Sidney (Sid) Samole, (1935 - July 30, 2000)
was an American chess and computer chess promoter and businessmen, owner of Fidelity Electronics in 1976, and the man behind the first series of microcomputers that played a reasonable game of chess. Sidney worked with Ron Nelson and later with Dan and Kathe Spracklen. Their chess computers won many world and national titles.
Sid Samole touched the lives of chess aficionados and computer-chess scientists alike. His characteristic proposal was: "How about a nice game of chess?"
Today it is hard to imagine the chess world without computers. And it is equally hard to imagine being able to appreciate fully American chess history without understanding the position of Sidney Samole. He was the man who dreamed, patented and produced the first commercial chess computer. Samole closely cooperated with Ron Nelson (his first protegee) and later with Dan and Kathe Spracklen. Together with them and through their computer programs he as the team captain holds many world and national titles. Here is a partial list of their championships.
Fidelity's creatures won the first four World Microcomputer Chess Championships: Chess Challenger won in London 1980, Fidelity X in Travemünde 1981, Elite A/S in Budapest 1983, and Elite X in Glasgow 1984. Moreover, they won the first four United States Open Computer Chess Championship, all held in Mobile, Alabama, in 1985, 1986, 1987 and 1988. A remarkable performance is its first place in the ACM 1988 Championship, tied with Deep Thought.
In 1976, Sid owned and operated Fidelity Electronics, a hearing-aid manufacturing firm he had built up with contracts from the Veterans' Administration. Among its other cutting-edge technology, his firm produced high-tech, bio-medical products, such as myo-electric hands, prostheses that could actually be controlled by the brain impulses of amputees.
After building three working models and four non-working models, Sid decided to promote his new brainchild at Chicago's Consumer Electronics Show in January 1977. It was clear that Sid's, and his chess computer's, time had come. Under his both imaginative and careful management, Fidelity prospered. Chess computers were hot, and Sid's keyboard-entry models held the field for a time. He went on to produce computerized bridge, checkers, and Othello. He designed and manufactured computerized gin and cribbage, as well as other card games. Fidelity manufactured all its games in the US. By 1989, a recession was in the wind, and Sid was sensitive to its warning breezes. He sold Fidelity Electronics at the top of its value to Hegener and Glaser, a German public firm. Largely as a result of his role in the tale of the chess-playing microcomputer's Sid became a multi-millionaire entrepreneur. Throughout his life he remained straightforward and self-deprecating about his success.
- Chess Challenger
- Excalibur Electronics
- Fidelity Electronics
- Hegener & Glaser
- Ron Nelson
- Myron Samole
- Shane Samole
- Dan Spracklen
- Kathe Spracklen
- Sidney Samole (1980). Genius Offspring. Changing Times, refers Personal Computing, February 1979
- Sidney Samole (1984). Report from Budapest. Computer Chess Digest Annual 1984 pp. 35
- Göran Grottling (1988). Thank you Mister Spock! Ein Interview mit Sid Samole. Modul 4/88, pp. 36-38 (German), pdf hosted by Hein Veldhuis
- Göran Grottling (1989). Interview - Sid Samole. Computer Chess News Sheet 23, pp 4, pdf hosted by Mike Watters
- Lev Alburt, Al Lawrence (2000). "How About a Nice Game of Chess?" - Any Time. Sidney Samole (1935-2000). Chess Café, October 17, 2000, pdf  
- Lev Alburt, Al Lawrence (2001). The Ghosts of Chess Heroes Past. Chess Café, December 3, 2001, pdf
- Who was Sid Samole? by Walter Koroljow, CCC, November 16, 2000
- Ron Nelson by ChessChallenger, Hiarcs Forum, December 23, 2015
- Samole, Sidney - Miami - Florida
- Fidelity Electronics from chesscomputers.org
- Search Sidney Samole from the Mastering the Game exhibition and on-line collection from The Computer History Museum
- Patents Assigned to Sidney Samole - Justia Patents Search
- Patent US3987498 - Electric elbow - Google Patentsearch
- Sid Samole from Schachcomputer.info - Wiki
- Photo by László Lindner, from Ben Mittman, László Lindner (1983). Third World Microcomputer Chess Championship. ICCA Journal, Vol. 6, No. 4, pp. 24
- Fidelity Electronics from chesscomputers.org, pictures from USOCCC 1986
- Larry Kaufman (1986). 2nd U.S. Open Computer Chess Championship. Computer Chess Reports 1986, Fall/Winter Edition
- The Editor (2000). SIDNEY SAMOLE (1935-2000). ICGA Journal, Vol. 23, No. 4
- Sidney Samole (1935-2000) by José Antônio Fabiano Mendes, CCC, October 18, 2000
- Re: The Fidelity vs. ICD/Your Move Lawsuit... The Epic by Al Lawrence, CCC, October 20, 2000