Monday, November 30, 2015

Shredder Chess

     Shredder 12 runs on all Windows PCs with at least Windows 2000 including Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10 and costs about $60. 
     It has the usual stuff you expect: an nice GUI that's easy to use, 6 sets of pieces and boards both in 2D and 3D though personally, I have never liked the 3D setups. 
     It has a coaching feature that alerts you to mistakes and suggests better moves, an analysis feature, access to Shredder's online endgame database which I very often refer to in correspondence play, etc, etc, etc. 
     If you are looking for the strongest engines then Komodo and Stockfish are your best choices, but if you are looking to practice against engines that plays more like a human, Shredder is a good choice. Shredder will play tactically if the situation requires it, but its overall style of play is pretty positional. The playing level can be adjusted to any strength and the best part is that at lower difficulty levels it doesn't play stupid moves; it makes typical human mistakes...the moves may not be good, but not irrational. 
     Another handy feature is that Shredder will rate your play in normal or rated games and it can adapt its playing strength automatically to your strength. There's also a handy feature that gives a graphic display of your progress 
     You can download a slightly restricted test version of Shredder Classic FREE and try it out for 30 days without obligation from their site HERE. I might also add that if you run into any problems, their customer service is very good. You may also want to consider the multi-processor version, but it'll cost you more...about $106.  As far as I know, you can only order Shredder from the site as it does not appear to be available on Amazon.

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