Fritz 10 - $99 Now reduced to $79
You are holding in your hands a copy of Fritz, the program that for many years now has fascinated the chess world. Whether it was the match against World Champion Vladimir Kramnik in Bahrain in 2002, or against Garry Kasparov in New York in 2003, or the revenge match against World Champion Kramnik in the National Art Gallery in Bonn, Germany, in 2006 – the pitting of wits of the strongest players on the planet against the world’s finest chess playing program has generated unprecedented media attention and fired the imagination of people from all walks of life. “Man vs Machine” has become one of the great themes of our time.
But don’t be afraid – Fritz has a different side
to its personality. The program will help you along during the game, with
numerous sophisticated coaching functions, adjusting its playing strength to
exactly match that of any opponent. It graphically displays threats and plans,
and provides full opening statistics. For beginners Fritz will explains moves
and positions, or warn you of dangers and of errors you are committing. It has
instructive training modules and amusing handicap levels. For club and
tournament players Fritz has long become a trusted friend and indispensable
advisor, helping them to study their games and find new opening ideas for their
next tournaments. A database with more than a million games provides the basis
for state-of-the-art analysis. Even Garry Kasparov has used Fritz on a regular
How often have you attended personal grandmaster lectures or training sessions? With its Chess Media System Fritz brings the world’s greatest chess players into your living room, in full high resolution video and sound and a synchronised graphic chessboard. Listen to Garry Kasparov, Viktor Korchnoi, Alexei Shirov or (former world champion) Rustam Kasimdzhanov while they explain important openings and ideas that lead to success. A host of famous chess teacher provide instruction in more mundane subjects, like opening traps, middlegame strategy, or endgame skills. For those of you who have never played chess before there are elementary courses to teach you the basics in a matter of hours. Fritz has a variety of beautiful photo realistic 3D chessboards, and can provide amusing verbal comments during the game.
Fritz makes it easy for you to play against other human beings, at any time, day or night. It provides you with a one-click connection to the largest chess community in the world, Playchess.com, which has over 200,000 members. You can play quick and informal games at any level, take part in tournaments, or attend live lectures and training sessions. You can also watch great international events, which are broadcast live on the server, and you can discuss the moves with players and grandmasters from all over the world. It is an experience you will not want to miss.
New in FRITZ 10: enhanced and improved chess engine developed especially for the 2006 Kramnik vs Fritz match; extended openings book; updated database; dynamic graphic tips for attack and defence; improved graphics and move entry on the 2D board; new high resolution 3D piece sets in classical wood; live display of the thinking process on the chessboard; more efficient position analysis.
New chess server features:
additional ranking lists, full rankings for all players, filters for challengers
with bad Internet connections, new and simple video conference function, bullet
lists in the engine room, animated global weather display, direct link to Google
System requirements: Minimum : Pentium 300
MHz, 64 MB RAM, Windows 2000 SP4, Windows XP SP2, DVD ROM drive, Windows Media
Recommended: Pentium III 1.4 GHz or higher, 256 MB RAM, Windows Vista, GeForce5 or compatible graphics card with 64 MB RAM or higher, 100% DirectX compatible sound card, Windows Media Player 9, DVD ROM drive. Fritz is Windows Vista ready!
So Fritz, one of the most knowledgeable programs around, has gained even more chess understanding in version 10. But apart from stronger play and a healthier, human playing style, how does the program make use of its new abilities? Well, there is a feature that taps directly into the program's ability to search for and execute plans, based on its chess knowledge.
Before we come to the revolutionary new function of "show analysis" let us take a look at an area where it is really useful – when you are watching top-level chess games on the Playchess server.
One of the pleasures of Fritz 10 is the sharper, crisper graphics, which allows us to follow multiple games on the server. Above is a case in practice: watching all five games of the Tal Memorial in Moscow. With the kibitzer engine running you can simply click on any of the boards to concentrate its attention to that position (the notation switches as well). Naturally all the boards are refreshed whenever new moves come in.
What, we hear you ask, is with the arrows and green squares in the diagram on the top left? That is the new function of Fritz 10 we have been leading up to. With the engine running you can see the plans that are being considered, graphically on the chessboard. The display of the critical moves and squares is generated in the search process of the engine.
Here's an example. The orange arrows show white plans the engine is currently examining, the blue arrows are the most important black plans. Green squares are the critical ones in each of the plans. The above position is from Leko-Morozevich, Tal Memorial (6).
The ability of Fritz 10 to graphically display plans is interesting because many of those plans do not appear in the main line displayed by the engine. This is mainly because many important motifs, e.g. mating threats, have been refuted in the main line. But they are critical elements of the position. The main line is just a very narrow and restricted window into the full contents of the position on the board.
It is instructive to watch how plans dynamicall change and new plans appear as the engine goes deeper into the position [above: Aronian-Carlsen, round six]. Slowly you begin to see the most important elements of the position and a feel for how plans are developed.
Above is an example from Shirov-Ponomariov, round six. Another new feature of Fritz 10 is the main line of the move the engine is currently looking at, displayed below the main line of the best move found so far. You can watch while each "try" is refuted in as the engine goes deeper.
In the above example White has 40 legal moves, and Fritz is looking at the 20th option. It is searching at a depth of 18 ply full width, with some lines going as deep as 51 ply (a "ply" is a half move, one by black or by white). Its evaluation of the best move found so far is +1.0 pawns for White. The search speed on our somewhat outdated computer is 750 kN/s = thousand nodes (positions) per second, and the total number of positions Fritz examined to come up with the currently best line is 39,642,000 – yes, thirty nine million in fifty seconds.
Deep Fritz 10 - Multiprocessor Version - $220