The Chessmaster series is aimed at the novice to intermediate chess player, casual players who value an intuitive interface and a friendly approach to the game. As such, Chessmaster 6000 is filled with the types of features that are focused on teaching the game and making it fun.
As usual for this series, a wide range of chess boards and pieces are available, although many are primarily of novelty value. A plethora of windows may be opened, with clocks, move lists, coaching, etc. One area where the game excels is in the way it handles difficulty levels: 64 “personalities” are included as opponents, each with a photo, rating, playing style and full biography. This creates the feeling that you are playing a real person and adds immensely to the enjoyment of playing against the computer. Chessmaster 6000 will also give you a rating, based upon how well you do against these rated players.
The teaching aspect has some problems. On the good side, a large database (over 300,000 games) is provided for your studies, although the interface is at first a little clumsy. The actual playing power of the engine in the game is strong enough that if you have to worry about it being a challenge, you need to consider a new career in chess. The tutorials included are very nice in concept, particularly the spoken commentary. However, some of the tutorials contain errors, such as pieces not being on the correct squares. This could be very confusing to the very people the tutorials are aimed at, and severely reduces the usefulness of the teaching mode of the program.
System Requirements: Pentium II 233 MHz, 64 MB RAM, Win98
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