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Fritz 9: Play Chess

Platform : Windows XP
3.5 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

Available from these sellers.
  • 3D-Worlds Chess with machines from the past and future
  • New 3D boards with realistic physics
  • New more powerful, intelligent engine
  • New Coach and handicap functions
  • 1 Year free access to playchess.com
2 open box from $14.51

easychoice home laptop

Product Description

Fritz 9 is the most advanced chess engine ever created for real people to have fun with. Your chess coach, mentor and opponent, Fritz 9, is easy to use and fun for player all abilities. Fritz 9 may have more than what it takes, but it has exactly what all players, however different, need.

Product Details

  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces
  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • ASIN: B000B643GA
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: August 24, 2005
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,434 in Software (See Top 100 in Software)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here

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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

I'd recommend staying with Fritz 8, a far more stable version, even if it is a slightly weaker computer chess engine.

As others have written, the reason for chosing an older version of Fritz is that Fritz 9 crashes so often to hinder your playing experience.

Heck, I've been playing Fritz since 5.32, and 5.32 crashes less and was a lot funner to play. Unfortunately it doesn't work on all Windows XP machines.

Back to Fritz 9... the post-analysis mode of Fritz is worth noting. You can play a game and have a full analysis in anywhere from 15 minutes to several hours, depending on where you set it. One annoying feature of Fritz 9 is that sometimes you have to insert the CD to wake up the engine to do the analysis. Fritz 8 does not have this feature.

Also worth noting is the infinite analysis mode, where you can watch a grandmaster game (or any slow game), put in the moves live, and see what lines Fritz "likes", as it calculates and gives a score to each line.

There is also opening training, endgame training, or you can add a kibitzer to your games, get help from a coach, and/or put it in handicap mode after you feel like you're beating your head against the wall.

Fritz 8 also has all of this, but is the most stable of the two, and cheaper.
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Chessbase has been providing the best chess programs for probably a decade now. I well remember buying my first chessbase program, Junior 5. That engine was so strong that it would annihilate even the strongest chess players. Now, a long time has passed, and I just don't see chessbase engine's improving that much. As the author of Hiarcs 10 mentioned in one of his interviews, Fritz and Shredder authors have decided to cash in all the money they can by coming up with new versions every 6 month or so. The only notable improvement to this version of Fritz is the Turk Table, which is really not useful to hardcore players such as myself. Mind you, my PC crashed everytime I tried to move the table around. Fritz 9 is a good engine, but in every tournament that I have put it in with engines such as Toga II or Kutula and Ruffian, it finishes third or fourth best, which is not exactly what you expect from chessbase's newest engine. Also, this program has been rushed into market just to come out a month or two earlier than the superior Hiarcs 10. Fritz 9 crashes a lot, and I get Exception this, Exception that messages from it. Besides, when in tournament mode, if you drag you mouse over the crosstable, it will copy a game from the database and ruins the tournament. In any case, I recommend Hiarcs 10 over this game, unless you have money to buy both! Also, while you are at it, get Toga II UCI. That seems to be an excellent engine!
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I have Chessbase 9.0 and Chess Assistant 8.1, Fritz 9, Shredder 8 and Chessmaster 10th Edition. I also own the Rybka 1.1 and Fruit 2.2.1 engines and have a Palm Tungsten T5 with Hiarcs 9.6 on it. All of these I use for different purposes:

Chessbase 9 is the industry standard chess database package (very user-friendly) and Chess Assistant gives me a bit more technical options (as well as a huge openings tree with assessments) and allows me to play on the ICC.

The Rybka engine is the strongest engine in the opening and middle game (probably by 100 Elo) and Shredder is the best engine for analyzing endgames (Fritz 9 is also better than Fritz 8 in this respect).

Fruit is the engine with almost no weak points. It plays a steady game throughout and performs well in blitz games and at longer time controls.

Fritz 9 is a tenacious defender of slightly inferior positions and is probably the best positional engine of the bunch (Hiarcs 10 is the best program in this respect).

My favourite playing partners are Hiarcs and especially Chessmaster. Hiarcs plays the most human-like chess (feels like playing against a strong GM). The Chessmaster program's options is not nearly suitable for the serious chessplayer but the engine plays very creatively. The training lessons of Chessmaster are quite useful.

To conclude I can say that Fritz 9 offered me the best standalone chess playing program package.
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It is unfortunate that several reviewers on this site have given totally wrong information. The two main errors are (1) to claim that new versions of Fritz (unlike Hiarcs) appear every six months, and (2) that Fritz 9 is no stronger than Fritz 8 and is weaker than Hiarcs 10.
Take the dates first. Fritz 8 was offered for sale in December 2002, and Fritz 9 in October 2005. A gap of almost 3 years - NOT 6 months! Hiarcs 9 first appeared in October 2003 and was followed by Hiarcs 10 in March 2006 - a gap of 2.5 years.
What of playing strength? Some reviewers assert - without any supporting evidence whatever - that Fritz 9 is little better than 8 but the rating lists show that Fritz 9 is between 70 and 90 Elo points stronger than Fritz 8, which is a major improvement. What about the claim that Hiarcs 10 is stronger? Well there are 7 major independent chess engine rating lists. Two (SSDF and PEJ) have Hiarcs just ahead but all the others (CCRL,CEGT,Koppel, Sedat and CSS) have Fritz 9 above Hiarcs 10. CSS is now the most respected rating list. Anyone can find out the strength of chess engines by typing "CSS chess rating" in their search engine to view the list.
In all respects other than the chess engine the two programs are identical. Hiarcs and Fritz both use the Fritz GUI, which some claim to find "buggy" but I have no problems with. Any problems that arise are likely to be in special circumstances in engine tournaments and are unlikely to affect the average user. I used to own both Fritz 8 and Hiarcs 9. I now own both Fritz 9 and Hiarcs 10. Fritz 9 is slightly stronger according to the rating lists but both engines are excellent and have own interesting and individual styles. I thoroughly recommend BOTH programs but ask that people are not fooled by ill-informed statements.
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