His son, Shane Samole, took a $25,000 loan from his father and
started Excalibur Electronics back in 1992. Sidney died on July 30,
Sidney worked with with Ron Nelson and later with Dan and Kathe Spracklen. Their chess computers won many world and national titles.
Fidelity's creatures won the first four World Microcomputer Chess Championships (WMCCs): 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 US Computer Championships, all held in Mobile, Alabama, in 1985, 1986, 1987 and 1988. A remarkable performance is its first place (tied with DEEP THOUGHT) in the 1988 ACM Championship.
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. Fidelity prospered. In fact, it seems that the
success of the Fidelity Chess Challenger 7 computer, which sold about
600,000 units was responsible for the move from Chicago to Miami.
Fidelity also produced
computerized bridge, checkers, and Othello. In 1989, during a
recession Sid sold Fidelity Electronics to
Mephisto, or Hegener and
Glaser, a German public firm also well known
for its chess computers.
These are pictures from the 2nd US Open Computer Chess Championship (Mobile, Alabama - USA) (June 17-21, 1986)
Sidney Samole (standing) next to Ron C. Nelson (sitting)
An ad from the late 70's early 80's featuring a Fidelity chess
Here's the information I found from the US Patent office on the patent for the CC1 (Patent 4,235,442):
Electronic board game system
An electronic board game system for a game normally played by two players, such as chess, in which the game system makes respective moves to moves by a player, displays the moves and in which the position and identity of each piece can be displayed, as well as other indicators.
Inventors: Nelson; Ronald C. (Forest Park, IL)
Assignee: Fidelity Electronics, Ltd. (Miami, FL)
Appl. No.: 828147
Filed: August 26, 1977
And these drawings were submitted with it:
Here are pictures from the original CC1, the prototype, which can be
seen at the Chess Museum in Miami, Florida, USA. Pictures courtesy of Jose
Olivera and reproduced here with his permission.
Here's a recent picture of Ron Nelson:
He's now Vice President - Engineering for Excalibur
Electronics, which is the company that belongs to Shane Samole, the
son of Sidney Samole.
Chess computers forum