Fidelity Elite Avant Garde  v.5
Fidelity Elite Avant Garde v.5  2 20 x 20
Fidelity Elite Avant Garde v.5  6 15 x 16

Fidelity announced the release of a range of eight new Elite Avant Gardes in the Autumn of 1989. The base model the v.2 had the same program and 68000 processor as the updated Excel Mach III (but more RAM). All of the versions had the improved Mach III program which has the facility to learn to avoid some previously played weak moves. Two of the Avant Garde versions were fitted with dual processors, several had more powerful processors and/or extra RAM. This mixing and matching of components allowed buyers to chose the specification that most suited them in terms of chess strength versus price. Several of the versions did not appear until 1990.

A v.10 version came along later, in December 1990. With it’s cutting edge 68040 processor and extravagent amounts of RAM it cost 5,999 in the UK from Countryside Computers  (18,000 DM according to a September 1991 German price list). The price of a small family car at the time. The first v.10 was lent to Anatoly Karpov for his 1990 World Championship match with Garry Kasparov.

The v.2 base model seemed to sell in reasonable numbers despite the market for top end chess computers starting to contract under pressure from PC chess software. The other versions were built in much smaller numbers and the most expensive ones were only built to order.

The v.5 was the first ever dual processor commercial chess computer. It was also one of the best choice Avant Gardes in terms of strength v price. The dual processor versions achieving relatively more in playing strength than the versions with lots of expensive Hash Table RAM. The manual claims a 70% speed-up over the v.2. SSDF tests found an average 59% speed-up. The v.5 was well covered by Larry Kaufman in Computer Chess Reports 1990 No.2 Page 3 (link) where he concluded that it was good value. Nevertheless it is believed that only 50 of the v.5 version were built. So this v.5, which is serial number 007, is both an interesting and a rare chess computer.

Information on all of the Avant Garde versions is shown in the table below. The table includes a v.1 version that was in fact never released for sale by Fidelity and a v.11 version which was not a Fidelity released product. In fact the v.11 model description covers about 40 specials built with Fidelity components into Elite A/S, Prestige and Avant Garde boards by Wilfried Bucke. You can read about v.11s here (link).

Latterly other specials have been built which are sometimes described as v.11s but usually share little similarity with an Avant Garde and are not built from Fidelity components. Call them what you like but for me they are not v.11s.

 

Fidelity Elite Avant Garde v.5  4 15 x 17
Fidelity Elite Avant Garde v.5  1 20 x 21

Avant Garde Versions

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

Model

6114-1

6114-2

6114-3

6114-4

6114-5

6117-6

6117-7

6117-8

6117-9

6117-10

 

Processor

68000

68000

68000

68000

68000

68020

68020

68020

68030

68040

68060

Number of
processors

1

1

1

1

2

1

1

2

1

1

1

Clock Speed
(MHz)

16

16

16

16

16

20

20

20

32

25

66/72

HashTable
RAM (KB)

128

128

512

1024

192

512

1024

640

1024

1024

2048
(1024 usable)

Hash Table
Positions

16,000

16,000

64,000

128,000

24,000

64,000

128,000

80,000

128,000

128,000

128,000

Program Size
(KB)

128

128

128

128

192

128

128

192

128

128

128

USCF
Rating

2265

2265

2265

2265

2265

2325

2325

2325

2325

2325

-

Selective Search
Elo Rating

-

1983

 

 

2052

 

2075

 

2113

2164

2334
(Active)

UK Price
(1989/90)
German Price
(DM)

Model not released

799

1,998

 

1499

 

1099

2,998



4,598

1999

 

 

3499

9998

5999

18,000

-

EAGv5 1. 40 x 41
Fidelity Elite Avant Garde v.5  8 40 x 40_edited

The same manual is shared by all the Elite Avant Garde versions v.2 to v.10. However the Multi-Processor machines have a manual addendum which I reproduce here to help explain how the multi-processors in the v.5 work.
 

EAGv5 2 40 x 41 EAGv5 3 40 x 40
free counters