Revelation II is the latest brainchild of Ruud Martin who these past ten years and more has been combining strong modern chess engines with state of the art dedicated chess computer hardware first as a hobbyist, and since 2009 as a business. He describes his mission thus “To design, build and produce the finest, strongest and most desirable Chess Systems in the world”. His Phoenix Chess Systems website can be found here (link). Ruud’s website has not retained information about the early days so for context please see my webpage on the original Resurrection project (link). Resurrection was superceded by Resurrection II, again a set of modules for the Mephisto boards (Modular, Exclusive and Munchen) and then followed Revelation, which arrived in 2008 both as a stand-alone chess computer and later as a module set. In 2010 Ruud started working with DGT with the goal of producing and marketing an improved version of Revelation to a wider public. Revelation II was demonstrated at the Nuremberg Toy Fair in early 2012 but it took nearly two years more to be completed and it first reached customers in December 2013.
In Revelation II you see the Rolls Royce of chess computers. It is the strongest, most comprehensive, best featured example of the breed yet seen. From the technical details box (left) you can see the number and variety of chess engines loaded into Revelation II, including some of the very strongest available with ratings on fast multi-core PCs exceeding 3000 Elo. Well beyond any human player. On Revelation II the strongest engines running at 100% probably have a rating of about 2800 Elo. With HIARCS 14.1 loaded the resounding win 18/18 in Strong Group One is just one example of how Revelation II outclasses all other dedicated chess computers when required to demonstrate its full chess ability. Running at 1% speed using 4Mb hash tables the same program has a rating of 2376 Elo at Active Chess on Schachcomputer.info. By using the innovative ‘speed bar’ and other settings Revelation II can play at a wide range of Elo levels.
As an alternative to using the strongest programs you can use accurate emulations of distinguished old chess computers including former World Champions. As these now run on much faster hardware than originally they can be accelerated to new heights, or to your own playing level if you wish. Revelation II will also perform as a fully fledged DGT board, including DGT clock, using other chess engines available on the internet via the Universal Chess Interface (UCI).
It would be possible to fill a book about the many features of Revelation II and its chess engines. However this is unlikely to be the end of the story because Resurrection/Revelation is an evolving project. Updates are possible via the internet and Bluetooth. At this moment my own Revelation II firmware is still at version v3.07, but the latest version is v3.14 which includes automatic start for white or black, slicker capturing and many improvements when working with UCI engines and as a DGT board.
Revelation II comes with a sturdy carrying bag, power supply, manual and a set of chesspieces. Five different sets of pieces are available from DGT. A more exotic set, shown in José Gutiérrez‘s photos, comes from a Slovenian company called Best Chessmen Ever. Those in my photo (above) are called Classic. The Emulations are another optional extra.
Phoenix Chess Systems
Schachcomputer.info Revelation II webpage (German)