Intelligent Chess

The Scisys Intelligent Chess was a highly innovative product, in its day. It combined the chess display facilities of a system called Tolinka, with a fully functioning chess computer.

The chess game can be displayed on a television screen or followed on a chessboard. Input is by keypad and games can be stored and retrieved using the tape recorder, as a data recorder. Audio commentaries can be dubbed onto the stored games and there are other facilities for demonstration, such as flashing squares.

With the tape recorder and solid wooden chasis this is a heavy retro piece of kit. Display on modern televisions is less than perfect. For the best results an older television with manual horizontal hold and vertical adjustments would be better.

As well as the innovative combination of hardware, Intelligent Chess had new program features - takeback, replay, step and next best. Potentially excellent chess teaching aids when displayed on the TV.

The Intelligent Chess concept and program design were by Philidor Software (David Levy and Kevin O’Connell), and the inventor of Tolinka, Barry Savage, was responsible for the circuit design. Scisys manufactured the machine on behalf of Intelligent Games Ltd.

If you are interested  in Tolinka this Youtube clip is supposed to show it in the late 1970s cult sci-fi series Blake’s 7 (link). Tolinka was used by Victor Korchnoi whilst preparing with Michael Stean and Raymond Keene for the 1978 World Chess Championship match against Anatoly Karpov in Baguio City. Korchnoi is supposed to have named Tolinka, which is said to be the diminutive of Anatoly i.e. Little Anatoly.

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Tabletop - Keypad entry - TV and LED displays


6502 cpu  2MHz  8 bit



Opening Book

800 ply


8.8V  1.3A


42.9 x 24.7 x 8.3 cm

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free counters