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"Chessmaster 10th Edition" is a board video game. It was first released in 2004 as a three disc PC CD-ROM title by Ubisoft. In the European marketplace, the game received an age guidance rating which deemed the title appropriate for ages three and above. The system requirements to run the game are minimal by today's standards but include:
System: Pentium III 450 MHz or equivalent
RAM: 128 MB
Video Memory: 4 MB
Hard Drive Space: 540 MB
Chessmaster has been a definitive title in terms of Chess video games. Since 1986, the game has received several updates and releases for different consoles and systems. The 10th Edition for the personal computer could perhaps be described as an "all in one" compendium appealing to different age ranges and skill levels. As a novice in Chess myself, I found this title to be useful for building up basic skills and tactics. Young children who are new to the game may click the "fun" icon which reveals age appropriate tutorials and drills to present the basic functions of Chess, and rewards players for their progress with items such as printable certificates. There is also a quick play option for children which uses a quirky chess set filled with bright and colourful animations. Teenage to adult years who require lessons in the art of Chess may find themselves in the "academy" of Chessmaster which includes video tips and tricks from gradmaster Larry Christiansen. These presentations include full spoken word coverage which appeals to me as an audio learner. The academy also features numerous annotated games which allows a brief sifting through techniques and possible strategies related to certain board presentations.
Aside from the interactive learning aspects, the game also includes free play and tournament matches. Chessmaster includes a variety of different personalities who each bring their own unique flair to the gaming board. Each computerized player comes with a readable biography and this gives some insight regarding potential strategies a player must employ in order to successfully defeat him or her. Each game is based on an intuitive click and drag interface which I found easy to use and was quickly immersed within the game without the need to read additional documentation.
Continual participation in the game seems almost like a prerequisite of installation. The title features 25 different sets of chess pieces but most of these will require "unlocking" by winning matches against certain opponents. This does provide the software with a sense of "stickiness", but personally I would liked to have had a fully accessible Chess game at first load as opposed to being required to win several matches before being granted another Chess set.
The graphics are presented from a three dimensional perspective which can be adjusted and panned to meet a player's certain requirement. By default, the basic chess set is standard in its presentation and meets what I would have expected of it. While lacking in finer details, such as eyelets for the knight, I was able to easily distinguish between the various pieces with ease. In tutorial modes, the player will receive audio cues regarding moves and potential counters. Besides this, Chessmaster is a silent affair with no noticeable audio accompanying gameplay.
Chessmaster 10th Edition was a great selection for my Chess needs on the personal computer. The learning environments greatly assisted me with bettering my game, and it is a functional Chess experience when played. I would happily recommend it to prospective buyers.
I often wonder how Chess games sell so well. It seems to me that the Chessmaster series only has too target buyers; those who play chess extremely well and those who wish to play chess extremely well. No doubt, there are a lot of people who don't fit into those categories and probably wouldn't buy Chessmaster and yet it has sold well enough to make it to the 10th iteration. Frankly, regardless of the size of the consumerbase, Chessmaster deserves it.
The basic premise of Chessmaster is this: Provide the buyer with a series of Chess tutorials beginning with the basics and incrementally increasing until the player can then play against opponents. Then incrementally increases the difficulty of the opponents until, upon completion, the player is one of the most advanced chess players in the world. I imagine very few have ever reached this goal but that is simply because computers are notoriously hard to beat at chess.
It's a good system. Chessmaster is a well configured educational course on top of being a great chess game and those that put the time in can learn every facet of the game. For a price usually sub £20 that's not a bad deal. The game pushes you to improve while providing you with amazing extras such as virtual versions of famous chess players to challenge, facts about the game, histories of tournaments, vast archives of chess related knowledge and a ranking system to track your progress.
Chessmaster is the ultimate product for people, regardless of skill, who want to play chess and want to play it well.
Chessmaster 8th Edition will make you a better chess player, showing you how to master history's greatest game!. These interactive games will improve your strategic skills, regardless of your level of experience. Whether you are new to chess or a tournament-level player, Chessmaster 10th Edition allows you to master history's greatest game.