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The new Fritz 8 True 3D Board

Fritz 8 has a photo-realistic three-dimensional chessboard. The high-resolution textured virtual reality board requires DirectX 8.0 or higher and a graphic accellerator. If this is not available you should use the "old" 3D board, which has a simpler virtual reality board.

This is what the True 3D board looks like.

 

Since the chess pieces and the board are fully modelled in the system you can zoom in or out at will. Every frame is recalculated on the fly.

Above is a zoomed-in image of a wooden board. In the 3D board settings dialog you choose between different materials for the pieces and the board. You can also set the resolution for the textures, making sure that your graphics card is able to handle the complexity of the 3D graphics.

 

If you deactivate "View toolbar", switch to full screen mode and in addition close all other window elements you will get a spectacular full-screen chessboard which is a pleasure to replay games on.

Above are some of the other effects you can set.

This is an example of marble pieces with board reflections switched on.

Finally the Real 3D board of Fritz has all the highlight functions you know from the 2D board.

Openings training

Fritz 8 has special training functions for openings and endgames. In both you keep playing a position against the computer until you learn how to handle it. Simply click Tools Training Opening training.

In the list of openings that appears you can choose one you want to learn (the position that defines the opening appears on the board to the right). The position is transferred to the main board and you can start playing against the computer. Every time you press Ctrl-N (for "New game") the same position appears on the board until you switch off the opening training mode.

You can choose between a simple and detailled list, and start each game from the initial postion to learn all the moves of the opening. And you can instruct the program to change sides after every move.

When you practice an opening against the computer, if you enter a move that is not part of current theory the coach will appear and warn you. It will offer you the following alternatives:

Extending the opening training database

The opening that come with the program can be extended or replaced by training files you create yourself. Simply enter the moves of the main line of each opening and save the game. Give it a name to describe the opening (e.g. Benoni Defence Classical Variation".

You can enter variations, which the program will choose at random on its side of the opening. You can influence the choice by giving commentary symbols. A "!" will double the number of times the move is played, a "!!" will triple it. Moves marked "?", "??" and "?!" will never be played by the computer.

Endgame training

This is similar to the openings training, except you get instructive endgame positions.

In the list of endgames that appears you can choose one to practise. The position is transferred to the main board and you can start playing against the computer. If you do not succeed in achieving the goal you can press Ctrl-N to start a New game. The same endgame postion will be set up and you can try again. Change sides allows you to try both sides of the endgame.

Note: you can extend the endgame training database yourself, or create an entirely new one to practise with.

Theme blitz

In Theme blitz the game starts from the position you have on the board. This might be an opening, or a middle or endgame position.

To start a theme blitz get the starting position on the board, either by entering moves or entering a position. Then click "Tools Training Theme blitz". The position will be displayed in a dialog.

 

Click OK to start playing the position against the computer. When you have finished press Ctrl-N (= new game) to try again. The same starting position will be set up for the new game.

If you click "Change sides" in the theme blitz dialog the sides will be switched every time you start.

If you click "Learn moves" then you will get the initial position of the game every time you press Ctrl-N, and you are expected to play to the theme position on your own. If you enter a move that is not part of the variation the coach will appear and warn you. This works just like the openings training and endgame training functions.