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Ronald (Ron) Nelson,
an American electrical engineer, microcomputer chess pioneer, and Engineering Vice President for Excalibur Electronics [1], since 2010 in retirement [2]. In 1976 he already developed a chess program for an Altair 8800 Microcomputer with an Intel 8080 CPU. Coincidentally, his friend was secretary at Fidelity Electronics owned by Sidney Samole, who just had the idea to build a dedicated chess computer and was looking for a programmer and engineer [3]. Ron got immediately hired by Samole, and they constructed and build several Fidelity Chess Challenger Prototypes, three working models and four non-working models. Sidney Samole decided to promote their brainchild at Chicago's Consumer Electronics Show in January 1977 [4].
Ron Nelson, 1984 [5]


Ron Nelson wrote the first programs, and was also Fidelity's Hardware engineer. After the huge success of the Z80 based Fidelity Chess Challenger 7 [6] , which sold about 600,000 units, the company along with Ron Nelson moved from Chicago, Illinois to Miami Florida in January 1981.

When Dan and Kathe Spracklen were hired by Samole in 1980 to adopt their much stronger Sargon III program as Fidelity's flagship, Nelson focused on hardware aspects and presumely I/O and system programming of the machines. In the 80s from time to time, a Fidelity model appeared with his Z80 program.

Director of Engineering: Ron Nelson [7]


After Hegener & Glaser acquired Fidelity Electronics in 1989, Ron Nelson continued computer chess engineering, as well as computer chess programming in Sidney's son, Shane Samole's company Excalibur Electronics. Every chess game produced by Excalibur Electronics contains a Nelson programs [8] [9].

See also

Forum Posts

2014 ...


External Links


  1. ^ Fidelity Electronics from chesscomputers.org
  2. ^ Re: Ron Nelson maybe will come here... by Ron Nelson, CCC, February 03, 2016
  3. ^ Göran Grottling (1988). Thank you Mister Spock! Ein Interview mit Sid Samole. Modul 4/88, pp. 36-38 (German), pdf hosted by Hein Veldhuis
  4. ^ Lev Alburt and Al Lawrence (2000). "How About a Nice Game of Chess?" - Any Time. Sidney Samole (1935-2000). Chess Café, October 17, 2000, pdf
  5. ^ László Lindner, A SZÁMÍTÓGÉPES SAKK KÉPEKBEN című melléklete - The pictures of the Beginning of Chess Computers
  6. ^ Fidelity Chess Challenger 7 from Schachcomputer.info Wiki (German)
  7. ^ 16.Fidelity ..The Golden Years | Flickr - Fotosharing by Chewbanta
  8. ^ Excalibur Electronics by ChessChallenger, Hiarcs Forum, December 22, 2015
  9. ^ Excalibur Chess Products Ron Nelson designed/programmed by ChessChallenger, Hiarcs Forum, January 05, 2016

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