(Slightly edited by Hein Veldhuis.)
Elite A/S dilemmaNow the more costly Elite A/S (Budapest) only had beauty to show for itself as it was ranked third behind the Super Constellation and the Elegance. It was more closely grouped with the Constellation 3.6 and the Chess Challenger 12 in plaving strength. A good number of
people found that the never expected to beat the Super Constellation or the Elegance, or had any realistic aspirations of doing so, They did not like the flimsy pieces on the Elegance, the plastic of the Super Constellation and liked the size of neither. For them, the Elite A/S Budapest was fine.
4.0 Mhz is 50 to 100 points stronger than the older Elite A/S Budapest, putting it close to 1900. So the dilemma was solved with the Elite A/S 4.0 ranking solidly in the top two. The cost went up only $50 ($650 list), a healthy price/strength raise.
With a list price close to the Super’s, the comparison is easy-expensive, handsome cosmetics (beauty) versus costly electronics/programming (skill).
Elegance vs Elite A/S 4.0
With a difference of $250 in price, the Elite/Elegance comparison is a little muddled.
1) Playing strength is approximately equal, both as solid class
2) Playing surface of Elite 4.0 is almost tournament size, with beautiful wooden pieces, making for much more comfortable, natural playing.
3) Both machines have a modest number of built-in opening moves (several thousand) intended to be supplemented with any of Fidelity’s opening cartridges, such as the CB9 ($78 list) with 8,160 moves or the CB16 ($120 list), with 16,100 moves. (The Chess Challenger 9, incidentally, will only accept these two). The newer Fidelity models (such as the older Prestige Challenger, all three Elite A/S’s, the Sensory 12 and Elegance) will all accept these two general opening cartridges and the more specialized ones.
Also offered is the 5-volume ECO (Encyclopedia of Chess Openings) set (each volume, $120 list) or the even more specialized Queen’s Gambit Tarrasch module ($120 list).
4) Unlike the Elegance, the Elite 4.0 has a built-in displayed chess clock. Besides the obvious telling of time, one can see a number of insights the machine is trying to relay.
5) The Elite 4.0 has a long-term memory (as the Super Constellation),whereas the Elegance is only short term.
6) The one advantage of the Elegance is that is has no voice. But rest assured, the voice on the Elite A/S can be turned off. Actually, the voice may have a positive influence in stimulating the interest of a youngster to tackle the game.
1) to play these automatic moves quicker and
2) to create more difficult middlegame opposition.
We as Players feel that, in general, the opening is the least important phase of the game. One of the primary reasons for increasing one’s depth of rote knowledge of an opening repertoire
is that is simply allows one to budget extra time to more signifiant middlegame and endgame considerations. The set of ECO cartridges for the Fidelity machine override the much smaller,
built-in lines and increase the average depth of many lines to over 10 moves, setting the machine in motion for a decent middlegame.
The set is especially good for beginners as they can see if the moves they are making are respectable enough to be considered a main line (the cartridges contain only the main ECO lines). However, the entire set probably increases the overal strength of the machine by only
25 points. Additionally, while ECO may assess a line as being slightly better for White, equal, etc. these assessments do not have the same meaning for every player. “Good” and “Bad” positions are relative terms.
practice. This approach has great significance for the serious student. Imagine that every game played resulted in a middlegame where you found yourself having to struggle, not just any randomly selected middlegame, but specificalty the ones that occur in
your opening repertoire. Every player finds that there are lines within his or her repertoire that cause more difficulty than others. One lessen to be learned with a programmable middlegame is how to steer the opponent away from these more difficult lines when thev are encountered in tournament play.
Similarly, if a 2200 rated player was playing the 2000 rated Super Constellation and programmed in to enter only middlegames he despised playing, then the strength of the computer goes up in like manner. Of course, the next player with his own repertoire who sits
down to play the machine will find its strength back to the original, because the machine is only stronger specifically against the person who programmed it. With the Super Constellation this is achieved by first changing the ratio of rcsponse of the 21,000 moves it comes with. Undoubtedly some of the machine’s lines will provide you with difficult middlegames to play against with either color, After you select the cream of the crop, the most difficult lines the machine has against you, specifically (probably a total of several
hundred or more, depending en how varied your opening repertoire is), then you add other lines of your choice which are designed to pose you with difficulties. This process of aiding the enemy works like an inoculation. Thus, curiously enough, the 2400 programmable half moves of the Super Constellation are more significant than the tens of thousands of ECO moves contained in the Fidelity cartridges on both of the opening qualities discussed earlier:1) the game generally goes deeper into the middlegame, gaining time for later analysis and 2) the middlegame opposition is tougher.