ChessBase have a knack of
bringing out at least one major programme per year and this year is no
exception. Last year we had ChessBase 9 and this year Fritz 9.
Computer engines have been
developed to such a high level that one wonders in which way they can be
improved further. ChessBase have found a way! Up to now most engines
have been designed using "brute force" as the motivation. They
have analyzed to the extreme and finally plumped for the most forcing
move. At times their recommendations have seemed rather unusual to we
humans and human grandmasters have varied their normal game in playing against
programmes. Programmers have concentrated on producing an engine that will
beat other engines. ChessBase claim that in producing Fritz 9 they have
disregarded it's performance vis-a-vis other programmes and concentrated on
making the engine more "human". It is very difficult to
demonstrate this change but certainly one can see the difference in graphics and
functions between Fritz 9 and 8. Apart from the usual variations in the 2D
boards there is now a 3D graphic which allows one to play against the
In order to use this
function one needs a powerful computer and even then one has to beware of a
programme crash.Here is a summary of changes as listed by ChessBase.
New in the chess program
* New super-strong chess engine: Fritz9
* „Position explainer“: positional comment about the current position
* New forms of training for the topics attack, check and defense with high-score rating.
* New handicap-function for practical training of positional play
* Printout of the score-sheet
* Evaluation profile with depth of calculation
* Presentation function: Show games automatically
* Alternative forms of chess: Engines for Giveaway Chess and Fischerrandom (Chess960)
* 1 million games from 1625 to 2005
* Chess beginners course (1 hr. video in Chess Media System)
* Chess course for advanced players (3 hrs. video in Chess Media System)
New server functions of playchess.com
* Calendar of events: list of the current
* Events with direct access through mouseclick.
* Multi-board: comfortably following up to 9 games in only one window, e.g. for team events or top-boards in world class tournaments
* Other forms of chess: Capture Chess, Chess960, Twin Chess, Ouk Chatrang
* Challenges with time limit span
* Automatically follow the best player
* Search for titleholders in all rooms
* Showing tournament title, round number and number of kibitzers in the list of games
* Flags in the dialogues Elo-opponents, channel-listeners, friends online, titleholders online
* „Who lives here“ information and current weather information on the world map
* The picture of the player is shown in the list
* Emoticons in the chat and new chat indicator
* Automatically defusing insults
* Rank information: „When do I become a Knight“
* Musical themes for players
* Machine room information: Hardware information saved in game, expected move and first engine evaluation as commentary.
* Supports Windows XP Themes
* Better menu navigation in 3D options
* Boards and interface with new color gradients and new buttons
* New look of the world map
* Direct access to the training databases and videos via the portal screen.
System requirements :
Minimum : Pentium II, 300 MHz, 64 MB RAM, Windows98 SE, Me, 2000, XP, DVD-ROM drive, Windows- Media Player9 Recommended: Pentium IV 2,2 GHz or better, 256 MB RAM, Windows XP, GeForce5 graphics card (or comparable) with 128 MB memory or better, 100%DirectX compatible, sound card, Windows Media Player 9,
To give some indication of it's
capabilities and strengths, attached are some examples of the automatic analysing
The first three games show the analysis
in the "Full Analysis" mode, the next three in "Blundercheck"
mode and the remaining three in "Deep Position" mode.
Game No. 9 is particularly interesting in
that the programme used a 5 man tablebase. If you are considering buying Fritz 9
- a word of caution. ChessBase are not renowned for explicit manuals and
although this manual is an improvement on previous efforts there is a lot
lacking. I would recommend that you experiment with all the menus to get a
good understanding of what you can do with the programme.
Fritz 9 costs £36.50
(excluding post and packing) and if you are a chess programme buff, the purchase
is well worth the expenditure.
(1) Wunder,S (2181) - Taeger,W (2294) [A49]
9th Bavarian Open Bad Wiessee GER (6), 03.11.2005
[Fritz 9 (15s)]
A49: 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 g6 3 g3: Anti-King's Indian systems
1/2-1/2 Karner,H (2390)-Gavrikov,V (2550)/Tallinn 1985/MCL) 11.Nbd2
Karner,H (2320)-Krupenski,Y/Tallinn 1998/EXT 99/1/2-1/2; 9...b6
Dryja,P (2104)-Markowski,T (2546)/Lubniewice 2002/CBM 90 ext/0-1 (38); 9...Nc5
Stahlberg,G-Ivkov,B/Beverwijk 1963/MCL/1/2-1/2 (47)) 10...Qxd1
Braga,F (2461)-Corsi Ferrari,N (2330)/Mar del Plata 1999/CBM 73 ext/1-0 (42)]
Black threatens to win material: Nc5xe4
was necessary 11...e4
doesn't improve anything 16...Re8
doesn't get the cat off the tree 17...Qc2
cannot undo what has already been done 21...Rxf1+!
the final blow 22.Kxf1
is not possible 23.Kg2
is a bad alternative 29.Qxa8+