Required Operating System: Microsoft Windows 98, Microsoft Windows ME, Microsoft Windows XP
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
Media Format: CD-ROM
Product Title: UbiSoft Chessmaster 9000
Power Score: 4.4 | 11 Reviews
License Type: Full Product
URL: Manufacturer Link
Description: Chessmaster 9000 PC
Max License Size: 1 user(s)
Min License Size: 1 user(s)
Recommended Memory: 256 MB
Required Disk Space: 300 MB
Required Memory: 64 MB
Required Processor Class: Intel Pentium II Processor
Required Processor Speed: 450 MHz
Version / Edition: 9000
Product Reviews (11)
I have played a few computer chess...
Strengths: Excellent graphics, great tutorials, TCP/IP direct play, and many more!
Weakness: None that I can think of.
I have played a few computer chess games, and have found Chessmaster to be the best on the market. It has been consistently a solid, advanced PC chess game. With all of the personalities to choose from, it makes play feel like you're playing a real person. If you get tired with computer play, find a friend & play on-line! The graphics are the best that I have seen in a chess game. I highly...
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I have played a few computer chess games, and have found Chessmaster to be the best on the market. It has been consistently a solid, advanced PC chess game. With all of the personalities to choose from, it makes play feel like you're playing a real person. If you get tired with computer play, find a friend & play on-line! The graphics are the best that I have seen in a chess game. I highly recommend the purchase of this reliable, affordable PC game!
By ddezarov - Apr 27, 2005
Although I've only owned...
Strengths: Very strong engine; great teaching aids; fun "kid's" room; highly customizable interface; varied personalities.
Weakness: Poor chess boards; non-intuitive behavior in some screens.
Although I've only owned ChessMaster 9000 for a day, I have owned previous versions for many years. I would still use ChessMaster 6000 today if it worked with Windows XP. At the time of writing this, ChessMaster 10th Edition has just come out and the big question is: Why buy ChessMaster 9000 instead of the later one? Basically because it's half the price but doesn't have many real weaknesses....
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Although I've only owned ChessMaster 9000 for a day, I have owned previous versions for many years. I would still use ChessMaster 6000 today if it worked with Windows XP.
At the time of writing this, ChessMaster 10th Edition has just come out and the big question is: Why buy ChessMaster 9000 instead of the later one? Basically because it's half the price but doesn't have many real weaknesses.
Although ChessMaster is considered a "consumer" chess program (as opposed to Fritz or Shredder) don't let that fool you into thinking it can't play a mean game of chess. The engine behind it, The King, is one of the most respected engines in computer chess. Hidden beneath the surface of ChessMaster is a fully Winboard-compliant engine with all the features you would expect from a top-class chess engine (including endgame table support). Only a very few will be able to beat The King on the highest settings (another reason that CM 10th Edition isn't so compelling is that the engine upgrade, though good, isn't a major factor when you will be trounced anyway!).
The main reason I like the ChessMaster series is the customizable aspects. In particular the engine's parameters can be tweaked in many respects and "personalities" created for these. There are a large number of pre-made personalities but you can create / tweak any number of others to suit your desires. ChessMaster will also track your "rating" and you can play rated games against the appropriate personality levels as you improve.
The screen layout can be customized too. There are a lot of different windows and, as you would expect, you can fully size them, move them, open and close them and then save and load the layouts as you want. One grumble here is that the default layouts have the bottom hidden beneath the Windows task bar. Additionally some changes that should be localized to the settings. For instance, there is a setting that controls whether the chess pieces face the player or the direction of play (in practice this means whether the white pieces face you or not). This setting is usually set one way for 2D boards (see below) and another way for 3D boards. However, this is a global setting, so each time you load a different setting you must change it.
The biggest complaint I have about the screen layout in ChessMaster 9000 is the lack of decent 2D boards. At first it appeared that the 2D boards were completely non-resizable. It turns out that, though this is true, you can create a 2D board by using a "flat" chess piece and then tilting the board down so it appears flat. You can then use the mousewheel (or, not mentioned anywhere in the manual, the page up / down keys).
This can produce a reasonable 2D view - in particular the newspaper style, as used in the "classroom", looks great - but it's not ideal for playing against.
The interface itself has a number of rooms, each one reachable either from the main window or from a menu item. The main room for casual play or analysis is the Games room which has pretty much been discussed. Almost identical, but used for rated games, is the Tournament room. BTW, one of the best features about ChessMaster is that you can adjourn rated games. For those of us with families that's essential!
A really fun room is the "kid's" room. This is basically a customized set with a bunch of "kid's" personalities and some customized chess sets and boards. There are some specific tutorials and exercises directed towards children. My daughter's starting to show an interest in chess (particularly Knights) so I expect her to get a lot out of this as she gets older.
The classroom has a bunch of different tutorials, commented games and quizes for all levels. There really is a lot of material here and I think I will be exploring it for months to come. There is some shoddy audio here - on the Waitkin's games, which are a joy, you often have to wait several seconds for the audio to be loaded in. With today's computers and software there is just no excuse for not pre-loading the audio a few moves ahead!
There are some other features that I probably won't use too much: ChessMaster comes with a basic database but that's one feature that I don't think a consumer level program needs: Database functionality needs to be rich and intuitive and CM's really isn't either.
There's a lot more I could write about this product but I'll just summarize. If you want a great computer chess playing opponent, want to customize it a lot, play some fun games and do a little analysis of your games, you can't beat ChessMaster 9000 at $20. There are some interface flaws but there's nothing drastic and the downsides are easily made up for by the great features you get.
By plattyaj - Sep 14, 2004
I played chess quite a bit years...
Strengths: Options and ease of use. Tutorials and competition for all levels of play.
Weakness: It can be difficult to get the game set up the way you want it but this is not a major obstacle
I played chess quite a bit years ago and have just recently picked it up again. I found there were tutorials and excersises that were beneficial for beginners through advanced players. The software is well organized and easy to navigate. It can take some getting used to regarding configuaration but once you've gone through it changes are much easier to make. The "blunder alert" feature could be...
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I played chess quite a bit years ago and have just recently picked it up again. I found there were tutorials and excersises that were beneficial for beginners through advanced players. The software is well organized and easy to navigate. It can take some getting used to regarding configuaration but once you've gone through it changes are much easier to make. The "blunder alert" feature could be an excellent learning tool for newer players helping to prevent disaterous moves and thereby helping to develop "think ahead" skills. The various levels of opponents have proved to have noticable and approriate skill differences and the competition has been very enjoyable. I would recommend Chessmaster 9000 to beginners and advanced players as well. It has helped me dust off my skills and gain enough confidence to begin to play competitively again.
By ttrocano - Jan 11, 2004
I bought this chess program for my...
Strengths: Level of competition has a wide range. Good graphics, many chess sets to choose from. Easy to install.
Weakness: Rather complicatied for my 11 year old
I bought this chess program for my eleven year old for Christmas. It is his first chess program. He was able to install it himself. At times, he was overloaded with info. Too many things going on at once for the beginner. But it is a program he can grow with. Was recommended by his 6th gr.math teacher.
By tomatosaucey - Dec 27, 2003
I tried to find a chess product....
Strengths: really good for kids and adults' playing
Weakness: big software.
I tried to find a chess product. This Chessmaster 9000 may be the best I am currently thinking. It is hard to write a review because I am not a writer and I still need some time to feel about the product. Hope you will enjoy playing like me. My son and I like the chess.
By whzhu - Dec 19, 2003