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ChessGenius Classic - Chess Reviews


ChessGenius (or ChessGenius Classic) is a commercial chess program which defeated Kasparov (the first official time a computer had defeated the world champion in a game) in the Intel Speed Chess Grand Prix (rapid) in 1994. It is also a ten times Computer Chess World Champion. The newest PC version supports Windows Vista. Other versions of ChessGenius can be downloaded for mobiles and iPod Touches/iPhones. This program is not free, but the demo can be downloaded which supports "instant play" (the program responds almost instantaneously when you play against it). The demo limits other levels of play and basic database functions.

Is the demo version worth downloading? Yes, I think so, unless you already have Chess Titans preinstalled on your computer (only on Windows Vista Home Premium Business and Ultimate editions). Note that the demo version is not a trial, and can be used forever without limit. The demo file is not very large and can be downloaded from ChessGenius.com. The ChessGenius demo understands all the basic chess rules such as the 50-move draw rule, en passant and three-fold repetition. The demo version is great if you just want to play a game of chess while having a cup of coffee. Please be warned though, the chess engine is fixed on replying "instantly". This psychologically encourages the user to reply almost instantly as well. And since ChessGenius is a monster at instant play, you will find that you will lose probably 90% of games in which you respond in likewise speed.

Other features of ChessGenius include a "tutor", which keeps an eye on your moves and asks for takeback if it thinks you have made a big mistake. The 3D chess sets of ChessGenius aren't as pretty as the ones on Chess Titans and it may be harder to "think" using these chess sets, however, they accurately portray the game of chess. Nevertheless, the 2D chess sets are must easier to work with, so I suggest using those.

ChessGenius' strength gives it an advantage other Chess Titans. The chess engine is about 2600 FIDE strength according to the support team. It was written to be "powerful, compact and fast". ChessGenius is amazingly strong, even on the "instant" mode. ChessGenius has a "permanent brain" mode, allowing it to calculate your potential reply when it is your move, making it think more efficiently. ChessGenius has a good opening book, playing typical openings popular in modern play. ChessGenius has a set-up position function, so you can go straight to any position you want to analyse. It can be tuned into an "infinite analysis" mode, where the board enters into a sort of "2 player mode" and ChessGenius gives its thoughts on the position in the background (this feature is very useful). ChessGenius' database utilities aren't as high-tech as database programs like ChessBase, but it has some basic database functions. It supports PGN and CBF formats (although not the new ChessBase CBH/CBV formats), and games can be saved and loaded in PGN and CBF databases.

All in all, ChessGenius is a fully-equipped chess game, allowing chess players to play against the computer or enter their own games while ChessGenius gives its opinions in the background. ChessGenius is suitable for all chess players, although it is geared towards intermediate chess players.

To purchase products, I recommend Wholesale Chess. They provide the highest quality chess products at the lowest prices (especially for US and Canadian players). They even offer to match prices with other chess websites! Even though I live overseas, this is where I choose to purchase chess goods.

For chess opening training and repertoire maintenance, I highly recommend the software I use, Chess Openings Wizard. This software was approved by Grandmaster Peter Svidler (FIDE rating 2744 as of January 2010) many years ago.


Posted by Webmaster on Sunday, January 3, 2010.


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