Pocket Fritz 3 - Chess on the move

2/3/2009 – Pocket Fritz 3 is the ultimate mobile chess companion, ready to play anywhere and anytime. It comes with an extremely strong engine, powerful training features, and access to the Online Database with more than four million games. For users of this very popular program there is now a second superb upgrade, available free of charge. Buy Pocket Fritz 3 now or read more.

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Pocket Fritz 3.2 Upgrade

The new upgrade for Pocket Fritz 3 is available on the ChessBase 'Service and Dowload' site. Simply select "Pocket Fritz 3" from the drop-down list and press the "Download" button.  That will guide you to the download file. Compared to the previous version, the new Pocket Fritz Version 3.2 offers the following extra possibilities.

Extended variation dialog

The variation dialog always appears when alternatives variations to the main notation are available.

The option “Always take this action” allows you to define how the program will behave in future during the variation dialog. For example, should you select “Overwrite”, then in future an alternative move which is entered will always overwrite the one which was there previously. Via Tools – Options –Input this setting can also be defined as “New move“.

The entry “Always follow main variation” means that when you are playing through a game with the arrow keys, then the program will always follow the main variation.

Flexible text window

The program is able to show database texts. These texts can contain, for example, direct links to games or positions.

The user can enlarge or reduce the size of the text window with the two buttons below that text window.

New pieces

The update 3.2 now makes available to you the piece set “Ivory”.

Support for square screens

There are devices which have a square screen rather than a rectangular one. The new update now also supports these screens in full screen mode. For example, the Palm Treo 700w has a resolution of 240x240. In full screen mode the board will take up the whole screen, leaving no room for the clock or for the notation. In the upper right corner you will see a small button which allows you to restore the proper window resolution.

Default settings in the engine parameters dialog

According to the engine, users are able to alter various parameters and thus modify the way a chess engine plays. In certain situations that can lead to better results, but in principle it is better to accept the settings defined by the authors of the engine.

At the bottom of the screen for the “Parameters” dialog, you will find a small icon in the form of a spanner. A click on this icon returns the engine to the default settings preferred by the authors.

Internal power management

In the settings of your pocket PC you can administer the power management. This may make sense for the usual standard applications, but it may not be so helpful when using a chess program. For example, it is annoying when the power management settings of your PPC simply switch off the device during a long period of analysis with Pocket Fritz. Under Tools – Options –Input there is the button “ Keep Alive ”. This prevents the power management system of your Pocket PC simply switching the device off during a long period of analysis or during the playback of media files.

Textorder

Textorder can be set via Tools – Options –Input – Navigation. This function makes possible rapid navigation through heavily annotated games without the user having to do without the presentation of the variations.

The moves from the game are simply processed by the program in the same chronological order in which they appear in the text.

Let’s take the following game as an example. 1. e4 (1.d4 d5) e5 (1...c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4) (1...e6 2.d4) 2.Nf3

With Textorder Navigation 1.d4 is placed immediately after 1.e4 and that is how it is displayed by the program. Then come 1...d5 and 1...e5. After that the Sicilian Defence and the French Defence, exactly as they appear in the notation. Only then is 2.Nf3 displayed. With the option “ Textorder” the moves are considered in the same order in which they occur in the notation.

Tactics training

Pocket Fritz 3.2 has adapted certain training strategies from its big brother Fritz. In every edition of CBM Magazine you will find numerous games which contain embedded training commentary. The training mode is accessed via Tools – Tactics training. The training questions do not only exist for specific positions, they may also be found embedded in a complete game. The advantage compared to the previous training mode is that you can understand the complete development of the combination. Within training mode, moreover, the program does not just evaluate the best moves but also comments on deviations and awards bonus points for them.

Positions which are appropriate for training are marked *** within the notation. If the training question has not yet been treated, then PF3 highlights it in red within the notation. Once the training question has been done, it is excluded from the notation. *** are coloured green or red, depending on whether you have reached the maximum number of points in the Training Statistics.

During training, you can at any time request help from the program. Simply click on the "?" in the symbol browser.

The first tip you receive costs you 20% of the points. The second, if there is a second, costs another 20%. Whilst you are solving, the program will show in graphic form how much progress you are making. The different colours used mean as follows:

  • bright green / red for the points for the present position. Points that have been lost are shown in red, points you have gained – green.
  • dark green / red for points already earned / lost in the previous questions.
  • grey for the training questions which have not yet been tackled.

The idea is that the program should motivate the user to tackle the tasks in a serious and concentrated fashion. For that reason, points are only awarded for the first move entered. The program also only takes the first attempt at a solution into consideration for the training statistics. So you cannot improve your statistics by re-loading and re-solving an exercise which has already been evaluated..

Within the training statistics, the program evaluates performance as follows:

  • Bronze 10 exercises done successfully, 30% of the points scored.
  • Silver 50 exercises done successfully, 50% of the points scored.
  • Gold 150 exercises done successfully, of which no less than 25 in the previous month, 70% of the points scored.
  • Great Combinator 300 exercises done successfully, of which no less than 50 in the previous month, 80% of the points scored.

Training databases – how are they recognised by the program?

Each game loaded from a PGN database is checked for any special training indicators. If any such are present, then the training mode is switched on. So the game is only displayed as far as the first training question, etc. A source of training databases which can be recommended is CBM magazine and the databases it contains.

System requirements:

PocketFritz 3 runs on Pocket PCs with Microsoft Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC, TouchPad, Microsoft Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition, Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0, Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.0, Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.1. For the installation of the program you will need a Windows computer with a DVD drive.



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