Applied Concepts

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Applied Concepts Inc. (dba Stalker Radar),
a manufacturer of consumer electronics, radar speed detectors and in-car video camera systems [1], located in Plano, Texas, and before in Cleveland, Ohio [2], Colorado Springs, Colorado [3] and Garland, Texas. Applied Concepts was founded in March 1977 by chairman and CEO Alan Mead [4] [5]. By the end of the '70s Applied Concepts cooperated and later teamed up with marketing and retail enterprise Chafitz Inc. and the German company Sandy Electronic [6] [7], to produce dedicated chess and game computers.


Boris was the first chess computer designed and manufactured by Applied Concepts [8] and launched by Chafitz in February, 1978 [9] [10], running on a Fairchild F8 8-bit microprocessor [11], with a program by David Lindsay.

Great Game Machine

The Great Game Machine, a brand name registered by Applied Concepts [12], and the akin Chafitz Modular Game System, released from 1979, was a modular system with exchangeable chess and game modules, and programs written by Dan and Kathe Spracklen, John Aker, Larry Atkin, David Slate and Peter W. Frey.

Legal Issues

After a lawsuit between Chafitz and Applied Concepts, and the Spracklens left for Fidelity, Applied Concepts continued with the Chafitz brand name and programmer John Aker on their Great Game Machine and the Chafitz Modular Game System, the Morphy program [13], and the Destiny Prodigy computer [14] [15]. Jonathan Schaeffer was asserting his prior claim to the name concerning his program Prodigy [16] :

Even if I wanted to, I couldn't use the name Prodigy again. Six months after the North American Championship, I was startled to see an advertisement for a chess computer named Prodigy. I wrote to the manufacturer asserting my prior claim to the name. They wrote back stating that they had done a trademark search on the name and found no matches. Therefore they would appreciate it if I would stop using their name. They left no doubt about the legal implications of their request.. 

Boris X

Boris X was already partly the work of John Aker. It was the forerunner of the Morphy program, based on Boris 2.5 aka Sargon 2.5 by Kathe and Dan Spracklen. The Spracklens, now competing with Challenger X in charge of Fidelity Electronics, have just played Boris X a few weeks before at the WMCCC 1980 in London, where Challenger won the game and the championship, but Boris X as runner up was close behind. At ACM 1980, Kathe Spracklen caused a controversy yielding in the rejection of Boris X [17] [18].


John Aker was the primary program author [19] of the Morphy module of the Chafitz Modular Game System and the Great Game Machine, the computer and program which in conjunction with the Gruenfeld opening module by chess master John Jacobs, and the Capablanca endgame module with David Slate and Larry Atkin mentioned as authors [20], played the commercial and open group (as Applied Concepts X) of the WMCCC 1981 [21]. However, the Applied Concepts personal withdrew both entries after some rounds, due to a bug in the Capablanca module [22].


In 1982, Larry Atkin wrote the program for the Steinitz Edition 4 as Great Game Machine and the Chafitz Modular Game System module [23] [24], as well the Steinitz Encore [25], both running on a 8-bit 6502 processor with 2 resp. 4 Mhz.

La Regence

In 1983, Richard Lang contributed the program derived from Cyrus for the Chafitz TSB 4 La Regence, with had a Z80 CPU [26].

At the 3rd European Microcomputer Chess Championship, September 1982, La Regence became strong runner up behind Advance 2.4, while Cyrus II itself didn't quite come up to its expectations. Lang: 'It was written in such a hurry and the tournament came in the middle of its development period rather than at the end'. There were quite a few new ideas in the program, and he didn't have much time to test them before the tournament. The new ideas were a combination of running faster and implementing new chess knowledge, by getting it to recognize isolated and doubled pawns and the like [27] [28].

Associated People

See also


External Links





  1. Welcome to Stalker Radar - The World Leader in Speed Measurement from Applied Concepts
  2. Applied Concepts, Inc - Cleveland, Ohio (OH) | Company Profile
  3. GREAT GAME MACHINE - Reviews & Brand Information - Applied Concepts, Inc. Colorado Springs
  4. Alan Mead | LinkedIn
  5. 264 F3d 1326 Kustom Signals Inc v. Applied Concepts Inc John L Aker | OpenJurist, pdf
  7. Schachcomputer: Tricks und Trug, Der Spiegel 50/1980, December 8, 1980
  8. Patent Application filed 2nd March 1978 Inventors: Rod Barclay, John A. Cunningham, Alan B. Mead, Joseph T. Spaits for Applied Concepts, Inc. from Patents from Chess Computer UK by Mike Watters
  9. Boris is King by Daniel Collin
  10. Applied Concepts - Boris Diplomat (pdf) by Hein Veldhuis
  11. Chafitz Boris from Wiki (German)
  12. GREAT GAME MACHINE - Reviews & Brand Information - Applied Concepts, Inc. Colorado Springs
  13. John F. White (1982). Review-Morphy V Champion. Your Computer, January 1982
  14. Chafitz Destiny from Wiki (German and English)
  15. Chafitz Destiny Prodigy Electronic Chess Computer from The Spacious Mind
  16. Jonathan Schaeffer (1997, 2009). One Jump Ahead. 1. This Was Going to Be Easy, pp. 8
  17. Applied Concepts - Morphy Edition Master Chess (module) (pdf) by Hein Veldhuis
  18. Evan Katz (1981). The Eleventh North American Computer Chess Championship. Personal Computing, Vol. 5, No. 2
  19. Re: Collector's Corner..The Dedicated Chess Computer Chronicles by Steve B, CCC, November 20, 2005
  20. Chafitz Gruenfeld Module Electronic Chess Computer from The Spacious Mind
  21. Gruenfeld/Morphy/Capablanca's ICGA Tournaments
  22. David Levy and Kevin O’Connell (1981). A New World Champion. Chess, October/November 1981, Publication Archive from Chess Computer UK by Mike Watters
  23. Chafitz Steinitz Edition from Wiki (German)
  24. Wilhelm Steinitz from Wikipedia
  25. Chafitz Steinitz Encore from Wiki (German)
  26. Chafitz TSB 4 La Regence from Wiki (German)
  27. Tony Harrington (1983). Winner Takes All. Personal Computer World, September 83
  28. Gilbert Obermair (1983). Schach-Computer Report ’84, S. 62-63, Applied Concepts - La Regence TSB IV, pdf hosted by Hein Veldhuis (German)

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