24 ( +1 | -1 ) Better to have ChessmasterAt my level (around 1450 - 1500 in GK), I'd rather invest in Chessmaster than upgrading Fritz. I don't believe the analysis engine will make much difference for my games. But Chessmaster is a different engine, if it is useful, and it has nice tutorials.
71 ( +1 | -1 ) furryfunbundleI disagree strongly! 95% of the players here cannot play a strong enough opening or middlegame to even get to an endgame. I also feel that chess books are a thing of the past. They cannot be upgraded, have new theory added, refuted information deleted.
Both Chessmaster and Fritz have some good training pieces. I also recommend to anyone, no matter what their rating to play as much as possible. Fritz and Chessmaster are reasonable opponents. If you are a lower rated player set the program about 200 points higher than your REALISTIC rating (not your wishful thinking rating). Once you start beating the program increase the rating.
138 ( +1 | -1 ) Thanks......for your opinion Coyotefan although I think the strength of your response a little harsh.
Please note I did finish my earlier comment off wth a ":-)" to intimate that it was intended to be light-hearted. The original question being asked by Gibo was whether it was worth "upgrading" one bit of s/w for another bit of s/w.
In my opinion, no. If you already have one strong chess programme then it seems (to me) more sensible and cost-efficient to invest your money in some other form of chess material.
In preference, follow either your suggestion to play more games or to study chess through whatever medium works best for you individually. Better still, join a club and play OTB under competitive pressure.
I do not believe end-game "study" (correction from "books" since you appear to have an issue with printed material) ever to be a waste of time whatever your playing strength. Furthermore, end-game theory is relatively stable and so not as prone to "winds of change".
I would be interested to know the metrics by which you base your view 95% of the players here cannot play a strong enough opening or middlegame to even get to an endgame.
Finally, having taken time out to let me know your view on my response to Gibo, perhaps you could give some thought to answering his question regarding upgrading to Fritz8.
216 ( +1 | -1 ) A middle ground?Let's remember that the people here generally play both correspondence and OTB chess, and that the way you study may be heavily influenced by which realm you favor. I've been spending a fair amount of time building my opening repertoire, in flagrant disregard of the usual advice to study tactics, because my ability in this area is extremely wanting. But my goal here is not to memorize lines 20 moves deep, but simply to reach a playable middlegame in an environment that suits my playing style. This has served me well in OTB play, but is practically useless in CC, where my opponents will certainly take as much advantage of whatever resources they have at hand. I have some general opening books at present; and should I ever reach the point where mastery of the Bogolyubov Variation of the French Defense means the difference between life and death, I'll spend some more money. But not today.
But I'd never assume that only 5% of my games would reach an endgame (or, to more precisely fit coyotefan 's figure, that I would have no endgames until I crossed that 95% level, then have an endgame every time!). Sure, it's true that every game has an opening but not all have an endgame, but that's no excuse for being unprepared. Even a novice player will do very well to understand the basic pawnless mates, the opposition, the weirdness of rook pawns, and the like. Here, I think, there is not so much call for B+B vs N+P, but how can you not spend real quality time with K+P vs K?
gibo , I bet you're fine with the analysis engine you have now, and you probably have no need to upgrade unless you're going for the database features of ChessBase or something. The thing that engines help me most with is identifying missed tactical opportunities or the little two-move combos that strengthen the position. I will never be able to calculate like Fritz, so why try?
It seems like I'm rambling now. Perhaps I need some food.
61 ( +1 | -1 ) No smiley face because I believe what I saidFirst, to answer he original question. For most, it is not worth upgrading to Fritz 8, or for that matter CB9. I do agree that Chessmaster is a better training tool thatn any version of Fritz.
As far as my 95% statement, of the 2.5 million registered players, I would strongly state that less than 125,000 has the opening and middlegame ability to get to winning endgames. I wrote a thread about a year ago recommending that all players need to start their studies at openings, then middlegames, and finally endgames. Logic would be that if your opening or middlegame is weak, you will not get to use your great endgames.
47 ( +1 | -1 ) coyotefanyou're wrong. Endings are all about the piece movement on a board with few pieces hence this will train your ability to let your pieces work together. Also it is important to have an understanding of endgames so you can assess what to do when you're playing the middlegame. Understanding of basic opening principles will suffice to get you through the opening.
You should listen carefully to Josh Waitzkin on the CM-program because he will tell you exactly the same... :)
44 ( +1 | -1 ) qistnixYou points are on the mark, for a good player. When you are new to the game, or are a weak playrer, it makes no sense to study endgames until you know you can get there. Understanding (not memorizing) openings is much more critical than endgame tactics. Then basic middlegame stratigies, finally endgame tactics. In no way am I putting down endgame studies. The best comparison is would you study Quantum Physics before basic Algebra?
110 ( +1 | -1 ) what to studyI have to disagree with you, coyotefan. I'm sure studying openings would help my game, and I know I will have lost games by the early middle game against players such as qistnix and probably yourself. Having said that, when I'm playing against my peers in the game, mistakes are often excused by corresponding mistakes on the other side. When I run my finished games through Fritz I can see significant swings in the "who's winning" column back and forth. As a result, I win and lose games in the endgame frequently even though I'm not very good, because the people I'm playing aren't usually grandmasters themselves. I think at my level I need to study everything, and running games through Fritz helps me see where I've gone wrong and from that I get an idea of how I can do better.
In answer to the original question in this thread, I have Fritz 8 and like it a lot, but I don't know which of those features are new so Fritz 7 may be nearly as good. I recently bought Chessbase and think it will be of immense help, so you may want to look into that instead.
158 ( +1 | -1 ) CoyotefanYou have strong opinions and that is your right. I have never understood though why people with strong opinions carry the absolute conviction that their opinions are always correct and other peoples flawed.
In the matters we are discussing here, there is no right or wrong, the arguments are simply not that black and white. Your views on the worth of end-game study are as creditable as any other persons.
For me, I do not regard "an end-game" as a concept consigned to the latter phase of chess. Many decisions are taken early on in the opening or the middle game around pawn structures that effect the dynamics of play and the type of end-game that may or may not come about.
Choice of openings can be played with a view to end-game prospects.
As a beginner, I was encouraged to study the Colle.. Several reasons… 1) simple to assimilate opening ideas 2) offers excellent tactical opportunities in the middle game 3) most importantly, if those tactical opportunities do not materialise, the Colle has latent end-game opportunity with 3vs2 pawns on the queen-side.
Learning the types of end-games that are typical to the latter part of the Colle Opening are part and parcel of studying both the opening and middle game of Colle positions.
I have no argument with your view that learning openings and playing middle game tactics is good for your chess. Of course it is, however, deliberately excluding end-game study or appreciation of end-game prospects from the earlier phases is a strange view to adopt (in my opinion).
43 ( +1 | -1 ) mrpithersYour points are well thought out, but I do have to ask one question. If you had a stronger understanding of opening theory, and middlegame tactics, would you have let your winning advantages slip away?
I think we are saying much the same thing. I think we agree that learning tactics and theory are important. I look at those as opening and middlegame study. I think of endgame study more as mating combinations.