Cookie’s chess club has provided a safe haven and created an opportunity for neighbors of all ages to interact and build community. To honor Detective Cookie and to carry forth the positive momentum of her work, a group of community leaders and volunteers formed the Friends of Det. Cookie Chess Park (FDCCP) and created a permanent chess park and community gathering space.  The small public park encourages chess play on built-in chess tables and on a giant in-ground chess board. This park is meant to be an outdoor destination for her club as well as the greater community to learn, play and observe chess together in Rainier Beach, Seattle, WA. The mission is to improve the health and wellbeing of children and families in Rainier Beach through the game of chess. Learn more about the PARK Grand Opening View this profile on Instagram Detective Cookie Chess Park (@detectivecookiechesspark) • Instagram photos and videos

How much space is needed for a chess board?

One of the beautiful things about chess is that the chess board takes so little space to play. At the same time, you can express your personal style through the artform of the board you own. How much space is needed for a chess board? At times the answer may seem obvious — but not always! Let's start with the dimensions: Chess boards are square and generally range in size from 16 to 20 inches (40.6 - 50.8 centimeters). Add extra space for the outside edge of the board.   For example, the chessboard below will fit comfortably for play in a variety of table surfaces in most homes. It also has a helpful design for storage when not in use. This Player’s Chessboard, at 21” square is a medium size chessboard most often paired with tournament size Staunton type piece as shown.     Chessboard Play The chessboard’s wooden perimeter provides visual balance. Your table ideally should have at least a few inches on either side for pieces that are not in play ...or even a timer. Plus, if you are sitting at the table, it can be helpful to have 2-3 inches in front of either player. Too much, however, and it’s quite a reach. For this 21” Square chessboard, a table surface at least 26” D x 30” W would be comfortable. The space in front of each player is less important than the width available next to the chessboard.   Chessboard Storage If need to set your beautiful chessboard aside for storage, rather than an awkward size, you simply close it like a book. As you can see, when you own a chessboard, it’s wise to plan ahead for not only where you will play, but how you will store or display it. You could even put your chessboard on display with a few pieces on guard.   About this Chessboard The Player’s folding chessboard is handcrafted in the USA with solid-block maple and walnut construction visible from both surfaces. Precision joined 2” squares, groove cuts, beveled edge, and engraved emblems make this one of the finest chessboards you could find for your home. This collection of fine, hardwood chessboards is enjoyed by Grandmaster Wesley So while he improves his game and World Champion Magnus Carlsen who has played them in some U.S. events. The folding board design uniquely featured in this article helps with storage. You can shop for the 21" Board in both classic and folding.   Where are photos of the hinge? More photos are coming when the first order of boards arrives. The actual board shown in video and photos has an invisible barrel hinge type design, the exact same design as the product you order now. The only difference is that this sample board shown has a wood block construction that would be visible with photos of the hinge area. That will be cleaned up on the actual production model for a very finished look along with the hinges.   Where can I buy one? This 21" Folding Player's Chessboard is exclusive to Chess House and is sometimes available. It’s made in limited quantity and is in stock occasionally.    

How to Read and Write Algebraic Chess Notation

In a few minutes you will understand how to read and write chess moves, called “chess notation”.   Being proficient at this will help you read and play through games of great players to learn and improve your own chess game! There is a wealth of materials both in book and digital form allowing you to study the chess moves of great chess players. Chess Recording Sheets most oftened called “scoresheets” are a fairly standard paper recording format for the game player, event, moves, and result. These are in use by the US Chess Federation as well as international organizations such as FIDE which overseas all world-class competitions. Algebraic Chess Notation is the current and best form to learn of which Figurine Notation is a derivative swapping the piece names for figures to be langauge neutral.   Why should I write down my chess moves? Replay them! Chess notation enables you to record your games for playback later. That day you played a superb game of chess… wouldn’t you like to be able to play through it later and show your friends? Learn from them! Recording the game with chess notation enables you to review your game and analyze how you could make better moves or learn from a lost game. If you’re learning from an instructor, they will be able to quickly give feedback by looking at your recording sheet. It’s required in competitive play! Chess competitions require move recording at scholastic to championship levels. The most basic reason is proof of the game’s specific position and number of moves in case there is a dispute. Timed competitive games often have a time allottment to reach 40 moves and it must be clear when that point is reached.   Chess Notation Explained Chess Notation describes each move with the name of the pieces and the square to which it is moved. Each piece has its own letter abbreviation, except the pawn. If no piece is named, it’s assumed to a pawn move, and Knight is “N” not “K”, which is King.   In the following diagram I made the first move pawn to e4. The name of this move is simply “e4”. (since the pawn’s name is not written)   Here’s how this would appear on a scoresheet used in clubs and tournaments.   Now black has made a pawn move, written e5. Next, White replied Nf3. Notice how the name of the piece is written as well as the name of the square.   Now, we’re going to fast forward to some special moves. See in the next diagram how white has made a special move called castling kingside. This move is written as 0-0. If the King castles on the queenside (to the other direction on the chessboard) it would be written as 0-0-0.   In the next diagram, White captures Black’s pawn on d5. This move is called exd5. For “capture” write an “x”.   Next, White captures the Knight on c6 with the Bishop. This move is written as Bxc6+. Notice the “+” sign. This represents “check” since Black’s King is now in check.   White just moved his pawn to d4. Black’s next move exd3(ep), is a special move called “en passant” capturing white’s d4 pawn in passing while moving his pawn to d3 – as if the pawn had moved to d3.   After several more moves, Black captures White’s Bishop on c1 with dxc1=Q. That’s about as complicated as it gets! This means pawn captures piece on c1 and promotes it to a Queen. Black could promote it to any other piece he chooses, but Queen’s are nearly always the best choice. In the rare game, a player has promoted the pawn to a Knight with checkmate.   The next move is Raxc1. Note that either the rook on A1 OR F1 can capture the queen. This means that the “a” must be included to indicate which rook was played.   In this next position, black makes a winning move, d4++, pawn to d4 CHECKMATE! By now you may have guessed that this game was created for moves illustration. It’s true, White has made some rather questionable moves.   That’s all you need to know about standard Algebraic Chess Notation! You’ve learned the notation standards and how to indicate the special moves check (+) en passant (ep) castling (0-0 or 0-0-0) checkmate (++). If you wish to take this a step further, you can learn about annotating a chess game, a form of analysing the game in notation form so that others view the annotators opinions of moves that were made.   Extra: Chess Annotation Symbols You’ll find that once you can read and write chess notation, your world is opened to a wide expanse of chess knowledge. Diving into this will help you improve your game as a chess player and you’ll be able to advance strides ahead of your friends. In addition to writing the moves themselves, chess players will comment on the strengths and weakness of chess moves with chess move annotation symbols. These are some of the symbols you’ll see … Black’s move ! Good move !! Excellent move ? Bad move ?? Terrible move (blunder) !? Interesting move ?! Dubious move Notice how some of these comments have been placed on the scoresheet shown above. With this introduction to chess notation you should be ready to record and reply games with condifidence.

How would you spend your downtime in space?

For entertainment during their mission, astronauts often pack games in a personal locker. Astronaut Greg Chamitoff packed this chess set with added fabric fasteners so the pieces wouldn't float away. During his rest time, he played with flight controllers around the world. (photo credit NASA International Space Station) Eventually a "Space vs. Earth" chess match was set up in which Chamitoff in space faced off against the third grade U.S. national chess championship team on Earth. People voted online on possible moves the team posted. Earth won. You can view Chamitoff's chess set up close if you make a visit to the Space Center Houston in Texas. This chess set was once speeding at five miles per second, 210 miles above the Earth, on shuttle mission STS-124. Chamitoff added Velcro to the chess pieces to keep them from floating away in weightlessness. He played long-distance chess during his mission in his off time with station control centers around the world.  Chamitoff was undefeated until he played a down-to-earth meeting with his opponents in Bellevue, WA. Ten students from Stevenson Elementary had recently achieved high rankings at the National Scholastic Chess tournament. The students would select 4 possible moves together, and put them out to the public for vote, the process facilitated by the US Chess Federation. Eventually Earth won. Although, Chamitoff did not know the students personally, but they became friends over video. Six months and 21 days after the match began, they finally met in person. “Oh boy, you guys are amazing,” Chamitoff said after he strode into a small ballroom to greet his opponents, from Stevenson Elementary School in Bellevue. Their elevated chess play was largely thanks to Chess4Life which enabled the kids to not only excel at the game but train and develop key life skills.