Dan & Kathe Spracklen’s program first appeared in a 2325 USCF rated chess computer in 1989 in the Fidelity Excel Mach IV Master and Version 6 of the Elite Avant Garde. These were amongst the last Fidelity chess computers to be produced before Fidelity was sold to Hegener & Glaser, makers of Mephistos. However Fidelity largely continued operations as an independent company.
The Designer board version of the 2325 was not to appear for another two years, after Sid Samole had stepped down as Fidelity president. The new management set the price of the Designer 2325 Master at a very competitive level, $500. Less than half the previous price of the Excel Mach IV. That price also included the standard issue Mephisto style case.
I cannot find either a review or a price from UK published sources and assume that neither Countrywide Computers nor Competence stocked them. So I expect they are quite rare in the UK.
About the only difference between the Designer 2325 Master and the Excel Mach IV Master in terms of software or hardware is a minor hash table improvement to the Designer. The program is actually the same as that in the Designer Mach III but the 2325 runs 2.25 faster thanks to a combination of a more powerful processor (68020) and a faster speed (20 MHz). With that and x8 hash tables in the 2325 performance is much improved over the Mach III.
Whilst the Designer board itself appears to be a relatively cheap product, associated as it is with a range of weaker machines including the very weak Designer 1500, the Designer 2325 Master package comes across as a class apart thanks to the case, velvet protective bag, rating certificate and chess strength.
I am expecting a midtable result in Strong Group Two thanks to the Designer 2325 Master’s tactical ability at Active Chess.