The Electronic Chess seems to have been released in at least two versions. It is mostly seen with a MK 10 suffix, which is the model I have, and which also appears in one or two collection lists and on Ebay occasionally. However in February 2008 Eric Belot sent me photos of another version which has no suffix, and is much more colourful. Perhaps this French MK 10 version, the “Fabrique A Hong Kong”, is the elusive “Caravelle” model announced by Andrew Page of SciSys in early 1985 along with the MK 10, Travel Mate II, Courier V and Rapier?
The name Caravelle brings back memories. In the summer holidays, us kids, occasionally ventured to the other end of the 140 bus route, to Heathrow airport. We went there to stand on the terminal roof and watch the aircraft, particularly the first generation jet airliners, take-off and land. We dreamed of the exotic destinations they were flying to and the jets were a spectacular sight for us. The vertical lift and incredible noise were breathtaking. The most memorable jets were the beautiful but ill-fated De Havilland Comet and the elegant French Caravelle, with its clean wings and pod engines mounted on the rear of the fuselage.
So to me a Caravelle is French, and this French Electronic Chess is the SciSys Caravelle which has been ‘missing’ since 1985. However the Caravelle name seems to have been just a SciSys project or marketing label and it does not appear anywhere on the chess computer, box or manual. So for me the French version of the Electronic Chess MK 10 is just that, a version rather than a separate model.
My grateful thanks to Eric for permission to display his photos.
In June 2008 Sydney, another enthusiast from France, kindly sent me a picture of the box which you see below.
The mysterious Caravelle is the subject of this webpage by Hein Veldhuis (link).