Elektronika IM - 01

The Elektronika IM - 01 seems to be somewhat rarer than the upgraded version, the Elektronika IM - 01T, which you will find elsewhere on this website.

The IM-01 was manufactured in the Soviet Union in the Svetlana factory, Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) starting in 1986 according to the box date label with Sergei Frolov’s machine referred to in his Livejournal. So this was probably the first wholely Russian produced chess computer. Elektronika, the brand name, is mainly associated with calculators, computers, watches and video games, many of them reverse engineered clones. IM stands for microprocessor game.

The manual is in Russian Cyrillic script, so hard work to interpret. However working through the functions it is clear that this is a more sophisicated machine than the other Russian offerings, with a wide range of options.

It has an integral power supply and a piece compartment at the rear.

Elektronika IM - 01  3 20 x 20
Elektronika IM - 01  2 20 x 20

For years it perplexed me that the World’s strongest chess playing nation seemed to have virtually no chess computers of it’s own. East Germany manufactured a range of machines but there was little to show from Russia or the rest of the Soviet Union. The only exceptions seemed to be rebadged versions of the Mattel Computer Chess and Mephisto Schachschule and an Excellence clone called the Master. Even given the computer industry limitations of the Soviet Union I felt that there must be more, somewhere. Well in the last few years more information has come to light on the Russian designed and built Elektronika range and also the Intellect-02. There may be more.

The best source of information on Russian chess computers I have come across is Sergei Frolov’s website (link). Whilst the website covers many types of computer and calculator, Sergei does seem to have more than a passing interest in chess machines, which has developed further since I emailed him about the Intellect-02. On this webpage (link) you will find quite a lot of information about the Elektronika IM-01 and IM-01T, including the manuals, and more general discussion of Russian electronics.

Elektronika IM - 01  4 10 x 10
Elektronika IM - 01  9 15 x 15
Elektronika IM - 01  5 10 x 10
Elektronika IM - 01  6 15 x 15
free counters