Old world sophistication, not rampaging rooks

2/10/2005 – When a magazine like Game Chronicles reviews a nerdy chess program you would expect a gigantic yawn. "When I began playing Fritz 8, I figured a jeans and T-shirt guy like me would hate it," admits reviewer John DeWeese, who also tried out our children's tutor Fritz & Chesster. See how he fared...

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Fritz 8 Deluxe

In his introduction John DeWeese writes:

Fritz 8 Deluxe is the first computer chess game I’ve played since Battle Chess came out in the early 90s. I’m a sucker for such cheap gimmicks as animated pieces, so at first I wasn’t sure what to make of Fritz 8 Deluxe. Booting up one of the most powerful chess engines ever created, I was disappointed to see the interface resembles Microsoft Word. Where are the cool chessboards, blaring orchestra music, rooks that change into giant golems and rampage across the battlefield?!?


Fascination for the beautiful Real 3D graphics of Fritz 8 Deluxe

I quickly learned that Fritz 8 is tailor-made for the chess purist; no flashy backgrounds or animations here. This title combines heavy-hitting number crunching with country-club sophistication. You can play against the Fritz 8 engine on settings ranging from “assassin” to “drunk,” ask the computer to help you with the next move, or call up hundreds of historical games to study. The graphics are simple but elegant; you to play on several lifelike 3-D boards or opt for a straightforward 2-D board. There are tutorials for newbies, hints and cheats for intermediate players, and powerful analysis tools for experts.

Summary: Fritz 8 Deluxe has many features that will appeal to the true chess lover, yet is mostly accessible to newcomers. The coaching and analytical tools can help players of every skill level improve. While other titles may have a larger variety of chess boards to chose from, Fritz 8 offers some brain-twisting game play even on the lowest settings. There is also a strong online community who swear by this title, which is something not every chess title can offer.

When I began playing Fritz 8, I figured a jeans and T-shirt guy like me would hate it. While I’ll never be a regular at the local chess club, this game let me experience the old world sophistication of the game of kings.

Learn to Play Chess with Fritz & Chesster 2

In his introduction John DeWeese tells of his early infatuation with chess:

Back when I was a hopeless grade-school nerd, I fell in love with Chess. The game absolutely fascinated me for both its simple rules and possible complexity. I remember checking books out from the school library, challenging classmates to after-school matches, looking at the board at home and dreaming of being the next Bobby Fischer.

But after awhile I grew tired of studying dusty strategy books and stopped playing regularly. Ever since, I have been the guy who never fails to step on his bishop at the most critical time, costing me the match. Fortunately for the next generation of wannabe grand masters, there is the Learn to Play Chess with Fritz and Chesster series to keep chess training fun and lively. Learn to Play Chess is produced by Viva Media and uses the same chess engines as the top-selling Fritz Chess series.

Learn to Play Chess 2 (Chess in the Black Castle) is the sequel to last year’s award-winning chess tutorial. This title assumes you already know the basic moves, but that’s about all you need to know to get started. This is one of the best children’s chess games I have ever played, and even as a 30-year-old I learned quite a few new moves.

The game uses an entertaining Saturday morning cartoon style to teach what many kids might see as either boring or frustrating chess strategies. As Fritz and his cousin Bianca, you must rescue your beloved chess coach Chesster the Rat who has been kidnapped by the evil King Black.

Summary: My most memorable chess experience was checkmating one of the top jocks who thought he could best me over the chess board as easily as he trounced me on the basketball court. (I remember him overturning the game and chasing me out of the room, but the thrill of victory was worth it.) Learn to Play Chess 2 gives young players all the tools they need to compete in friendly games or aspire to higher levels of greatness. The drills are both simple to understand yet a challenge to actually work through. The story-line is simple but entertaining and the underlying chess engine has all the power that the top chess minds have come to expect from the Fritz name.

If you’re looking for a way to fuel your son’s or daughter’s interest in the game of kings, picking up Learn to Play Chess 2 is a very good move.

Fritz and Chesster - Part 2
Jump into chess action, move by move, to rescue Chess from Deep within King Black’s castle. Join Fritz and Bianca in a thrilling chess adventure as they enter rooms of the castle, where each challenge will help you sharpen skills and prepare for the ultimate showdown. Price: € 39.00 (including VAT)

Fritz Deluxe / Fritz 8 Champion Edition


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