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Keyword Query: PC Chess
You don't have a Mac. You have a PC ... and you want to get Chess Software for playing the game.

Chess Software - Fritz 12 - 160x220
Fritz 12
Chess Software - Rybka 4 - 160x220
Rybka 4
Chess Software - Shredder 12 - 160x220
Shredder 12

[This article was written August 2010] ...

If you're looking for a sophisticated training tool for studying Chess, Fritz 12, Rybka 4 and Shredder 12 strike a good balance between being relatively affordable, yet offering training and analysis features that can help your learning of this most complex of games.

The eagle-eyed among you will have spotted the Fritz logo on both Fritz 12 and Shredder 12.

Truth be told, all three of them come from the same Chess software company, ChessBase.

From what I understand, the difference between the three are the playing characteristics. Here's snippets of what ChessBase say about their different PC Chess software:

  • Fritz 12:
    Chess Software - Fritz 12 - 109x150Fritz has everything that chess players could want: automatically adjusting playing strength, handicap and coaching functions, explanation of positions, coloured danger warnings, openings statistics, automatic game analysis, trainings modules for openings, tactics, endgames, and a database of one million games.

  • Rybka 4:
    Chess Software - Rybka 4 - 109x150Rybka 4 logically continues the development of the past few years. Thanks to further development in the tactical area too, the new Rybka 4 will be indispensable for all those who work and analyse with chess engines. Rybka 4 also has a database of 1.5 million games.

  • Shredder 12:
    Chess Software - Shredder 12 - 109x150The improvements are visible all over the place. Especially the search and the evaluation have become much more precise. The engine is 100 Elo points stronger than the predecessor Shredder 11. Has a database of 1.5 million games.

Whatever the claims, I can only speak from experience about one of the three: Fritz 12.

Now, at the time of typing, I'm only a relative beginner to Chess. But, I find Fritz 12 more than caters for what I need, to accelerate my learning of the different Chess Strategies, Tactics and Combinations.

Looking ahead, it seems I won't "outgrow" Fritz 12 any time soon ...

GM Garry Kasparov has been quoted as saying "I regularly analyse with Fritz", while Deep Fritz - the multi-processor version - has beaten former World Chess Champion, GM Vladimir Kramnik (27 November 2006).

Besides potential differences in playing characteristics of the Chess Engine, all three of these PC Chess programs, from ChessBase, share the same layout and tabbed menus:

Not Ready To Pay For Chess Training Software?

If you're looking for free PC Chess Software, I've not yet seen anything to match the features and playability of WinBoard:

WinBoard. Click To Begin Download.

Now, for sure, you're not going to get all the sophisticated training and analysis tools that are programmed into Fritz, Rybka, or Shredder ...

However, you do get many features that enable to play a good game of Chess ...

You can set WinBoard up for a long game (as long as you like), or a Blitz game (really fast: 6 to 10 minutes durations).

I haven't experienced this, but you can connect WinBoard to servers on the internet and play against other human players, instead of against the computer program.

You can stop the Chess Clock mid-play and analyze your positions, scrolling back and forth through the moves you've just played.

You can also undo moves made and play for a different position.

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