Written by  :  Brian Hirt (10087)
Written on  :  Sep 25, 1999
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars

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My favorate of the Chessmaster series.

The Good

Chessmaster was the first computer chess game I ever played, and I was addicted from the start. Back in the days of Intel 8088's with 256K of RAM, Chessmaster was a good contender for an amature chess player like myself. This game had no bells and whistles like annoying music and overpowering sound effects. There was a single CGA screen with a top down view and good images of the pieces. The board was quite easy to focus on without being distracted by the other information displayed.

Expect a good fight on the higher levels. I could almost always win up to level 4, but after that it got harder and I never won past level 6, except once on level 7. On level 9, this program can beat 99.9% non ranked (and even some ranked) players. So before you waste your money on Chessmaster 6000, ask yourself what you get with those extra 400MIPS. The answer of course is annoying multimedia, the absense full screen gameplay and cluttered windows overflowing with useless information that distract from the simplicity and beauty of the game "Chess".

The Bad

On the lower levels Chessmaster would sometimes play very predictable and consistant moves. I found that a few games could be reproduced quite often to checkmate in about 10-20 turns. While these games didn't improve my chess, the speed at which I could beat the machine did impress quite a few people. :)

The Bottom Line

Chess master is a good chess program for someone who knows the basics of chess and wants to improve their game to help them crush a human opponent when the chance presents itself. The simple layout of the program makes it easy to get playing and stay focused on the game.