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Exploring Pi-based Mephisto Phoenix Chess Computer: Ways to Enhance Your Chess Game

This article with videos highlights some areas of interest in the new Phoenix chess computing system, following its release in winter 2022. Yes, it's one of the most expensive computers on the market... but it's also the most sophisticated and useful for improvement and enjoyment of the game. I believe this advanced electronic chess system spans the gamut of interest from seasoned chess computing enthusiasts to newcomers. It's not just for adults either. As shown, young players with coach guidance can benefit greatly from the rapid setup of exercise positions along with the medium size chess board and intuitive on-board lights. Millennium, the company behind Mephisto Phoenix, launched this product after thousands of hours of testing. They built in many of the features based on extensive research. It's very exciting that there's more to come and they are actively listening to current users to prioritize the next upgrades. Here are some things we should see in the near future: - Active Game Saving- Improved PGN exports- LiChess online play and much more In fact we are already compiling the best suggestions from current users and bringing them to Millennium. Also, the videos on this page are the beginning. More advanced examples are being prepared. Phoenix is the first advanced upgradeable chess computing platform that's rich in features out of the box. During demonstrations alongside today's event, I connected the Mephisto to my Wifi phone hotspot and checked for Updates - very straightforward: An advanced platform with visual appeal My new acquaintance at this tournament, Ivan from Bulgaria, was supporting his son's relatively new fascination with chess - thus enterring his first chess tournament. With his CNC machining electronic controls experience, Ivan has a good grasp of the Pi platform and was fascinated by how the Pi and 7" touch screen had been beautifully applied to chess. Ivan first noticed the appealling aesthetics of the module with light-colored wood encompassing the touch screen. Instant Chess Position Evaluation With online chess computing, many players are already acustomed to instant computer evaluation of a chess position. This is made visual with Phoenix's chess Position Evaluation Bar. This bar shown in the video below helps you improve your chess skills by instantly and visually evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of any given position on the chessboard. It is shown as a Black and White vertical bar right next to the chess board. You can quickly analyze the value of pieces and assess the strategic potential of each move. The evaluation bar provides a visual representation of the position's strength, making it easy to understand and identify areas for improvement. Evaluation Scoring is also provided as a decimal in the details area. This is constantly being updated as the board position evolves. Your ideal opponent: Shredder adaptive with Elo Rating Shredder’s Adaptive Profile on the Mephisto Phoenix is a great chess training tool that adapts to your skill level. With this innovative tool, you can start a game and get a challenging opponent that's matched to your level. BACK: Rewind moves and play different lines The BACK option on screen starts taking back moves as shown in this video. You can press it again to stop it. (Note that to start take back you need to first let the computer complete its move). Entire Board/Piece Recognition: Starting a New Game To start a new game, setting up the pieces in their starting squares signals to Phoenix that a new game is desired. (There's no Resign or Draw option because the computer assesses the scoring of the final position automatically as to whether it's equal a win, or loss.) Fast Position Setup: for Game Review or Continued Play I tried out position setup with this young player to practice a Queen vs King endgame checkmate. It's so fast and intuitive. The efficiencies of hands on chess game review and learning will certainly accelerate learning. Watch this video: Thanks to fast sensing pieces, the board position is instantly shown on the screen in Position Setup mode. You have the full choice of how to train and improve your game. Select any chess position and place it on the board with just a couple button presses. You can start playing against a top-notch engine, analyze the position to uncover new strategies, or go head-to-head in a two-player game. The best part? You can switch between these modes anytime you want, making positional training easier and more convenient than ever before. With Position Setup you have the freedom and flexibility to train in the way that works best for you. Here's how: Select Mode / Position and put your chess position on the board. The piece recognition of the Mephisto Phoenix does the rest for you. Now select if you want to play against one of the top engines, against a friend or if you want to analyze this position. MOVE allows you anytime to hand over the other side to the engine, so that you can follow move by move the best way. Profiles in Mephisto Phoenix: Save user settings with profiles You can easily switch between different combinations of settings with just two clicks. The developers have pre-set 6 profiles for each of the three top-notch engines (Shredder, Hiarcs, and Komodo) to cover all player types, from absolute beginners to maximum engine performance. Whether you're just starting out or a seasoned player, there's a profile that will fit. Phoenix also gives you the freedom to modify each profile to your personal needs. Whether you want to change the playing strength, time control, or any other setting, you can do so with ease, creating a customized chess experience that's tailored to your individual needs. How to Use the Phoenix: More videos and guidance Would you like to see certain features demonstrated? Make a request via our Contact page and we'll try our best to prioritize this and reply to you. Features we would like to see Here's an example of some areas where we would like to see improvement. 1. Game saving. A better approach to saving the active game so that when the computer is turned off it is possible to easily resume the game. 2. How tos. More clear training on how feature's work. We are producing various additional resources and videos to help you with this. For example, how does Adaptive really work and what do the ratings mean that are shown? 3. Alternate Moves. The computer sees many different lines of play. A suggestion came in that it is more straightforward to tell the computer to make a different move from it's array of potential ones. Instead of making the first move, activating Take Back move and then playing a different one, shorting the steps to a single Alternate Move. This helps users more easily try out different game continutations faster. Active Development and Updates We want to hear your questions and feature requests. This computer was launched with thousands of hours of testing. But we are gather feedback to help direct Millennium's development priorities. Let us know what features you would most like to see added to this device. To provide feedback, please Contact us through our Support form on this page.   Retro Engines OK, this is pretty cool. For those who have played chess computers from decades past, the Retro engines will bring back memories. I tried out the Mephisto Rebel (shown) and the TASC R30 (one of my favs). The Mephisto brand was resurrected by Millennium and now the Rebel computer can be played on the latest Mephisto computer, the modernized Phoenix! How to Purchase a Phoenix Module or Complete Set There are three ways to buy this computer. 1) Phoenix Module only if you already own a prior Exclusive or Supreme 55 board.2) Module with Medium board as shown in the article above3) Module with full-size Tournament board. Sold out Sold out Sold out

Tin Can Cigar adds the STACK in their gentlemen's line

Corey shows off his STACK chessboard at the opening of Lynden’s @tincancigarco shop early 2023. The STACK chessboard is a fascinating and exclusive centerpiece, the most unique and functional chess board ever made. For those seeking extraordinary craftsmanship, innovative concepts, and the thrill of chess, it's an eye-catching conversation piece. When you're ready for a game, slide the stack to the center of the table remove the magnetic, suede wrap, and let the 4 quadrants join for a perfect playing field. The Limited Edition STACK features a 3 sided, dovetailed, walnut display box that perfectly complements the fine hardwood chessboard and is wrapped in the soft suede magnetic cover that both protects and shows off the piece. Each one is also engraved with the emblem and its own unique number ## of 250.Orignally from Switzerland, these skills were passed down through five generations. This lost art of woodworking is continually refined, blending timeless methods with the latest knowledge of wood behavior.For example every design must be carefully planned with the appropriate wood selection and cuts to account for variations in humidity that cause natural expansion and contraction of wood. To craft a wood product that will last for generations, John gives great attention to every phase of production including wood selection, drying, cutting, curing, crafting, and the multi-step finishing process that results in the smooth, elegant, lustrous finish for which the JLP products are known. Every product is personally overseen by John and must meet his standards before releasing them to Chess House. Here are the STACK products, only available at Chess House. Sold out Sold out

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. Just how powerful is the Mephisto chess computer? It is designed to play beginner players (900 ELO rating), Chess Grandmasters (2800+ ELO), all the way up to 3400 ELO! 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 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.