Chessmaster Grandmaster vs. Chessmaster 10

dwardzala

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Is the new version of Chessmaster worth the $20 more ($40 vs $20) than the previous version (version 10). I own neither (haven't owned CM since version 4 or something like that) and was thinking of picking up one.

Also, are the AI opponents more configurable than the earlier (ancient) version I had? I could never find an AI opponent who was an apporpriate challenge for me (either way too easy or way too advanced).

Advice appreciated.
 

Scott Tortorice

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Is the new version of Chessmaster worth the $20 more ($40 vs $20) than the previous version (version 10). I own neither (haven't owned CM since version 4 or something like that) and was thinking of picking up one.
I am working on a review of CMXI (to be published in the near future here) and have concluded that unless you are keen to try out the new tutorials by Josh Waitzkin, I would have to say no. I have found CMXI to little more than an incremental improvement to CMX. You are probably better off getting CMX (which is now fully patched) and waiting for CMXI to be discounted and patched in the coming months.


Also, are the AI opponents more configurable than the earlier(ancient) version I had? I could never find an AI opponent who was an apporpriate challenge for me (either way too easy or way too advanced).
I have found CMX to have a great selection of fully-configurable opponents for all levels of play (in this regard, CM blows Fritz out of the water). However, keep in mind that the longer the time control, the tougher any AI opponent will be. I have been bested by AI players rated at a measely 1200 because I used a long time control. Ouch! :) This fluctuation of AI playing strength due to your PCs hardware and the time control is the biggest drawback to playing against them these days. It is for that reason that unless I want to experiment with an opening or tactic, I usually just play chess at one of the many free online chess servers. Playing against a real human will beat the AI experience every time.

BTW: You can download a demo of CMX here.
 
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dwardzala

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Scott,

Thanks for the reply - that was the feeling I was getting from the reviews I had read.

As for on-line servers, which ones do you recommend?
 

Scott Tortorice

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Well, for real time chess there is:

The Free Internet Chess Server: probably one of the most popular chess servers out there. Just be sure to use the Babas interface if you join as it is the best one available (also free).

The Internet Chess Club: This one is nearly identical with FICS (it does have a few extras, though) but charges a membership fee. Many grandmasters play here too.

There are some others too, such as Pogo and ChessManiac as well, but the two above are the most popular by far.


For correspondence chess, there are tons. My favorites are:

Chessworld.net: Probably the most active cc chess site on the net, partly because it is loaded with some nice features. While you can play for free, a membership is required to enjoy all its features.

Red Hot Pawn: Also a very nice and active chess site. Like Chessworld, a membership is required to get all the features but the free account is rather nice.

It's Your Turn: A nice, free site with all sorts of games. It has a basic chess section with some variants (we used it here to run our chess tourney). Games aren't rated, though.

Chess.com: This is a new site that has been making a name for itself. Besides having a free and nicely functional cc chess system, it is also a site loaded with news, blogs, chess articles and active forums and even its own email system. I recently joined and really like what I have seen so far (albeit, the notification system to alert you when it is your turn seems to be on the blink). I think as they squash all the bugs, this place could be formidable. Also, live chess is coming soon as well!


Hope these help.
 
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john2054

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Just to add my wood to the fire, I am probably the only person you will ever meet who has played through every tutorial on the chessmaster games, some more than once. And please believe me when i say that there is literally no new tutorials on cm11, which aren't already there on cm10. The only addition between 10 and 9 is Larry Christiansen's eight tutorials, but this is better than nothing. So like i was saying, don't waste your money?!
 

Scott Tortorice

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Just to add my wood to the fire, I am probably the only person you will ever meet who has played through every tutorial on the chessmaster games, some more than once. And please believe me when i say that there is literally no new tutorials on cm11, which aren't already there on cm10. The only addition between 10 and 9 is Larry Christiansen's eight tutorials, but this is better than nothing. So like i was saying, don't waste your money?!
Always nice to see a new chess player around these here parts. :) I am not as active as I used to be - I am sort of burned out on the game after playing it for almost two decades - but I still check in here from time to time.

I haven't booted up CM11 in awhile, but I never regretted getting it. I wonder if we will ever see a new CM?
 
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