President Chess
SciSys President Chess 1 20 x 20

The President Chess is a combination of the Superstar housing, Mark VI Sensor Board and an early Julio Kaplan program, a forerunner of the program which went into the Superstar 28K.

The machine was seen in Europe as a prototype during 1982 and 1983, and competed at the 3rd European Microcomputer Championships at the PCW show in London in September 1982, finishing with a respectable 3/7 score (see link for tournament table).

There were persistent  indications that the President Chess was to be released for general sale, with a  price given, but very few made it to market. Indeed until one appeared with a box and manual on Ebay in May 2014  it was thought probable that only prototypes had been produced. Hein Veldhuis estimates that only 30 or so units were made.

One of the reasons for the delay in releasing the President Chess was apparently a persistent overheating problem. However the difficulties SciSys had in developing the Sensor Board were probably reason enough to explain the delay and final outcome of the project. Events overtook it. President Chess was effectively superceded when the Superstar 28K was released in October 1983. It was a shame that the President Chess died there because the auto-sensory board  makes it a more pleasant machine to play. Also it was upgradeable, at least in theory. My board is responsive and forgiving of minor errors and therefore easier to use than my Mark VI Sensor Board. In other respects Superstar 28K was an improvement in terms of strength and flexibility, eg Superstar 28K has a 24K program with 24 levels compared to President Chess which has a 18K program with only 8 levels (see below).

There are known to be at least a few President Chess still in existence. Karsten Bauermeister, Manfred Vellmer, Maurice Ohayon and Steve Blincoe all have one in their collection. Another was sold on Ebay in March 2020. The one in my collection came from Perth, Australia in May 2020 purchased through the Gumtree Australia marketplace website, thanks very much to the help of Australian collector Larry Harper. This example and the others seen on Ebay seem to show no signs of being prototypes or pre-production models.

For more information on the President Chess (in Dutch and German) go to Hein Veldhuis’s excellent website (link).

SciSys President Chess 5 20 x 20
SciSys President Chess 2 20 x 20 SciSys President Chess 6 15 x 15


Tabletop Autosensory


6502 cpu   2 MHz   8 bit



Opening Book



8V   1A   positive centre


37.0 x 24.5 x 3.3 cm


20.0 x 20.0 cm

King Height

5.0 cm

SciSys President Chess 3 20 x 20
SciSys President Chess 9 15 x 15
SciSys President Chess 8 35 x 35
SciSys President Chess 4 15 x 15
SciSys President Chess 10 40 x 40
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