Mephisto Chess Computer
Mephisto: Devilishly good...
For a long time without any significant development it was believed dead by many, now it has risen again - like a phoenix from the ashes. We are talking about the famous Mephisto chess computer. During the chess computer boom in the 1980s it celebrated numerous successes and became a synonym for chess computers.
More about the history of Mephisto chess computers
Now, in the fall of 2022, the newest member of the most popular chess computer brand of all time has been released: the Mephisto Phoenix. More powerful than ever before, it makes chess computer fans worldwide happy. Its elegant retro case and emulations of yesteryear now revive the glory days.
The most powerful chess computer ever
4 different top class engines are already included: Shredder 13.5, Komodo 14.1, Hiarcs 14.2 and Stockfish 15 NNUE. More are in planning. Of the built-in chess programs, Stockfish and Komodo in particular offer an extremely high playing strength that not even the current world champion Magnus Carlsen can compete with.
Shredder and Stockfish can be used with their neural algorithms. Mephisto Phoenix is the first chess computer to use this new technology. Experience how powerful these programs are compared to classical engines!
The system contains 23 historical chess computer emulations. All chess computer world champion programs of the programmers Richard Lang, Johan de Koning, Ed Schroeder as well as Elmar Henne & Thomas Nitsche are in this module.
Buy Mephisto Phoenix module & in set
The 80s: The decade of Mephisto chess computers
The birth of Mephisto
Mephisto becomes synonymous with chess computers
The end of the boom
Those believed dead live longer
FAQ Mephisto Phoenix
The most important questions and answers about the Mephisto Phoenix chess computer.
The boards are technically equivalent to the 40 and 55 cm Millennium boards with piece recognition and are compatible with all modules as well as with ChessLink.
The pieces are technically identical. However, the Mephisto pieces have a new, higher quality felt.
No, the Phoenix modules only work with the RFID boards with piece recognition from Millennium. The old boards cannot be connected.
No, the Phoenix modules only work with the RFID boards with piece recognition from Millennium.
- Yes, the modules are compatible with all Millennium boards with RFID figure recognition. This applies to the 40 cm Exclusive boards (M820, M824, M826, M828, M843) and the 55 cm Supreme Tournament boards (M850).
- Not compatible are the Performance and Competition chess computers (M830, M831) and the eONE (M841).
Status December 2022
Please send an email to our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org. The team will then forward the information to our developers.
This function is currently not implemented.
- Yes, the integration of the ChessLink app is firmly planned and should take place in the course of 2023. The app will then run directly on the Phoenix module and enable play on Lichess directly from the chess computer.
- A connection to Chess.com directly from the chess computer is unfortunately not possible, since Chess.com does not have an open interface and thus cannot be controlled by the ChessLink App. A game on Chess.com is of course possible via the Millennium Mephisto boards in connection with the ChessLink module and a mobile Android device.
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- Additional software for the Phoenix will be available in the future. You will find such upgrades in our online store. After purchasing, you can install the software using the update function of the module.
- Please note that any additional software will always be associated with a specific serial number of the module.
Technical questions about the software
- After rebooting the system, the general system settings, as last used outside the profiles, are reloaded. These include in particular the SYSTEM SETTINGS (volume, LED settings, etc.), but also the last engine used, the configuration of the analysis box, the configuration of the opening books and the selected time setting.
- The engine itself is loaded with the default settings provided by the respective programmer.
- All engine-specific parameters, the so-called UCI settings, are NOT loaded automatically. So e.g. the Elo setting as well as specific engine options like "Use NNUE" or "Skill-Level".
- Also NOT automatically loaded are the settings you may have used by loading a profile in the previous session.
- TIP: If you want to play regularly with constant settings, we recommend to save them in a profile in the COMFORT MENU and load them directly after starting the system.
- Many settings can be modified during a game via the Chess and System Settings.
- Some of these settings will only be activated with the next "New Game" command. These are especially settings with a significant influence on the game strength, such as the Elo limit of the engine.
- If you are not sure whether the changes you have made are immediately active, select COMF MENU / SHOW ACTV to view the current settings. Parameters marked with a * symbol will not be activated until the next new game.
- The rating bar shows the current position rating of the active engine.
- The way it works depends on the engine used. Classical chess programs usually evaluate by pawn units. If the white bar is one box above the center marker, white is one pawn unit better.
- Neural engines, so-called NNUE engines, evaluate according to the probability of winning.
- Another special feature can be very weak game strengths, such as the Play&Win profile in Komodo 14.1. This engine shifts the internal position evaluation in such a way that it evaluates itself significantly stronger than it actually stands, in order to sacrifice material more willingly.
- So the display of the rating bar will work completely different depending on the engine and the profile or settings of the engine.
- Lift the pawn on the 7th row, and place the piece you want to convert to on the 8th row.
- You can also place your pawn on the 8th row, then it will automatically be converted into a queen.
According to the rules of chess, move the king first, then the rook.
This can happen if SHREDDER plays with a low ELO number and the user plays much stronger. If you manage to checkmate the engine with a mate trap without the engine having foreseen this, the rating cannot be written, because in the UCI protocol the data exchange of the engine ends with the mate. This means that the engine does not receive the information that it has been checkmated. Therefore, in such cases, the rating remains at the original value.
- Our recommendation is to first limit the processing power with the SPEED button in the ENGINE SETTINGS. Set this to a very low level.
- Now you can further limit the engine e.g. with the time limit.
In the current version 4.00D this is not yet possible. In the future it is planned to unlock the emulator for some more ROMs.
- First of all, please read the current user manual as well as this FAQ to see if the system behavior is already described accordingly.
- If you don't find any information, please contact our service team at email@example.com. The service team will forward your request to our system developers for review. Please be sure to send a complete documentation of the settings you have used and how the behavior can be reproduced.
- If the last two searches of Shredder had a rating of >4.00, the last game will be counted as won when starting a new game.
- If Shredder's last two searches had a rating of <-4.00, the last game will be considered lost when starting a new game.
- If Shredder's last three searches had a rating between -0.17 and +0.17, the last game is considered a draw when starting a new game.
- Otherwise, the last game will not be scored when starting a new game.
- You cannot offer a draw. To do so, simply stop the game.
- Only in adaptive games (against Shredder) you have to consider your own rating. If you abort a game against Shredder, Shredder himself will rate it as a draw because of the positional rating (< +/- 4). So you can simply abort and start a new rated game. The previous one will not be evaluated as a "surrender" and thus a loss. See also the previous point how the adaptive scoring mechanism of Shredder works.
- The file pcs_dat_pginfo is created when the first game is transmitted, and later games are all stored in it.
- This collection file can be opened directly with numerous PGN readers or graphical chess interfaces. As examples may be mentioned Hiarcs Chess Exlorer, Shredder Chess (also free version), Fritz interface Arena 3.51 (free of charge)
- It is not necessary to edit or format the game(s) in a text editor before.
- An import into LiChess does not work, because from the first stroke the notation is no longer "understood".
- Therefore the clear recommendation is: Save the games on the PC beforehand and then upload them to LiChess.
- In view of the available space on the display of the Mephisto, compromises had to be made. Therefore - in the sense of a variant that can be displayed as long as possible - only the start and finish coordinates are given. This information is sufficient to follow a game.
- The variant may not be up-to-date, if the computer decides for another move in the last moment of the calculation. Tip: If you always want to see the current state, you should activate the advance calculation (pondering).
- Actually not, because the clocks cannot be stopped easily for a break even in the club.
- However, there is a workaround: you can press the Take Back button during the pause, and when you return, you can exit the TakeBack mode by pressing it again. In TakeBack mode the clocks are stopped.
The Phoenix is not really suitable for such a function due to the system architecture of the Raspberry and the complexity of the system. The Raspberry does not have a standby mode, and the system is similarly complex to a PC running a program with specific view options in which you have loaded an image for editing.
- Leave the position on the board
- Save the current settings (if changed) to a profile
- After restarting the Phoenix first load the profile
- And now read in the current position using the Position Setup.
- You will lose the position of the clocks, but you can continue the game with the same engine settings from the previous position.
If you want to export such games via PGN, it is recommended to save the game as PGN before switching off the Phoenix, and to do the same after each further partial game. The games can be easily reassembled later in the PGN file, since they are always updated from the respective position.
- To get the best possible game quality in most situations, the parameter "NNUE" must be set to "TRUE" in the "Engine options".
- This activates the neural mode in Stockfish, which significantly increases performance.
Technical questions about the hardware
Unfortunately this is not possible. The power requirements of the Phoenix are too high for battery operation due to the powerful hardware, the module relies on a mains connection. Please operate the module only with the included power supply.
- The boards are made of an MDF wood construction with veneer side covers and a full protective cover in rosewood/maple finish with completely flat LEDs, which provides perfect protection against fading or discoloration.
- The new construction provides excellent surface finish and makes the boards much more durable than the previous construction of Millennium boards.
- The Phoenix has 2 different WIFI adapters to enable high quality network.
- After the scan, it will display the found networks with their respective names, for example: "M2000 / wlan0 / 54 / 64".
- Here M2000 is the name of the network, wlan0 indicates the WIFI adapter, 54 is the signal strength and 64 is the channel of the network. If you see your network twice (once with wlan0 and once with wlan1), then please select the one that indicates the highest signal strength. The signal strength should be at least 50, otherwise the network is too weak. If you don't reach this value, you have to place the chess computer closer to the network router.
If the Mephisto Phoenix displays the WIFI networks or its own router as WLAN and WLAN (1) with signal strengths of 60 or higher, access is generally possible.
- Incorrect network key entry
- Password contains special characters that are not offered by the virtual Phoenix keyboard --> This can be changed in the router, i.e. a new network key can be assigned.
- MAC address of Phoenix (visible in System Information) not allowed by router for security reasons --> Allow Mac address(es)! of Phoenix (both WIFI adapters) in router.
- Unlikely, but also possible: Too many devices are already connected via WLAN at the same time.
On the settings side, you still need to make sure that the WPA2 protocol is used.
- Setting up guest access in the router with settings that are compatible with the Phoenix.
- Using the hotspot on the smartphone to check the basic connection.
- As of December 2022, WIFI access is only required for system updates.
- The Phoenix has a protection mechanism that protects the hardware from voltage spikes. Switching the system off and on immediately can activate this protection mechanism. Therefore, wait at least 10 seconds after switching off the system before switching it on again.
- In case of a blockage, disconnect the system from the mains and reconnect it after a short waiting period of at least 10 seconds. Now press the ON OFF switch to turn it on.