The Fidelity Decorator Challenger is very rare. It was marketed as a luxury product, but in the rapidly changing marketplace of 1980/81 such a product would only sell if it had one of the strongest programs and best specifications available. That was not the case as the better specified and stronger Sensory Voice had already been released by Fidelity and the much superior Applied Concepts Auto Response Board had been available for a year.
Those first tempted to buy the Decorator Challenger probably had second thoughts when they saw the size of it. It measures 58 x 74cm in total. This is the size of a Mephisto Munchen plus an extra 70%. The ‘table’ includes a tournament sized chess board with 5.5cm squares and two compartments to hold the finely carved chess pieces. It all stands on curved wooden legs.
The Decorator has a complete Voice Chess Challenger chessboard, display and PCB attached to it under the board. However the program is an improvement on the Voice. It has 12KB of ROM compared with the 8KB Voice and 16KB Voice Sensory according to an article by Wolfgang Rausch (link) on Kurt Kispert’s website.
The overall impression given by the Fidelity Decorator Challenger is of an extraordinary retro piece of equipment. A reminder of the strange directions sometimes taken by manufacturers in the early years of chess computer development. A very unusual and special chess computer.