With the advent of computers, chess software has played an increasingly important role for the improvement of players of all levels. There is a variety of chess programs on offer, targeted towards players of different levels.

In my opinion, the best software to introduce beginners to the basics of chess is Chessmaster. Spearheaded by the face of Joshua Waitzkin, a previous US Junior Chess Champion and an International Master, the engaging lectures in this program, coupled with consistent practice and review, can lead to huge leaps in a beginner’s game. I recently wrote a review on Chessmaster, where I highlight the important points of the program that customer’s should take advantage of.

There are plenty of other popular chess programs around. If you’re strapped for cash, you can find chess software of a surprisingly high quality for free. I have written an article on a number of free chess programs that are worth checking out.

Fritz GUI is probably the program that a player should move onto once they’ve exhausted the resources available in Chessmaster. It is perfect for the analysis of one’s own games – an essential element in chess improvement. Examples of Fritz GUI software include Fritz itself, Rybka, Shredder, Junior and Hiarcs. In continuation, Note there is a current free chess engine that is topping the computer rating charts in front of the long-time leader, Rybka. It is called Houdini and can be installed on any Fritz GUI software free of cost.

Once a player is familiar with Fritz GUI, there are more advanced programs to take a look at, including ChessBase, a more expensive extension of Fritz, designed for advanced database-related analysis, and Chess Openings Wizard (or Bookup), an advanced piece of opening preparation software.

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