Thursday, June 4, 2015

Chess Playing / Analyzing Software - Update

Jimmy Steward (r) and Grace Kelly (standing)
A few posts back, I did a review of chess software currently available – either for sale or free to download. Here is an update.

To repeat, there are quite a few choices when picking a chess software program.

A chess program is invaluable to a learning chess player. It can act as a teacher, game reviewer – or as an opponent who will not make fun of you when you make a mistake, will let you take back moves, and will even let you set it up where he can’t play very well – so you can win!
What a great chess friend, right? All my chess friends try to ‘crush’ me when we play a game. Of course, they are suppose to try and do that.

But before you invest your money in a software, let me give you some information.

There is an established point system - called the Elo System - for determining a chess player’s strength in relation to other players. The higher the rating number, the better the chess player is.

Magnus Carlsen, the current World Champion is also the world’s highest rated player. He once reached the incredible ELO rating of 2882! That is the highest rating a human being has ever reached.

With that rating in mind, I will list the chess ratings of some chess programs, from high to low – with some comments thrown in. The programs I have are in [ ]:

3325 – Komodo 9 – available at USchess sales for $100. Make sure you have a computer good enough to handle this program’s multi-core capabilities, so you get the most out of it!

3310 – [Stockfish 6 – available on line for free by downloading the updated Droidfish phone app, I just did! First I had to delete my current Droidfish app - and replace it with the new one.

Now I have the 2nd best program there is on my tablet and phone. Whether it plays at a 3310 level on the processors on my tablet and phone is the big question. Komodo 9 needs a fast computer to run at optimum strength.]

3250 – Houdini 4 – available at USchess sales for $100

3219 – Komodo 8 – available at Amazon for $80. This program surpassed the Fritz line of programs from the same company. The price on this version may start to drop until the supply runs out. Timing is the key for picking up this program on the cheap. Are you really going to miss the extra 106 ELO points between Komodo 8 and 9?

3206 – [Stockfish 5 – available for FREE on your phone as part of the free ‘Analyze This’ chess app. I have this app on my phone and it works great!

I also loaded it on my Pad Notebook. I like it better than the Droidfish app because I can make it analyze and  tell me the 2nd and 3rd best moves also. Droidfish only shows the best line.]

3185 – Houdini 4 Extreme - available at USchess sales for $65

3175 – [Critter 1.6a – is available for FREE on your notebook or tablet as part of the ‘Analyze This’ chess app, which I have.  Critter no longer works on Android 5 phones however.

This program’s claim to fame is that it is better at endgames than most programs rated higher. Komodo 8 an d 9 now both have claimed to be better than Critter in this area now.]

3090 – Rybka 4 - available at USchess sales for $50

3088 – Deep Fritz 14 – available at USchess sales for $90

3045 – Deep Rybka 4 – available at USchess sales for $110. Lower than Rybka 4??

3041 – Deep Junior 13.8 - available at USchess sales for $100

2996 – Deep Hiarcs 13 - available at USchess sales for $110

2968 – [Fritz 13 – Who I call Igor3000 –which is the software on this computer, and the one I usually use to analyze games I publish for you. Paid $100 for it 2 years ago. But obviously there are better options available now.]

2736 – [Aquarium 13 – I have this program also. Picked it up at a clearance sale for $15. I don’t like the interface as well as the Fritz one. I believe the Houdini software is similar to the Aquarium style.]

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