A very interesting chess computer dating from the late 1981/early 1982 period. The Conic Korchnoi was one of the earliest auto response boards and one of few non-wooden ones of that type to be released. It’s other claim to fame is endorsement by Victor Korchnoi, who was twice beaten by Antoly Karpov for the World Championship. I believe it is the only chess computer he endorsed.
The Korchnoi is a thoroughly pleasant machine to play by early chess computer standards. In play it mainly shows it’s age by slow responses above levels 1 and 2, and by the need to press Enter after moving your piece to the intended square. During level setting it has the endearing feature of signalling the level setting number in lights on the board. See levels 2 and 4 in photos below.
The processor (date stamped 8201) is a 6502A probably running at 2MHz. The program ROM ( 107013-1) can also be seen in the bottom photograph.
Conic entered the 2nd World Microcomputer Chess Championship at
Travemunde, West Germany in September 1981 with a program by Stephen Chen, which finished 6th of 8 on 2pts. This Conic ‘flagship’ model was released for sale at about that time and seems to have a similar program, judged on playing through the Travemunde games.
Though at least three have been sold on Ebay, this is a rarely found chess computer The one you see here came from Tasmania, Australia.