Novag Diablo
Novag Diablo B  2  20 x 20

Novag did not compete with Mephisto and Fidelity in terms of the strength of their chess computers. They used cheaper processors for their top models and the same programmer virtually throughout.

By the time that the 16 bit Diablo replaced the 8 bit Super Expert as their top auto sensory wooden board, Fidelity had been using 32 bit processors in their top Elite Avant Garde models for two years, and so had Mephisto in the Portorose then Lyon modules.

The Diablo cost 599 when it was released in late 1991. It was competitively priced with the Mephisto Exclusive Dallas 68000 which cost 629 at the time. However the chess computer market was shrinking. Not many Diablos seem to have been sold. This may also have been due to distributor and pricing difficulties in the USA. As I recall Diablos were not marketed as strongly in the UK as the Super Experts they replaced.

Today the Novag Diablo is a much sought after model with only two or three a year on average finding their way onto Ebay.

Novag Diablo B  1  20 x 20
Novag Diablo B  3  20 x 20
Novag Diablo  5  15 x 15 Novag Diablo  7  15 x 15 Novag Diablo  6  15 x 15
Novag Diablo  10  15 x 15
Novag Diablo  11  15 x 15

This Diablo came from the USA with much help from Ismenio Sousa.

On the back is a sticker referring to a modification carried out in November 1991. I believe that this was an upgrade quietly carried out on some Diablos to overcome a bug in some levels. Many Diablos, possibly the majority, do not have this bug fix.


Auto Sensory Tabletop


David Kittinger

Elo Rating



68000   16 bit   16 MHz


96 Kb ROM    80 Kb RAM  (incl. 64 Kb Hash Tables)

Opening Book

>32,000 ply (variations up to 60 ply deep)

Book Choice

Normal/Tournament/Gambit + User Programmable (1500)

Mode Choice

5 levels of Selective Search (last 1 ply to last 5 ply of search)

Problem Solving

Mate in 14.  Max depth 28 ply.


8.5VAC  850mA (Novag 8220)


49.0 x 40.0 x 5.5 cm


32 x 32 cm

King Height

7.8 cm

Novag Manual Addendum
free counters