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PC Game Review

Fritz Chess 12


Format: PC
Excalibur Publishing
RRP: £24.99
5 060020 473890
Age Restrictions: 3+
Available 06 November 2009

The latest release of Fritz Chess continues to fascinate the chess world. It has beaten reigning World Champion in the battle of man vs machine, and has worked with World Champions as a clever training partner (Garry Kasparov has stated that he regularly analysis with Fritz) which will entertain chess players with fresh and humorous verbal comments...

Fritz is one of the most advanced chess programs, developed by ChessBase, which will appeal to all chess fans whether beginner, club player or professional. The game is well known for providing just about everything chess players could want from a computer opponent: automatically adjusting playing strength, handicap and coaching functions, explanation of positions, coloured danger warnings, openings statistics, automatic game analysis, trainings modules for openings, tactics, endgames, and a database of one million games.

Fritz Chess 12 is the latest in the Fritz Chess series. Obviously, for those who own the 2008 edition (Fritz Chess 11) the most important question is going to be whether or not it's worth paying out another £25 for what is the same old Fritz but just tweaked a little.

Well, that all depends on how seriously you take the sport of kings. This new edition is faster and the design has been altered so that it's easier to access all of the important functions as and when you need to - making it easier for novices and experts alike to get to grips with the interface.

There are 12 hours of video lessons for every level of play. So you can learn the basics or improve your game - whatever level you are at. Watch instructive analysis of master games and listen to the discussion of clever opening traps. This video material introduces gamers to world class grandmasters including Alexei Shirov, Rustam Kasimdzhanov, Vladimir Kramnik, Vishy Anand and chess legend Garry Kasparov.

The game also includes a free three months subscription to, the world’s biggest chess server. Every day thousands of players log into this virtual chess club. You will always find an opponent that matches your playing strength. Or you can simply watch top tournaments and the games of world-class grandmasters played live on the server. You will be able to listen to the audio commentary during major events, you can receive live training, play in simultaneous exhibitions against top grandmasters, watch the TV ChessBase shows and play in league tournaments.

If you haven't picked up an earlier edition of this software, then this is the ideal place to start. And, if you're serious about chess but have already bought an earlier version of the game, it's still worth checking out as the improvements will add much to your game playing.


Nick Smithson

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