Fritz – the ideal chess coach

by ChessBase
8/9/2003 – Everyone knows that Fritz is strong – strong enough to take on world champions in match play. But is it weak enough to be genuinely useful to the chess amateur? Emphatically yes, according to a review published on the Deaf Gamers site. Mainly the author is impressed in how realistically the program plays weak chess. Here are excerpts.

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Fritz 8 review

The following are excerpts taken from a beautifully illustrated Fritz 8 review published on the Deaf Gamers web site. The full review is definite worth a read.

The main problem with chess programs is that they don't play a real game of chess on lower difficulty levels. No end of times I have been involved in a close contest only for the AI to do a stupid move (or indeed a series of stupid moves) that not only ruins the game but also ruins the confidence I have in the software to develop my abilities. Many software titles display this kind of incompetency when asked to reduce it's strength to accommodate mere chess mortals such as myself.

There is an answer to this problem though, a piece of software that caters for the chess newbie and even Mr. Kasparov, and that software is Fritz 8, the latest title in the Fritz series, just one of the many chess titles published by the highly impressive Chessbase.

Fritz 8 is the ultimate chess coach and will improve your game no matter how strong or weak it currently is. Even the legendary Gary Kasparov has admitted he uses Fritz for his analysis. But whilst Fritz is virtually an omnipotent chess playing monster, it also knows how to play against a beginner.

I would consider myself to have an Elo ranking of about 900. Most of you will probably know that this represents a weak to average player and therefore I need help on quite a large scale. Fritz will always make a good move rather than an excellent move when it is playing against someone of my current skill level. This might not seem very significant but believe me it is.

There are a variety of games you can play in Fritz 8 but beginners should really begin with Friend mode. As you play games in Friend mode Fritz will carefully adjust to your ability and give you games where you have to play well to win. It's never impossible but it will always make it a challenge for you, which means you're constantly having to raise your game. Without realising it you're improving all the time because as you improve Fritz will slowly crank up the difficulty to match your improved game.

To the beginner and novice player such as myself, Fritz 8 is the expensive chess coach that I can't afford. To those seeking to become a Grand Master it's the perfect sparring partner who will finally allow you to realise your dream of becoming a GM. What makes Fritz 8 really something special though is the fact that the more you use it, the more you will get from it.

Overall Game Rating: 9.5/10
If you want a chess program to take you from your first steps with the game to the lofty height of becoming a Grand Master, Fritz 8 is the perfect answer.

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