ChessMaster:Worlds Greatest Chess Program Or Corrupt Criminal Enterprise?

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supersharp77
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ChessMaster:Worlds Greatest Chess Program Or Corrupt Criminal Enterprise?

Post by supersharp77 » Mon Sep 09, 2019 11:12 pm

I must confess that Chessmaster is without a doubt one of my most favorite Chess Programs...with Chessmaster 6 and Chessmaster 10 being favorites (personality adjustmentss and engine tourneys) Spent many enjoyable hours exploring the Gui
and learning about engine chess. All my research says that Chessmaster is without a doubt "One of The best selling and popular Chess Programs and Engines of All times....

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chessmaster

"Timeline
1986: The Chessmaster series started with The Chessmaster 2000 first published by Software Country, and soon after by The Software Toolworks. It was published for Amiga, Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Atari ST, ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, MSX, Macintosh, and DOS. The game had a chess engine written by David Kittinger and the manufacturer rated the game at 2000 Elo. USCF rated it 2100; in reality, it is unknown at what strength it plays because the testings were done on slow 1980s computers. In July 1986, CM became the first commercially available software to win the Personal Computer class of the United States Open Computer Chess Championship in Mobile, Alabama.[3]
1988: The Fidelity Chessmaster 2100 was published for the Apple IIGS.
1989: The Fidelity Chessmaster 2100 was published for DOS.
1990: The Chessmaster was published for the NES, and the Game Boy.
1990: The Fidelity Chessmaster 2100 was published for the Amiga.
1991: The Chessmaster was published for the SNES.
1991: The Chessmaster was published for the Game Gear.
1991: Chessmaster 3000 was published for DOS, Windows 3.x.
1993: Chessmaster 4000 Turbo was published for Windows 3.x.
1993: Chessmaster 3000 was published for Macintosh.
1995: Chessmaster 4000 was published for Windows 95.
1995: Chessmaster 3D for PlayStation had the Chessmaster 4000 engine.[4]
1996: Chessmaster 4000 was published for Macintosh.
1996: Mindscape publishes Chessmaster 5000 for Windows 95.
1997: Chessmaster 5500 was published for Windows 95.
1998: Chessmaster 6000 was published for Windows 95 and Windows 98 and Macintosh.
1999: Chessmaster 7000 was published for Windows 98 and Chessmaster II was published for PlayStation.[5]
2000: Chessmaster 8000 was published for Windows 98.
2002: Ubisoft publishes Chessmaster 9000 for Windows 98/ME/XP
2004: Chessmaster 10th Edition was published for Windows XP.
2004: Chessmaster 9000 was published for Mac OS X by Feral Interactive.[1]
30 October 2007: The current version, Chessmaster XI, was released for Windows XP/Vista (titled Chessmaster: Grandmaster Edition) and Nintendo DS (titled Chessmaster: The Art of Learning), and 12 February 2008 for PlayStation Portable (also titled Chessmaster: The Art of Learning). It includes numerous tutorials by International Master Joshua Waitzkin and GM Larry Christiansen for players of all skill levels.[6] Also contains the minigames Fork my fruit (which practices forking), Minesweeper (practices safety of pieces) and the tail game (where the player chooses a long-range chess piece, then trying to make a long tail using captured pieces, and avoiding the enemy pieces to capture the main piece or tail parts)."

"The King engine allows users to create new playing styles, also called "personalities", by manipulating several dozen different settings, such as King Safety, Pawn Weakness, Randomness, Mobility and others. Individual piece values can also be adjusted. Chessmaster 9000, for example, features over 150 different personalities ranging from International Grandmaster strength down to Stanley, a chimpanzee who, in most situations, plays completely random moves.

The personality feature has inspired many amateur computer chess enthusiasts to attempt to find more optimum personalities. In Chessmaster 10th Edition, the creation of new personalities has been made easier than before.

Notable games
Larry Christiansen vs. Chessmaster 9000 (September 2002), annotated at GameKnot: Game 1, Game 2, Game 3, Game 4
Chessmaster won the four-game match against Christiansen held in September 2002, by a score of 2½-1½.[9] The Chessmaster program was operated by John Merlino, the Project Manager of Chessmaster at the time of the match. Four different personalities were used in the match, the first three of which were based on famous human Grandmasters: Alexander Alekhine, Bobby Fischer, and Mikhail Botvinnik. The final game of the match used the default "Chessmaster" personality. Christiansen won the first game, lost the second and third games, and the fourth game resulted in a draw"

**All This Is a Part Of Chess History (Of Course)....But To my surprise A TalkChess Member Posts This**:
chrisw wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:35 pm
BrendanJNorman wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 3:54 am
jewelmind wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 3:23 am
I still find Chessmaster the most beautiful interface, easier on the eye and less cluttered than anything released since. So I want to keep using it, and I want to watch matches between good engines on it.

I've successfully imported Greko into Chessmaster 10, and the games are great, as Greko is around the same strength. Greko can even use Chessmaster opening books, which is fantastic.

For variety, I would like to import some more Winboard engines into Chessmaster at least as strong as Chessmaster 10 (or 11 - just bought it), but Greko is the only available one I could find. Everything seems to be UCI now. I find the instructions out there on how to import UCI engines into Chessmaster completely bamboozling! An example is this page:

https://www.chess.com/forum/view/genera ... ci-engines

I can't use advice like this as I'm not a programmer. I don't know what a binary is, or an ini file, or how to edit it or with what etc. I'm completely lost with this. I looked at the Polyglot download page and it may as well have been written in ancient Sumerian.

So I think it's best if I just hunt for Winboard engines that can be easily imported into Chessmaster, like Greko. What's good and available and where is it? I've seen someone state that earlier versions of Crafty and Fruit were Winboard - is that true? If so, where are they?!

Note: Please don't post links to old general info like the Wikipedia list of Winboard engines - most of the links are dead now and most of the engines are weak. I need specific links to where I can get good Winboard engines now, as strong or stronger than Greko.
I completely agree. Chessmaster ALWAYS had a stunningly beautiful interface, and I'd be using it now (Polyglot nonsense, I finally figured out), but one cannot include external engines in engine tournaments...that was a deal-breaker for me.

About Winboard Engines:

Thinker (versions 5.1c, 5.1e, 5.4d, 5.3b,5.2c are good place to start)

Frenzee 3.5.19

Dimitri (not so strong, but lots of fun)

ZChess 2.0
Oh, crap, Brendon! Chessmaster was a criminal class venture capitalist program, moving through a stream of bankrupting companies burning their way through outrageous sums of investor cash, advertising, branding with massive budgets and effectively extracting huge amounts of consumer funds which might otherwise have found their way into actual chess programming pockets, rather than making some crooked venture capitalists (who really couldn’t care less what they were selling) rich and ripping off others. The guy on the cover was an old homeless guy they found on the street, like the woman on the cover of Mavis Beacon teaches typing, same marketing guy’s idea, was called in from somewhere, and couldn’t type. This whole thing was marketing over content and they moved from any one engine programmer to another at will, for no apparent good reason. Painful just how many people were taken in by it. Cripes, even Chessbase, great satan in many peoples books, at least are/were a company that actually concentrated on and took an interest in the content of what they are/were selling. Chessmaster?! Pass the sick bag.
Fellow Citizens..What do we have here?... Historical Revisionism or Truth?... Is/Was Chessmaster The Greatest Chess Program in HISTORY or Did The "Venture Capitalists Pull The Wool Over ALL Our Eyes?
I appreciate your thoughts on this Important Matter...Thanks AR :) :wink:

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Ovyron
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Re: ChessMaster:Worlds Greatest Chess Program Or Corrupt Criminal Enterprise?

Post by Ovyron » Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:57 am

IMHO when people talk about chessmaster they talk about what you get. The interface itself, the engine The King. I still remember running through their tutorial and learning stuff. Their online mode was decent, better than ICC's Blitzin or any FICS interface.

I managed to install third party engines under it (back when I had to do it to test CM personalities, because I didn't know how to get their engine outta there), and set the funny animated chess board for them, so it was great fun seeing the pawns jumping around and making noises as the game was taking place. It was an unique experience (because, while software like Battle Chess, BC4000 or Chess 64 did it better, their animations are way too long to manage to play many games with them. CM's animations were a good compromise, and I'm certain many kids over the world had a blast with it.)

All I have is good memories of the software, and it was well worth the asking price. Heck, it had some voice commentator that could comment on my games analyzed with it, and I hadn't used Text To Speech software before, so it blew me away.

To me, that's what matters, not the questionable business practices of the company behind CM.
Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.

tmokonen
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Re: ChessMaster:Worlds Greatest Chess Program Or Corrupt Criminal Enterprise?

Post by tmokonen » Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:04 am

The poster known as chrisw was the guy behind Oxford Softworks, a company that sold a variety of AI based board and card games. Chris himself wrote the chess programs that they published, the flagship product being the Chess System Tal series. The whole philosophy behind Chess System Tal was to avoid being a bean counter like competing products (ie deep searchers, with speedy but limited evaluation functions), and instead to be a strongly knowledge based program, with a Tal-like, uber-aggressive, humanistic style. He was pretty successful in that regard; CS Tal had a very low NPS compared to its contemporaries, but was still competitive with them in tournaments, and had a pretty entertaining playing style to boot. Hence, there are many posts from Chris and his former software tester Thorsten Czub decrying the bean counters in computer chess, with their inhuman, tactically strong yet positionally dubious styles.

Software Toolworks, the company that originally published the Chessmaster series and Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing, was a direct competitor to Chris's company, so it's pretty understandable that he would have some animus towards a company that basically took money out of his pocket. There is a lot of truth in what Chris says about Chessmaster, but you also have to know that he has a very provocative, devil's advocate posting style that bothers some people. However, he also has a sly sense of humor, with tongue planted firmly in cheek. I mean, what other self-made millionaire goes on and on about the evils of capitalism?

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Rebel
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Re: ChessMaster:Worlds Greatest Chess Program Or Corrupt Criminal Enterprise?

Post by Rebel » Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:01 am

ChessMaster:Worlds Greatest Chess Program Or Corrupt Criminal Enterprise?

Worlds Greatest Chess Program is Fritz.

Corrupt Criminal Enterprise? - On the box of a ChessMaster version (around 1993/94) it was stated the program was world champion. That was not true. I contacted them, they said they would change the box, I didn't bother to check if that actually happened.
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corres
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Re: ChessMaster:Worlds Greatest Chess Program Or Corrupt Criminal Enterprise?

Post by corres » Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:56 am

Rebel wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:01 am
Worlds Greatest Chess Program is Fritz.
It is true. I agree.

supersharp77
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Re: ChessMaster:Worlds Greatest Chess Program Or Corrupt Criminal Enterprise?

Post by supersharp77 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:39 pm

tmokonen wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:04 am
The poster known as chrisw was the guy behind Oxford Softworks, a company that sold a variety of AI based board and card games. Chris himself wrote the chess programs that they published, the flagship product being the Chess System Tal series. The whole philosophy behind Chess System Tal was to avoid being a bean counter like competing products (ie deep searchers, with speedy but limited evaluation functions), and instead to be a strongly knowledge based program, with a Tal-like, uber-aggressive, humanistic style. He was pretty successful in that regard; CS Tal had a very low NPS compared to its contemporaries, but was still competitive with them in tournaments, and had a pretty entertaining playing style to boot. Hence, there are many posts from Chris and his former software tester Thorsten Czub decrying the bean counters in computer chess, with their inhuman, tactically strong yet positionally dubious styles.

Software Toolworks, the company that originally published the Chessmaster series and Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing, was a direct competitor to Chris's company, so it's pretty understandable that he would have some animus towards a company that basically took money out of his pocket. There is a lot of truth in what Chris says about Chessmaster, but you also have to know that he has a very provocative, devil's advocate posting style that bothers some people. However, he also has a sly sense of humor, with tongue planted firmly in cheek. I mean, what other self-made millionaire goes on and on about the evils of capitalism?
Yesssss...."Software Toolworks" A Great Name From The Past.....Office Max (Office Depot) seemed to carry quite a few of their products as I remember...I do believe that Chess system Tal (A fantastic Program) is one of theirs...I wish someone would "free" Tal from Chess system Tal or allow other engines to go in to Chess System Tal...otherwise we will never know for sure...Manually tested it a bit and it held its own vs Junior 7 and Chessmaster (A series of complex Draws as I recall) Perhaps he has a beef as they were competitors for sure...Fritz 6 vs Chessmaster? Just 2 different types of programs...Crazy Tactics vs solid positional play...For Analysis and Database and Serious testing ...It's Fritz hands down...For Fun...Chessmaster and Junior 7.... Lokasoft is high up on my list as well (Chesspartner 5.4).... :) :wink:

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Ovyron
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Re: ChessMaster:Worlds Greatest Chess Program Or Corrupt Criminal Enterprise?

Post by Ovyron » Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:41 pm

supersharp77 wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:39 pm
Perhaps he has a beef as they were competitors for sure...
One thing that happened here is that Chessmaster was a very successful program, boasting about being the best sold chess software for several years. Released for several systems beyond the MS-DOS version and Windows, like in the Nintendo NES, Game Boy, Playstation and Xbox video game consoles.

For comparison Chess System Tal is only remembered by people in this Computer Chess niche, so whatever questionable business practice CM developers incurred into, they worked. Chessmaster remains alive.

(...or at least remained alive until around 2017 with its Steam release? the last trace of the software seems to be around this time, recommended alongside Fritz 15 and Komodo 10 (and Rybka! Rybka appears twice on the list!), but Chessmaster might have died 18 months ago and I didn't know.)
Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.

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Re: ChessMaster:Worlds Greatest Chess Program Or Corrupt Criminal Enterprise?

Post by Nordlandia » Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:31 am

I know few here have mentioned that they want to see another revamp for Chessmaster vs human opponents. Best case scenario here will undoubtedly be Nakamura vs Chessmaster if he is willing to do so with or without odds. Perhaps time odds can be considered if possible.

Or maybe ask Nakamura if he will play against Chessmaster on his own computer and stream the games with commentary ?

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Re: ChessMaster:Worlds Greatest Chess Program Or Corrupt Criminal Enterprise?

Post by Ovyron » Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:27 am

At this point the most entertaining thing about those things is the commentary and reactions of the player, more than the games themselves. What also works is a third party involved, I wonder if someone can get in contact with Chess Network to commentate on new ChessMaster v Human or Komodo games.
Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.

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Re: ChessMaster:Worlds Greatest Chess Program Or Corrupt Criminal Enterprise?

Post by Nordlandia » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:20 am

Ovyron wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:27 am
At this point the most entertaining thing about those things is the commentary and reactions of the player, more than the games themselves. What also works is a third party involved, I wonder if someone can get in contact with Chess Network to commentate on new ChessMaster v Human or Komodo games.
It's not a easy stroll in the park for CM 9000 to defeat Nakamura. CM interface support material odds setup and seperate time controls afaik.

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