Saitek | Alchemist Plus | Specifications | Saitek Alchemist Plus Specifications

QUICK START
Want to play a game without reading the entire manual first? Little Alec will be glad to help!
Simply follow these Quick Start steps…
1
2
5
First, insert two “AA”
(AM3/R6) batteries into
the computer (alkaline
recommended). Be sure
to observe the correct
polarity!
2 x AA/AM3/R6
Next, press GO/STOP to
turn the computer on, and
you’ll see Alec’s animated
face in the display! If the
unit doesn’t respond, reset
it as noted in Section 1.1.
3
Set up the chess pieces in
the initial starting position
for a new game, with the
White pieces closest to
you, as shown in this
diagram.
4
Press NEW GAME to
reset the computer. Now
you’re ready to play your
very first game against
Alec!
GO/STOP
ዛዒዓዔዕዖ዗ዘዙዜ
ዑ尷尽尻就尯尹尿尵ዑ
ዐ屁屃屁屃屁屃屁屃ዐ
ዏ巀居巀居巀居巀居ዏ
ዎ居巀居巀居巀居巀ዎ
ው巀居巀居巀居巀居ው
ዌ居巀居巀居巀居巀ዌ
ዋ屄层屄层屄层屄层ዋ
ዊ尶局尺尴尮尼尾尸ዊ
ዝዒዓዔዕዖ዗ዘዙዞ
NEW GAME
6
Enter moves by making
them on the board,
pressing the pieces down
gently on the from and to
squares for each move.
The board automatically
senses which piece you
are moving—it’s just like
magic!
As soon as the computer
makes its move, that
move is displayed, with
the from square flashing.
Press the indicated piece
down on the flashing from
square (Square d7, in our
example), and the display
will now flash the to
square. Press down on
the flashing to square (d5,
here) to complete the
computer’s move. That’s
all there is to it!
Press GO/STOP at any
time to turn the computer
off…and Alec will be
ready to continue when
you turn it back on!
PRESS
PRESS
ዛዒዓዔዕዖ዗ዘዙዜ
ዑ尷尽尻就尯尹尿尵ዑ
ዐ屁屃屁屃屁屃屁屃ዐ
ዏ巀居巀居巀居巀居ዏ
ዎ居巀居巀居巀居巀ዎ
ው巀居巀层巀居巀居ው
ዌ居巀居巀居巀居巀ዌ
ዋ屄层屄居屄层屄层ዋ
ዊ尶局尺尴尮尼尾尸ዊ
ዝዒዓዔዕዖ዗ዘዙዞ
ዛዒዓዔዕዖ዗ዘዙዜ
ዑ尷尽尻就尯尹尿尵ዑ
ዐ屁屃屁巀屁屃屁屃ዐ
ዏ巀居巀居巀居巀居ዏ
ዎ居巀居屃居巀居巀ዎ
ው巀居巀层巀居巀居ው
ዌ居巀居巀居巀居巀ዌ
ዋ屄层屄居屄层屄层ዋ
ዊ尶局尺尴尮尼尾尸ዊ
ዝዒዓዔዕዖ዗ዘዙዞ
KEYS AND FEATURES
1. DISPLAY WINDOW: Used to show
moves, information, and chess
clocks, as well as Alec’s animated
expressions and antics! Also used
to select playing levels and Teach
Modes, and to verify pieces.
2. ACL (Reset): In base of unit. Used
to eliminate static discharge after
inserting new batteries.
3. GAME KEYS
• GO/STOP: Press to turn the
computer on and off. Current
position is retained in memory
when turned off.
• NON AUTO: Press to enter Non
Auto Mode, which allows moves
to be entered manually.
• NEW GAME: Press to reset for a
new game of chess.
• PIECE SYMBOL KEYS: Used to
verify piece positions and select
Teach Modes. Also used for pawn
promotions.
• LEVEL: Press to enter Level
Mode.
• SOUND: Press to turn the sound
on and off.
• TEACH MODE: Press to enter
Teach Mode.
• HINT: Press and hold down to get
a suggested move.
CHESS COMPUTER
A N I M AT E D D I S P L AY
7 6 8 LEVEL SETTINGS
SMART HINT FUNCTION
EXTENDED TEACH MODES
GO/STOP
NON AUTO NEW GAME
LEVEL
SOUND
TEACH MODE
HINT
TAKE BACK
PLAY
• TAKE BACK: Press to take back the last individual move made. You may take
back two individual moves, or a move for each side.
• PLAY: Press to change sides with the computer; press while the computer is
thinking to force it to move.
4. BATTERY COMPARTMENT: In base of unit. Uses two “AA” (AM3/R6) batteries
(alkalines recommended for longer battery life).
5. PIECE STORAGE COMPARTMENT: In base of unit. Handy compartment stores
your chess pieces when they’re not in use.
6. SENSORY CHESSBOARD: Each square contains a sensor that automatically
registers piece movement.
cause it to lock up), use a paper clip or another sharp object
to press down into the hole marked ACL in the base of the
unit for at least one second. This will reset the computer.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
QUICK START
KEYS AND FEATURES
INTRODUCTION
1. LET’S GET STARTED!
1.1 First, Install the Batteries
1.2 Ready to Play? Here’s How to
Move!
1.3 Now It’s the Computer’s Turn
1.4 Change Your Mind? Take Back!
1.5 Game Over? Why Not Play
Again!
1.6 Too Easy/Hard? Change the
Level!
2. ADDITIONAL FEATURES
2.1 Whose Move? Check the
Display!
2.2 Special Chess Moves
2.3 Illegal Moves
2.4 Check, Mate, and Draw
2.5 Interrupting the Computer’s
Search
2.6 Changing Sides with the
Computer
2.7 Need Help? Ask for a Hint!
2.8 Chess Clocks
2.9 Built-In Openings
2.10 Auto Power Down
2.11 Game Memory
3. THE PLAYING LEVELS
3.1 Fun Levels
3.2 Fixed Depth Levels
3.3 Casual Levels
4. SPECIAL MODES TO
EXPLORE
4.1 Verify Mode
4.2 Non Auto Mode
4.3 Teach Mode
5. TECHNICAL DETAILS
5.1 The ACL Function
5.2 Care and Maintenance
5.3 Technical Specifications
TROUBLESHOOTING GUIDE
1.2 Ready to Play? Here’s How to Move!
Okay, it’s time to start a game! It’s so easy—just follow
these steps:
a. Press GO/STOP to turn the computer on, if you haven’t
already done so. You’ll see Little Alec’s face appear in
the display—he’ll be your constant playing companion
from now on!
b. Press NEW GAME to reset the computer for a new
game of chess. Set up the pieces in their starting
positions, with the White pieces nearest to you, as
shown in the Quick Start .
c. To make a move, lightly press down on the piece you
want to move until you hear a beep—and the sensory
board will recognize your piece automatically. Check
out the display—it now shows the square that you
pressed, along with the piece and color symbols for
your chosen piece! This information flashes alternately
with the clock display.
d. Take your piece and gently press it down on the square
you are moving to. You’ll hear a second beep as the
computer confirms the move. You’ve just made your
first full move of the game! Next, it’s the computer’s
turn to move for Black.
At the start of a game, the computer will often move instantly because it is playing from memor y, using its built-in
“book” of opening moves. For details, see Section 2.9.
INTRODUCING…
ALEC, THE LITTLE ALCHEMIST!
So happy to meet you—and so glad that we’ll be enjoying
the wonderful world of chess together!
You might ask yourself, “What is this little guy doing inside
my computer?” It’s simple: I LOVE CHESS! And, what better
way to enjoy the game whenever possible, than to be here
every single time you turn your computer on! Chess is truly a
magical game—it’s fun, exciting, and intellectually stimulating.
You simply couldn’t ask for a better way to spend your time!
So, my goal in life is to be your constant companion, ready and
willing to play whenever you are!
If you see me grinning, don’t worry—I’m not making fun of
you… I’m just delighting in my own chess abilities! And, when
you see me cry after I lose a game, don’t feel too sorry for me—
I might just beat you the next time around!
Have a fabulous time, and be sure to explore this manual
to discover all the great features your chess computer has to
offer. Plus, watch out for the “stars” throughout the manual—
they’ll alert you to charts and diagrams that will help you to
understand your computer better! As for me, I’ll look forward to
enjoying many great games with you, now and for a long time
to come…!
Have fun!
1.3 Now It’s the Computer’s Turn
When the computer moves, it beeps and displays its
move, with the from square flashing. Press the indicated
piece down on the flashing from square until you hear a
beep. The display now flashes the square the piece is moving to. Move that same piece to the indicated to square and
press it down to complete the computer’s move. And it’s your
turn again…
Note that the following may sometimes occur while the
computer is thinking:
• Game keys may need to be pressed down for two to
three seconds before the computer responds.
• The clock display may occasionally skip a few seconds,
and the duration between consecutive seconds may
appear to be uneven. Game play will not be affected.
1.4 Change Your Mind? Take Back!
When you’re playing chess against this computer, nothing
is “set in stone”—you can change your mind or decide to
play a different move whenever you want! You can take back
two individual moves, or one move for each side.
To take back the last move played, press TAKE BACK.
The display will show the piece symbol, the color symbol,
and the move to be taken back, with the original to square
flashing. Press the piece down on that square. You now see
the from square flashing. Press the piece down on the
flashing from square to complete the take-back.
If the move taken back was a capture, the computer
reminds you to put the captured piece back on the board by
displaying the piece type and color, and flashing the square
location. Press this piece down on the indicated square. To
take back another move, press TAKE BACK again. To
continue the game, either make your next move or press
PLAY to have the computer move next.
1. LET’S GET STARTED!
Whether you’re just starting to learn about chess or you’ve
already discovered this great game, you’re going to benefit
from your new chess computer in so many ways! After all,
it’s a very unique combination of opponent and tutor! And, by
the way, your computer knows and follows all the rules of
chess—and you can be sure that it will never cheat! For
those who haven’t played before, we have included a brief
overview of the rules to get you started. For more detailed
information, why not visit your local library, where you’re sure
to find lots of interesting chess books!
1.1 First, Install the Batteries
Your chess computer runs on two “AA” (AM3/R6) batteries.
Insert the batteries into the compartment in the base of the
unit, as shown in the Quick Start . Use fresh alkaline batteries
for longer battery life (up to 1,000 hours)!
Turn the computer on by pressing GO/STOP, and a beep
will signal that the game is ready to play. If the computer
should fail to respond (static discharge can sometimes
1.5 Game Over? Why Not Play Again!
Whenever you finish a game (or if you give up on your
current game), it’s easy to start over again! Simply press
NEW GAME, and the computer will reset itself, putting all the
pieces back in their initial starting positions. The same
playing level will be in effect, but you can change it if you’d
2
like, as explained in Section 3.
TYPICAL DISPLAYS AT A GLANCE!
IMPORTANT: Pressing NEW GAME clears the current
game from memory—be careful not to press this key by
mistake!
King is in check
(White/Black)
1.6 Too Easy/Hard? Change the Level!
Your computer offers 64 levels of skill, each of which
corresponds to one of the 64 board squares—making level
selection so easy! Together with the built-in Teach Modes,
you have a choice of 768 level setting combinations!
For complete details on all the playing levels, along with
instructions on selecting levels, see Section 3.
Checkmate
(for White/Black)
Game has ended in a draw
Clock showing Minutes/Seconds:
Steady colon, with leading zero
2. ADDITIONAL FEATURES
Display on entering Teach Mode
Computer is thinking for Black
2.2 Special Chess Moves
Captures: To capture, press down lightly on the piece you
want to move, take the captured piece off the board, and
press your piece down on the square of the captured piece.
En Passant: In an en passant capture, the computer
reminds you to remove the captured pawn from the board by
flashing the pawn’s location in the display. Press down on
the captured pawn before removing it from the board.
Castling: The computer automatically recognizes castling
after the King is moved. After you have pressed the King
down on its from and to squares, the computer displays the
Rook’s move, with the from square flashing. Press down on
this square, and the display flashes the square the Rook
should move to. Press down on the Rook’s to square to
complete the move.
Pawn Promotion: When you promote a pawn, first press
your pawn down on the from square, as usual. The computer will flash the from square and the symbols for the
pawn and Queen, along with the clock display. You now have
two choices: (a) To promote to a Queen, simply complete
your move by pressing your pawn down on the to square.
The promotion will take place automatically, accompanied by
a series of beeps. (b) To underpromote to a Knight, Bishop ,
or Rook, press the PIECE SYMBOL KEY for your desired
promotion piece (@, #, or $). That symbol will be displayed,
and pressing your pawn down on the to square will complete
your move. When promoting, always remember to change
your piece on the board! When the computer promotes a
pawn, the display shows its move, as usual, with the from
square flashing. You’ll notice, though, that the display shows
the symbol for the pawn plus the symbol for the computer’s
promoted piece. Press on the from square, and the to
square flashes. Press down on the to square, change the
computer’s piece on the board, and continue your game!
Player to move for White
Note: Random expressions are shown for Alec. His animated expressions will
change according to specific game situations!
displayed, but you decide not to make that move, simply
press down on that same square again to cancel. Then
make another move. If you change your mind after entering
your whole move, take the move back as described in Section 1.4.
Caution: Be careful when playing with the sound turned
off, since you won’t be able to hear the error beeps!
2.4 Check, Mate, and Draw
Check: When a King is in check, the computer first displays the move as usual. After the move is made, the display
alternates between the time and ch, along with [ if White is
in check or ] if Black is in check.
Checkmate: When a game ends in checkmate, you’ll hear
a series of beeps and the display will flash End, along with [
if White has won or ] if Black has won. Notice how delighted
Little Alec is when he wins—and how sad he gets when he
loses a game!
Draws: The computer recognizes draws by stalemate and
three-fold repetition. After a draw has occurred, the display
will flash End and both of the color symbols ([ and ]), along
with the drawing move.
2.5 Interrupting the Computer’s Search
Think the computer is taking too long to move? No problem—you can interrupt it any time! Simply press PLAY while
the computer is thinking, and it will stop and make the move
it is currently considering.
This feature can come in handy for those of you who are
impatient—especially when using Fixed Depth Levels C6
and higher, where the computer can occasionally take an
hour or more to make its move.
2.3 Illegal Moves
Your computer will never accept an illegal move! If you try
to make one, you’ll hear a low beep and the display will
alternate between showing the from square and the time.
Either move that same piece to another square, or press the
piece back down on its original from square and move a
different piece.
If you don’t move the computer’s piece correctly, you’ll
also hear an error beep. This means that you are either
moving the wrong piece, or moving the computer’s piece to
the wrong square. Check the display and make the move
again.
If you press down on a piece and the from square is
2.6 Changing Sides with the Computer
To change sides with the computer, press PLAY when it’s
your turn to move—and the computer will make the next
move for your side. Change sides as often as you wish!
Want the computer to play the first move for White at the
start of a new game? Press NEW GAME to reset the computer, and then press PLAY!
Want to watch the computer play chess against itself?
3
ENGLISH
Clock showing Hours/Minutes:
Flashing colon, no leading zero
2.1 Whose Move? Check the Display!
You can always tell at a glance if the computer is currently
thinking, and which side is to move—just by taking a look at
the color symbols (] for Black and [ for White)! Whenever
the computer is thinking, the color symbol for the side it is
playing flashes in the display. When it is your turn to move,
the color symbol for your side shows steadily.
GET TO KNOW ALEC’S MANY MOODS!
Not sure what Alec’s trying to tell you? Wondering why Alec looks so happy, so sad, or so annoyed?
This chart will help you identify some of his expressions—and may help you understand what’s going on in your game!
“I really do love this game—
especially when I’m winning!”
“I can’t believe I really lost this game…
Won’t you please give me another
chance?”
Computer has the advantage
Computer loses the game
“Looks like we’ve got a pretty
even game so far…”
“Yes, I’d say that mate is right around
the corner!” / “Go ahead—promote my
pawn for me!”
Both sides have a fairly even
position
Computer predicts mate / Computer
promotes pawn
“This isn’t good—I can’t believe
you’ve got the advantage!”
Player has the advantage
“Hey—you captured my piece while I
wasn’t looking!” / “Oh, no! How did you
manage to check my King?”
“What happened here? I
thought I was winning…”
Computer’s piece is captured / Computer
is checked
Computer changes from
advantage to disadvantage
“Ha, ha! Capturing your pieces sure is
fun!” / “Better watch out for your King—
I’m coming after him!”
“Wow, this is great—I really
improved my position!”
Computer changes from
disadvantage to advantage
Computer captures / Computer checks
“Hooray, I won the game! That
sure was fun—want to play
again?”
“Hey—are you still there? You sure are
taking a long time!” / “I hate to admit
it, but I guess this game’s a draw!”
Computer wins the game
Computer waits for player to move / Game
ends in a draw
Press PLAY after each move—and watch as the computer
plays for both sides of the board, one move after another.
Study its strategies, and you might improve your own game!
moves. This book contains hundreds of positions, including
most major openings. If the current board position is in its
book, the computer will play a response to that position
automatically, instead of having to think about the move!
2.7 Need Help? Ask for a Hint!
It’s easy to get assistance from the computer whenever
you need it. On your turn, simply press and hold down HINT.
The computer will show Hint briefly, and it will then display
a move suggestion for you!
Note that pressing and holding HINT repeatedly may give
you more than one suggested move in certain positions.
2.10 Auto Power Down
Whenever it’s your turn to move and you haven’t made a
move or pressed a key for 20 minutes, the computer will
automatically turn itself off to conserve batteries. To continue
your game, press GO/STOP to turn the unit back on. Note
that the computer will not turn itself off while it is thinking.
2.8 Chess Clocks
Your computer contains a built-in chess clock that keeps
track of the time, with a four-digit display showing the total
elapsed time for the side to move (computer or player) while
that side is thinking. Here’s an easy way to differentiate
between the time displays at a glance:
• For the first hour, the display will show MM:SS
(Minutes:Seconds), with a steady colon in the middle
and a leading zero.
• If the total elapsed time exceeds one hour, you’ll see
HH:MM (Hours:Minutes), with a flashing colon in the
middle and no leading zero.
Please also note the following points in regard to the
chess clocks:
• The clocks will stop in certain situations, such as when
moves are taken back, or when levels are changed or
verified. In these cases, the times are retained in
memor y, and the clock resumes when play is continued.
• Occasionally, while the computer is thinking, the display
may skip a few seconds, or the duration between consecutive seconds may appear to be uneven. Your game
will not be affected.
2.11 Game Memory
If you want to interrupt your game for any reason, you may
do so by pressing GO/STOP. Play is then suspended, and
the computer will store your current position for up to two
years (with fresh alkaline batteries). When you switch back
on again, you and Alec can simply continue right where you
left off!
3. THE PLAYING LEVELS
With 768 level settings to choose from (incorporating the
Teach Modes), you can definitely learn and grow with this
chess computer! When you set the level, keep in mind that
the more time the computer has to think about its moves, the
stronger and better it plays—just like a human player!
Check out “A QUICK AND EASY GUIDE TO LEVEL
SELECTION!” for an overview of all the levels.
As shown in the Level Selection Chart, each playing level
corresponds to one of the 64 board squares. The levels are
categorized into three different groups: Fun Levels (Squares
A1-B8), Fixed Depth Levels (Squares C1-D8), and Casual
Levels (Squares E1-H8). On the higher levels, the computer
thinks more deeply and becomes a progressively more
challenging opponent. The highest level in each of the
groups produces the best moves the computer can make
within the constraints of that particular level setting. Try
2.9 Built-In Openings
At the beginning of a game, the computer will often move
instantly on many levels. This is because it is playing from
memory, using its own built-in “book” of opening chess
4
Fun
Level 8
Fu 8
LEVEL
Press LEVEL to enter
Level Mode.
Fu 7
Fun
Level 6
Fu 6
2. Next, select your level, using the
chart on the right. Simply locate
your level square and press down
on the square to display that level!
Fun
Level 5
Fu 5
Fun
Level 4
LEVEL
Fu 4
Fun
Level 3
Fu 3
Fun
Level 12
00:11
35 sec.
per move
30 sec.
per move
1+ ply
search
4 ply
search
2 sec.
per move
10 sec.
per move
25 sec.
per move
FD 2
FD10
00:02
00:10
00:25
Fun
Level 1
Fun
Level 9
1 ply
search
Fu 9
FD 1
C1
B1
FUN LEVELS
3++ ply
search
1 sec.
per move
FD 9
D1
FIXED DEPTH
LEVELS
9 sec.
per move
00:01
E1
G2
F2
E2
D2
C2
B2
00:09
F1
06:00
H6
5 min.
per move
05:00
H5
4 min.
per move
04:00
H4
3 min.
per move
00:30
Fu 10
A2
6 min.
per move
00:35
G3
F3
10:00
H7
00:40
Fun
Level 10
20 sec.
per move
03:00
H3
2 min.
per move
02:00
H2
1 min.
per move
00:20
G1
01:00
H1
CASUAL LEVELS
exhaustively search for the best available move, as you
would normally expect. Instead, it disregards scores and
uses a strong randomizer to deliberately weaken play—
which causes it to sometimes make moves that are not
necessarily the best it has found. This variability makes the
computer prone to some very human errors in judgment.
Beat the computer by capitalizing on its mistakes, and you
may soon discover that you can win games against friends in
the same manner! The Fun Levels start out easy and get a
little stronger as they go, allowing you to strengthen your
playing abilities along the way.
3.2 Fixed Depth Levels (Squares C1-D8)
LEVEL SQUARE
SEARCH DEPTH
ALTERNATING DISPLAY
C1 .................. 1 ply .................. L:c1 / Fd 1
C2 .................. 1 ply+ ................ L:c2 / Fd 2
C3 .................. 1 ply++ .............. L:c3 / Fd 3
C4 .................. 2 ply .................. L:c4 / Fd 4
C5 .................. 2 ply+ ................ L:c5 / Fd 5
C6 .................. 2 ply++ .............. L:c6 / Fd 6
C7 .................. 3 ply .................. L:c7 / Fd 7
C8 .................. 3 ply+ ................ L:c8 / Fd 8
-----------------------------------------------------------D1 .................. 3 ply++ .............. L:D1 / Fd 9
D2 .................. 4 ply .................. L:D2 / Fd10
D3 .................. 4 ply+ ................ L:D3 / Fd11
D4 .................. 4 ply++ .............. L:D4 / Fd12
D5 .................. 5 ply .................. L:D5 / Fd13
D6 .................. 5 ply+ ................ L:D6 / Fd14
D7 .................. 5 ply++ .............. L:D7 / Fd15
D8 .................. 6 ply .................. L:D8 / Fd16
On the Fixed Depth Levels, the computer’s search depth is
limited to a certain number of moves, or ply. A “ply” is an
individual move, or a move for either side. For example, on
Level C1, the computer searches to a depth of one ply, and
thus looks ahead only one individual move. On this level,
therefore, it will often overlook a mate in one. This produces
weaker play, giving beginners a better chance of beating the
computer! Use these levels to sharpen your skills—as you
3.1 Fun Levels (Squares A1-B8)
LEVEL
SQUARE
00:03
E3
40 sec.
per move
G4
11 sec.
per move
10 min.
per move
00:45
Fu 2
experimenting a little—start out with some of the lower level
settings, and advance to the more difficult levels as your
skills grow!
Note that on some of the higher levels, the computer may
take a long time to complete its search. If you want to force
the computer to stop thinking and make a move, simply
press PLAY at any time.
Press LEVEL to enter Level Mode, and the current level is
shown, with the display alternating between the Level
Square and the Level Name. As an example, Level A4 (Fun
Level 4), which is the default level at the first power-up,
displays as L:A4 and Fu 4. To change the level, press a
board square (using the Level Selection Chart as a guide),
and that level will be displayed. Press LEVEL again to exit
Level Mode, with your newly selected playing level in effect.
Other important points to remember regarding levels:
• If you press LEVEL to verify the level, but you don’t want
to change levels, press LEVEL again to exit without
making any changes.
• You can use LEVEL to check the playing level while the
computer is thinking, but you cannot change the level
until it’s your turn to move.
• Pressing NEW GAME resets the computer and retains
the current playing level.
ALTERNATING
DISPLAY
FD11
D3
00:12
F4
3 sec.
per move
45 sec.
per move
G5
12 sec.
per move
00:04
E4
4+ ply
search
FD 3
C3
4 sec.
per move
FD12
D4
1++ ply
search
Fu 11
Fu 1
LEVEL
SQUARE
FD 4
C4
00:13
F5
15:00
H8
00:50
G6
13 sec.
per move
00:05
E5
4++ ply
search
00:14
F6
5 sec.
per move
FD13
D5
2 ply
search
Fu 12
Fun
Level 11
5 ply
search
FD 5
C5
00:06
E6
50 sec.
per move
G7
14 sec.
per move
15 min.
per move
00:55
Fun
Level 2
A1
For more details on the levels, see Section 3.
2+ ply
search
Fu 13
B3
A3
Finally, press LEVEL again
to exit Level Mode. Now
you can start playing on your
newly selected level!
Fun
Level 13
FD14
D6
00:15
F7
6 sec.
per move
55 sec.
per move
G8
15 sec.
per move
00:07
E7
5+ ply
search
FD 6
C6
B4
A4
2++ ply
search
Fu 14
B5
A5
3.
Fun
Level 14
00:16
F8
7 sec.
per move
FD15
D7
16 sec.
per move
00:08
E8
5++ ply
search
FD 7
C7
8 sec.
per move
FD16
D8
3 ply
search
Fu 15
B6
A6
For example: To select
Level G2 (with an average
computer response time
of 25 seconds per move),
press Square G2. The
display will alternate
between L:G2 and 00:25.
Fun
Level 15
6 ply
search
FD 8
C8
B7
A7
3+ ply
search
Fu 16
B8
A8
Fun
Level 7
1.
Fun
Level 16
ALTERNATING
DISPLAY
A1 ....... L:A1 / Fu 1 ..... B1 ....... L:B1 / Fu 9
A2 ....... L:A2 / Fu 2 ..... B2 ....... L:B2 / Fu10
A3 ....... L:A3 / Fu 3 ..... B3 ....... L:B3 / Fu11
A4 ....... L:A4 / Fu 4 ..... B4 ....... L:B4 / Fu12
A5 ....... L:A5 / Fu 5 ..... B5 ....... L:B5 / Fu13
A6 ....... L:A6 / Fu 6 ..... B6 ....... L:B6 / Fu14
A7 ....... L:A7 / Fu 7 ..... B7 ....... L:B7 / Fu15
A8 ....... L:A8 / Fu 8 ..... B8 ....... L:B8 / Fu16
If you are a novice or beginning player, the Fun Levels are
especially for you—they’ll give you the opportunity to beat
the computer for a change! Here, the computer does not
5
ENGLISH
A QUICK AND EASY GUIDE
TO LEVEL SELECTION!
conquer each level, graduate to the next!
The levels marked with plus signs (+ and ++) indicate
small, incremental jumps in the search depth. On these
levels, the computer will look ahead that particular number of
ply, plus a few extra moves (+), or a few more selected extra
moves (++).
Note that the computer may take a long time to move on
some of the Fixed Depth Levels. On Levels C6 and above,
for instance, it might not be unusual for the computer to think
for an hour or more. Please be assured that this is normal for
these particular levels! To interrupt the computer and force it
to make a move, simply press PLAY.
IT’S EASY TO VERIFY PIECES!
NEW GAME
1. Press NEW GAME and set up the pieces in the
initial starting position.
2. Press ROOK.
Display: White Rook on Square A1.
3. Press ROOK again.
Display: White Rook on Square H1.
4. Press ROOK again.
Display: Black Rook on Square A8.
5. Press ROOK again.
Display: Black Rook on Square H8.
3.3 Casual Levels (Squares E1-H8)
LEVEL SQUARE
TIME PER MOVE
ALTERNATING DISPLAY
E1 .............. 1 second ............... L:E1 / 00:01
E2 .............. 2 seconds ............. L:E2 / 00:02
E3 .............. 3 seconds ............. L:E3 / 00:03
E4 .............. 4 seconds ............. L:E4 / 00:04
E5 .............. 5 seconds ............. L:E5 / 00:05
E6 .............. 6 seconds ............. L:E6 / 00:06
E7 .............. 7 seconds ............. L:E7 / 00:07
E8 .............. 8 seconds ............. L:E8 / 00:08
------------------------------------------------------------F1 .............. 9 seconds ............. L:F1 / 00:09
F2 ............ 10 seconds ............. L:F2 / 00:10
F3 ............ 11 seconds ............. L:F3 / 00:11
F4 ............ 12 seconds ............. L:F4 / 00:12
F5 ............ 13 seconds ............. L:F5 / 00:13
F6 ............ 14 seconds ............. L:F6 / 00:14
F7 ............ 15 seconds ............. L:F7 / 00:15
F8 ............ 16 seconds ............. L:F8 / 00:16
------------------------------------------------------------G1 ............ 20 seconds ............. L:G1 / 00:20
G2 ............ 25 seconds ............. L:G2 / 00:25
G3 ............ 30 seconds ............. L:G3 / 00:30
G4 ............ 35 seconds ............. L:G4 / 00:35
G5 ............ 40 seconds ............. L:G5 / 00:40
G6 ............ 45 seconds ............. L:G6 / 00:45
G7 ............ 50 seconds ............. L:G7 / 00:50
G8 ............ 55 seconds ............. L:G8 / 00:55
------------------------------------------------------------H1 .............. 1 minute ................ L:H1 / 01:00
H2 .............. 2 minutes .............. L:H2 / 02:00
H3 .............. 3 minutes .............. L:H3 / 03:00
H4 .............. 4 minutes .............. L:H4 / 04:00
H5 .............. 5 minutes .............. L:H5 / 05:00
H6 .............. 6 minutes .............. L:H6 / 06:00
H7 ............ 10 minutes .............. L:H7 / 10:00
H8 ............ 15 minutes .............. L:H8 / 15:00
The Casual Levels allow you to control the computer’s
strength by limiting the time it has to think for each move.
When you choose one of these levels, you are selecting the
computer’s average response time per move. As the levels
go up, the computer becomes stronger—and the more time
you give the computer, the better it will play!
Note that the times are averaged over a large number of
moves. In the opening and endgame, the computer tends to
play faster, but in complicated middlegame positions , it may
take longer to move.
6. Press ROOK again. Display: No more
Rooks. Repeat for any other piece! To
continue, make the next move.
For more details, see Section 4.1.
board locations of all pieces of that same type. All the White
pieces ([) are shown first, and then all the Black pieces (]).
When there are no more pieces of that type, the computer
will sound a double beep and show two dashes, along with
the piece symbol and the symbol for White. When there are
no more Bishops on the board, for example, you’ll see :__
displayed, along with [ and #. The computer will then return
to your previous game display.
To verify other pieces, repeat the same steps using the
other PIECE SYMBOL KEYS. When you’re finished, simply
make your next move.
Note that the computer will e xit Verify Mode automatically
if no keypresses are made for about three seconds.
4.2 Non Auto Mode
Normally, the computer automatically answers with a
countermove whenever you enter a move. If you press NON
AUTO to enter Non Auto Mode, however, you can enter any
number of moves one by one, without allowing the computer
to answer!
Since you won’t be playing against Alec in this mode,
he’ll disappear as soon as you press NON AUTO! Don’t
worry, though—when you return to normal play, Little
Alec will be back!
This feature can be used in a number of ways:
• Play through master chess games. Press PLAY to see
what the computer would do in any position!
• Study opening book lines by entering them man ually.
• Replay to any board position for further study.
• Play chess against a friend, with the computer acting as
referee. It will monitor your game, checking all moves for
legality and keeping track of the time for both sides! If
you should need help with a move, press PLAY and the
computer will mak e the next move for your side. After the
computer has mo ved, Non Auto Mode remains in effect,
and you can continue your game!
To exit Non Auto Mode and return to normal game play at
any time, press NON AUTO again. A double beep will verify
that this mode has been cancelled, and Alec will reappear in
the display! Note that Non Auto Mode is also automatically
cancelled whenever you press NEW GAME.
4. SPECIAL MODES TO EXPLORE
4.1 Verify Mode
See “IT’S EASY TO VERIFY PIECES!” for a step-bystep example of using Verify Mode.
4.3 Teach Mode
If you should knock over the chess pieces or if you think
your board position may be incorrect, the computer can
verify all the piece locations for you!
When it’s your turn, press one of the PIECE SYMBOL
KEYS. The computer will show the symbol for that piece,
along with the square location of the first piece of that type.
Press that same PIECE SYMBOL KEY repeatedly to see the
See “SELECTING A TEACH MODE GAME!” for an
illustrated look at trying out Teach Mode!
Your computer offers 11 Teach Modes, which allow you to
study basic moves and master the tactics of the individual
chess pieces, one by one! For each Teach Mode game, the
only pieces on the board will be Kings, Pawns, and your
6
SELECTING A TEACH MODE GAME!
Here, we’ll choose to study Bishops and Rooks. Remember
that Kings and Pawns are always on the board.
TEACH MODE
1. Press TEACH MODE.
2. Press BISHOP. Bishops added.
On the board: Kings, Pawns, Bishops.
3. Press ROOK. Rooks added.
On the board: Kings, Pawns, Bishops,
Rooks.
TEACH MODE
4. Press TEACH MODE again. The computer resets
for a new game, with only Kings, Pawns, Bishops,
and Rooks on the board—be sure to set up only
those pieces!
5.3 Technical Specifications
Keys:
15
LCD Display: Viewing area 30 x 13 mm
Sound:
Piezo-electric buzzer
Batteries:
2 “AA” (AM3/R6) cells
Battery Life:
1,000 hours (new alkalines)
Dimensions:
31.4 x 25.2 x 3.4 cm
For more details, see Section 4.3.
choice of one or two selected piece types. This allows beginners to concentrate on one or two pieces at a time, without
losing focus and being distracted by other pieces on the
board! More developed players can use the Teach Modes to
practice using selected combinations.
Whenever it’s your turn to move, follow these steps to
select one of the Teach Mode games:
a. Press TEACH MODE. The display shows tEAC.
b. Press one or two of the PIECE SYMBOL KEYS, depending on which piece(s) you would like to study. The
display will show the selected piece(s) as the keys are
pressed. The listing below shows all the different piece
combinations, and the keys you should press to select
them.
c. After making your piece selection(s), press TEACH
MODE again. The computer will reset for a new game,
using only the pieces you have chosen. Remember to
set up only those pieces on the board!
Use this list to select one of the Teach Modes:
PRESS
Please retain this information for future reference.
Saitek reserves the right to make technical changes without notice
in the interest of progress.
TO STUDY THESE PIECES ......................................................... DISPLAY
! .......... Kings+Pawns ............................................... &\\\\!
@ .......... Kings+Pawns+Knights ................................. &\\\@!
# .......... Kings+Pawns+Bishops ................................. &\\#\!
$ .......... Kings+Pawns+Rooks .................................. &\$\\!
% .......... Kings+Pawns+Queens ................................. &%\\\!
@+# ..... Kings+Pawns+Knights+Bishops ................. &\\#@!
@+$ ..... Kings+Pawns+Knights+Rooks ..................... &\$\@!
@+% ..... Kings+Pawns+Knights+Queens .................. &%\\@!
#+$ ..... Kings+Pawns+Bishops+Rooks .................... &\$#\!
#+% ..... Kings+Pawns+Bishops+Queens ................. &%\#\!
$+% ..... Kings+Pawns+Rooks+Queens .................... &%$\\!
Please also note the following regarding the Teach Modes:
• If you press more than two PIECE SYMBOL KEYS, only
the last two pieces displayed will be selected when you
press TEACH MODE to start the game.
• If no PIECE SYMBOL KEY is pressed in step (b) above,
pressing TEACH MODE again will exit Teach Mode and
return you to your previous game.
• To exit Teach Mode and return to a standard, 32-piece
game at any time, press NEW GAME.
5. TECHNICAL DETAILS
5.1 The ACL Function
Computers can sometimes “lock up” due to static discharge or various other electrical disturbances. If this should
happen, use a pin or another sharp object to press into the
hole marked ACL in the base of the unit for at least one
second. This resets the computer.
5.2 Care and Maintenance
Your chess computer is a precision electronic device, and
7
ENGLISH
should not be subjected to rough handling or exposed to
extreme temperatures or moisture. Remove the batteries
before cleaning the unit, and do not use chemicals or liquids
to clean it, as they may damage the plastic.
Weak batteries should be replaced promptly, since they
can leak and damage the computer. Please also note the
following regarding the use of batteries: Use only alkaline
or zinc carbon batteries. Do not mix different types of
batteries or new and used batteries. Do not recharge
non-rechargeable batteries. Use only the recommended
batteries or equivalent. Be sure to observe the correct
polarity when inserting batteries. Remove worn out
batteries from the unit promptly. Do not short circuit the
supply terminals.
TROUBLESHOOTING GUIDE
SYMPTOMS
POSSIBLE CAUSES
ACTION TO TAKE
The computer doesn’t react,
or “freezes” during your
game.
• Batteries are not inserted properly.
• Batteries are weak or bad.
• Static discharge or an electrical disturbance
has caused a lock-up.
• Insert batteries as shown in the Quick Start.
• Replace the batteries.
• Press into the hole marked ACL, as described
in Section 1.1.
The display is dim.
• Batteries are weak.
• Replace the batteries.
The computer won’t play a
move.
• Non Auto Mode may be in effect.
• The computer only responds automatically if
Non Auto Mode is off (see Section 4.2).
• Check the level (see Section 3). To interrupt
the computer’s search, press PLAY.
• You may be on a level where the computer
thinks for a long time.
The computer won’t accept
your move.
• Is it your turn? Is your King in check? Will your
move put your King in check? Did you move
the Rook first when castling? Are you moving
to an illegal square?
• The computer is thinking.
• You have entered the computer’s last move
incorrectly (pressed the wrong from or to
square).
• Make sure that you are familiar with the rules.
Use TAKE BACK to reconstruct the last move
that was made.
The computer seems to be
making illegal or irrational
moves.
• The computer has made a special move (en
passant, castle, pawn promotion).
• Your board position is incorrect.
• You may be on a Fun Level, where the computer deliberately weakens play.
• Review the chess rules. Use TAKE BACK to
reconstruct the last move.
• Verify the board (see Section 4.1).
• Check the level (see Section 3).
The computer is silent.
• The SOUND key has been pressed to turn the
sound off.
• Press SOUND again to turn the sound back
on.
Alec is not showing in the
display.
• Non Auto Mode is in effect. Since you are not
playing against the computer in this mode,
Alec is not displayed.
• When you exit Non Auto Mode and return to
normal play, Alec will reappear.
The clock is displayed while
verifying pieces.
• The computer exits Verify Mode if no keys are
pressed for about 3 seconds.
• Start verifying again by pressing one of the
PIECE SYMBOL KEYS.
The display skips seconds, or
the time between seconds
seems uneven.
• This can sometimes occur while the computer
is thinking.
• Your game will not be affected.
There is no response when a
key is pressed.
• This can sometimes occur while the computer
is thinking.
• Hold the key down for 2 to 3 seconds, until the
computer responds.
The computer turns itself off
while you are thinking about
your move.
• If no moves are made or keys pressed for 20
minutes, the unit powers down to conserve
batteries.
• Your game has been stored in memory. To
resume play, press GO/STOP.
8
• To interrupt the computer, press PLAY.
• Check the displayed move. Press the correct
square to complete the computer’s move.
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