Izot U30M 1042C
Izot 1042C 1 20 x 20

This is a Bulgarian chess computer. One of only two chess computer models I know of to be manufactured in Bulgaria. The other being the SPS Partner (link).

As far as I can tell the Izot 1042C is very rare. Outside of Bulgaria it is certainly extremely rare as this is the only one I have heard of. It first appeared on Ebay in 2013, offered by a seller in Sofia, and it has since visited Spain and Germany.

The Izot 1042C has that look of Home Computers and peripherals of the late 1970s /early 1980s. However on the limited information I have the most likely date of manufacture is 1986. That information comes from a 1987 US government report monitoring computer development and production in the Soviet Block, and is confirmed by datestamps on chips inside the Izot (see the Meca link below).

Izot computers were mainly manufactured at Pravetz, 60km east of Sofia but the 1042C was probably produced at the Elektronika factory in Sofia. As usual in the Eastern Bloc they used cloned components, copied from Western sources. With limited resources they produced a large range of computers of all types from mainframes, Apple II clones, IBM PC compatibles and in this case a chess computer. At its peak 40% of Eastern Bloc computer production took place in Bulgaria, employing 300,000 workers, but since the democratic changes in 1989, and subsequent chaotic political and economic conditions the Bulgarian computer industry has almost completely disintegrated.

 

Izot 1042C 3 10 x 10
Izot 1042C 4 10 x 10

 Links to other information about the Izot U30M 1042C

Meca website photographs

Hein Veldhuis’s webpage

The Izot 1042C is a sturdily built chess computer, heavier than average due to the integral power supply. It is operated using the keypad and the computer’s move is displayed on the LED display. The chessboard printed on the top of the case is unusual as are the tiny plastic chesspieces used with it, which have no magnets.

It’s previous owner established that the Izot is a Fidelity Voice Chess Challenger clone which runs at about 60% of the speed of a Fidelity. So it has the VCC Ron Nelson program, but not the voice. Instead of the “I am Fidelity’s Chess Challenger, your computer opponent. Select your level” all you get is a single humble beep, which repeats every couple of minutes just as the ‘Voice’ does. The keypad works the same way as the VCC with the extra keypad symbols relating to piece types used in Position Verification and Problem Mode.

The other thing about the Izot 1042C of note is the presence of two output sockets at the rear. One is labelled UHF-2k which makes me wonder whether these are outputs for displaying the chess board on a TV, as in the SciSys Intelligent Chess. Meca’s photos of the pcb also show a CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) controller chip UM6845R.

 

Izot 1042C 2 15 x 15
free counters