A few weeks ago my old desk top computer was getting to be a problem. Actually I’ve had a problem with it running extremely slow and getting hung up ever since I was required to update to Windows Service Pack 3 in order to get Turbo Tax to run. I finally bit the bullet and bought a new laptop. I continued to run my old chess programs on the old computer though. I considered buying the latest Fritz and was checking around and found it available from between $50-$80. Personally I would have thought the USCF would offer the best pricing around for its members, but silly me. It’s all about the money with them and they have one of the highest prices.
So a couple weeks ago I was in Office Max to buy some poster board and was walking down the software aisle and what did I happen to spot? Fritz 12! I never would have expected to find such a specialized product in Office Max. So I pick it up with the idea of purchasing it and when I noticed the price I could hardly believe it! It was $19.95! So for US players, before you send away for it anywhere be sure to check out Office Max!
The system requirements have, not surprisingly, increased from my old Fritz 6. Also included is a one year premium membership at Playchess.com.
Minimum System Requirements: Pentium III 1 GHz, 512 MB RAM, Windows Vista, XP (Service Pack 3), DirectX9 graphics card with 256 MB RAM, DVD-ROM drive, Windows-Media Player 9, internet access (playchess.com, updates and activation). Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 7
The online manual stinks though. And apparently when using the infinite analysis function there is no way to paste the engine variation into the position. A feature I found very handy. If there’s a way to do it, I haven’t discovered it. Another feature, or lack thereof, I don’t like is the inability to delete games from a pgn database. You can delete games OK from cbh db’s but not pgn’s. I’ll have to find another program to better handle pgn db’s. Perhaps the simplest to use is Chesspad. ChessPad is a great little program that allows you to create, view and edit pgn databases, create games and diagrams for use in WordPad, Word, or HTML-pages and you can use Winboard-compatible engines for playing and analysis, view games in a tree and there is an opening classification system. Not bad for free.
The purpose of this post is not to review Fritz 12 as there are plenty of sites where it’s done far better that I could, but I did want to advise readers to check out Office Max or perhaps other office supply stores, or maybe even computer stores like Best Buy, before purchasing this product at the much higher prices.