A few years back I was commissioned to write a CD about using Fritz6. Somewhere along the way the project mutated into something a fair bit different: while using Fritz as the main (but not the only) source for examples, it became a disk/eBook about how to get the most benefit from any chess computer software you might own. Instead of being a “guide to Fritz” it became a Guide to Computer Chess.
Some folks had the misconception that the Guide was just a collection of articles which had already appeared online, but that’s entirely false — the CD was written from scratch, from the ground up, as an all-new work about how you can use computer chess software to help you improve your chess play. The Guide takes you step by step through many of the functions of Fritz by using descriptions, illustrations, examples, and even some “hands-on” lessons using a database of more than 500 Wilhelm Steinitz games which is included on the CD.
Several features of other chessplaying programs (such as the “personalities” in Chessmaster) are also covered in the Guide. And you didn’t even need to own a chessplaying program to use it — a demo version of Fritz6 was included on the CD, which lets you read the Guide and try out some of the software’s useful improvement features which were described in the eBook.
Quite a few readers have told me that the first section of the Guide was practically a book in itself — a seven chapter history of computer chess, bringing the narrative from the days of von Kempelen’s Turk up through the chess software “boom” at the turn of the 21st century. But the most popular part of the Guide by far was the section on using any chessplaying program’s analytical and database functions to help you improve your own game.
That’s why my Guide to Computer Chess is still very popular (and very useful) all these years later; even though the Fritz interface has changed, all of the features and tools discussed on the CD are still present in the new Fritz12 interface. The features are in slightly different places, but they’re all still there — and my CD will tell you how you should use them and why they’re important.
All of the features explained in the Guide to Computer Chess are also present in the forthcoming ChessBase version of Rybka4, which is why ChessCentral is offering a major special: if you pre-order the ChessBase version of either Rybka4 or Deep Rybka4, you’ll receive my Guide to Computer Chess CD absolutely free. The Guide normally sells for $24.95 by itself — so if you pre-order Rybka4 you’re be shaving $17 off the software’s regular price plus you’ll get (for free) a $24.95 eBook which shows you how to better use Rybka to improve your own chess skills. You’ll also be getting a year’s subscription to ChessBase’s Playchess server, which allows you to play chess against live opponents worldwide 24/7 and enjoy online chess videos and lessons (which is a lot like having a cable TV “Chess Network”).
You can’t really lose on this deal: you’ll get the chess software program which has been the talk of the computer chess world for years (Rybka has been the World Computer Chess Champion since 2007), a free copy of my Guide to Computer Chess just for pre-ordering, and you’ll be saving more than $40 on the whole shebang. If you already own the Guide to Computer Chess CD, we’ll send you one anyway — give it to a chessplaying friend or relative to help him or her better understand how to use chess software tools to improve as a chessplayer.
Check out this link for more about my Guide to Computer Chess.
Have fun! — Steve
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