PC Chess Game

When it comes to getting a PC Chess Game - that is, a Chess program designed to work on Personal Computers (not for Apple Macs) - I have experienced two that are really worth a mention ...

One is Free, the other requires you to get hold of your dad's credit card. The games I'm talking about are:


Chess Glossary - Computer Chess Game GraphicFor a totally free game, WinBoard is very hard to fault ...

It's only in 2D format, but that's not really a criticism as 3D Chessboards, in computer games, require more processing power - so, if you've a laptop or a similarly limited machine, 3D animation of the pieces can become a real chore, which will spoil the flow of your game.

Another potential issue with 3D Chess games is the angle of the Chessboard can obstruct full visibility of some of the pieces - typically, when a King or Queen is one square below a Pawn.

With the 2D Chessboard, once you're familiar with the different Chess pieces, there's no chance of visibility being a problem and you can knuckle down to playing the Computer program.

WinBoard has a Chess Clock, which can be set to any time duration you want - whether a Blitz game of, say, 5 minutes, or a potentially mammoth 2 hour game, for example.

There's also a set of buttons that allow playback of your game ... This can also be used during a game - simply click the "P" button to pause the Clock (it'll then turn to show the letter "C") and then flick back and forth through all moves made.

When you're ready to restart, click the "C" button and you can resume your game.

Other controls and options can be found via the simple, drop-down menu. For instance, via the Options menu, you'll find you're allowed to customize the color of the Chessboard, the pieces and the highlight of the squares.

For more about WinBoard, click here.

Jump to PC Chess Game Section:
WinBoard | Fritz 12

Fritz 12

Chess Glossary - Fritz Chess - Fritz 12"So, if WinBoard is that good, is there any point in paying for a heavily marketed PC Chess game like Fritz 12?"

That's a good question, to be honest.

As you're paying for something, you're going to be expecting more of everything - greater quality to how the game looks; greater choice of features and options; blah de blah ...

But, still, will you actually benefit with these features?

I can only speak as a Chess playing beginner - at my current level, it's not easy to distinguish between the various PC Chess Games with their multiple levels of difficulty, for you to play against ...

It's kind of like learning to drive a car and the instructor asks you to point out the hazards - without the experience, everything's a potential hazard!

Chess Glossary - Fritz Chess - 3

When it comes to the animated movement of the pieces and the general look of the 2D Chessboards - in both Fritz 12 and WinBoard - if they were the only features to compare, then nobody would pay for Fritz 12, when they could get just the same, for free, with WinBoard.

And, while the PC Chess game, Fritz 12, has a selection of sixteen fancy 3D Chessboards to play on - whereas WinBoard is just a 2D experience - once the novelty has worn, you'll see no real benefit for having paid $50-$60 for the privilege.

So, there has to be more to Fritz 12 ...

  • The first, real benefit - one of the main reasons that ChessBase can create Fritz 12 and charge the price they do - is the quality and size of the database of game moves.

    When you play Fritz 12, that's essentially what you're playing against - the 3D and 2D boards are just there to help improve interactivity ... But, underneath the graphics is a large mass of optional moves, all given a relative value ...

    When you make your move, the computer program - Fritz 12 - searches through the relative values for the most favourable 'score'. When it finds the best one, it makes that move ... and the whole thing repeats throughout the game.

    Essentially, one marked difference between either PC Chess game - WinBoard and Fritz 12 - is the size of the database that the two programs have to work with ...

    The larger the database, the stronger the computer opponent (When Garry Kasparov played IBM's Deep Blue computer, Deep Blue had been programmed with 700,000 Grandmaster games - not just any old game - from which it could analyze).

  • Another feature that sets Fritz 12 apart from the free WinBoard is the selection of in-game, Training options ...

    For example, either before or during a game, you can select from:

    • Dynamic Hints ... When you go to move a piece, arrows will appear on the Chessboard to show which square you can legally move to.

    • Opening Hints ... Arrows appear showing all move options from Fritz 12's "Openings book" (part of the database).

    • Threatened Squares ... The squares on the Board will change color - in a traffic light scheme: red, yellow, green - depending on which piece is threatened and how well defended that piece is.

    • Spy ... Arrows are used to show what the Fritz 12 engine is planning to do on its next move.

    • Explain All Moves ... Prior to each of your moves, you'll be able to see a list of every possible move, along with their pros or cons.

    • Show Plans ... with this activated, you'll be able to see multiple 'moves ahead' ... This is analysis of different move sequences for both you and the computer.

And those are the real reasons to pay for a PC Chess game / program like Fritz 12 ... While you can play a casual game, the real point of buying it is because you want to properly study the game of Chess - and Fritz 12's vast database and Training features go a long way to helping you here.

However, if all you're interested in is playing casual games, then you don't need Fritz 12 - you don't need to pay for any of the commercial Chess programs, as WinBoard is everything you'll need.

Jump to PC Chess Game Section:
WinBoard | Fritz 12

Click Here To Begin Downloadng The Free PC Chess Game, WinBoard
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