When handheld video games were popular, I remember gathering around any kid who brought one to the schoolyard and jealously cheering them on as they ate ghosts, scored touchdowns or konged donkeys. When a kid brought his brand new Mattel Electronics Computer Chess with him, we all gathered around but most of us had no idea what was going on. So we were not sure when to cheer or back slap this guy.
After a while he was one of the few kids with an electronic device that didn’t have a crowd around him, but he spent almost every recess crouched over that LCD screen. Eventually I would ask him to teach me how the game was played and what small amount of chess knowledge I possess was born from the lessons he gave me on his Mattel Electronics Computer Chess.
Over the years, I would try a lot of video game and electronic chess games. Almost always they would leave me underwhelmed. Still even if I did not enjoy them, I still have great memories of having tried them. Mattel Electronics Computer Chess joins just four chess titles that I have some positive associations with. The other three?
- Atari Video Chess because it was one of the first titles that I owned.
- Sargon because it was an obsession of a friend of mine. I pretty much lost him for a year to that title
- Star Wars Chess for my PC. Even though it was still chess, I really loved the animation. It was Star Wars after all.
Ordinarily I would post a video of the gameplay of Mattel Electronics Computer Chess or a commercial, but I cannot find one. This is one of those rare instances where the internet has failed to provide. If you do own one of these gems, why not film yourself playing a match and share it online?