Is There Room For A Chess Computer In Your Life?

Don't make the mistake of confusing chess software with a chess computer. Chess software is designed to run as an application on your existing computer. 

A chess computer is a dedicated computer that does one thing: It plays chess.

While there are some pretty good chess software programs available, it's hard to beat the power of a dedicated chess computer.

No matter what your budget or skill level, there can be a chess computer in your future. 

No matter how new or experienced you are, a chess computer will make you an even better player.

Pick the size that's best for you

You can get anything from a hand-held chess computer that's no larger than a Palm Pilot, all the way up to desktop models with an amazing array of features.

Hand-Held Chess Computers

At the low end of the spectrum, the hand-helds come with an array of buttons and touch screens. If you have big fingers, or can't read small print easily, then this may not be the best choice for you.

They are hard to play in a car or airplane and most screens are not highly viable in less than optimal lighting conditions.

Most hand-helds offer 50 to 100 programmed playing levels that get more difficult as you go up. Most will let you play against a live opponent as well as against the computer itself.

Better models can be linked to other player's computers via cable or IR ports. There are even models which can connect to the 'net via WIFI or Ethernet. Prices range from under $50 to $300 or more.

Portable Chess Computers

Bigger than hand-helds, these models come with pieces and pawns that you move during play.

You can play against the computer or another human opponent and choose from among several hundred levels of difficulty.

Most of the better models come with "do over" options and include routines that will analyze your moves and style of play. Prices range from between $100 to around $500.

Desktop Chess Computers

These are the king of the chess computer market. 

These desktop chess computers consist of a full-sized chessboard that's wired with circuitry to recognize and respond to the movement of the pieces and pawns.

Whether you are playing against another opponent, or the computer itself, each move is recorded for immediate playback, take-back, or game analysis.

There's usually several hundred levels of play available and some can even replay tournament games which can be downloaded from chess sites across the Internet.

Prices range from $199 to $2,000 or more. You get what you pay for so study the features carefully.

A chess computer is a great companion when you have no one else to play with and a great teaching tool when you want to sharpen your game.

If you can't afford the best, start out with the most you can afford and then trade up as you get the cash.

To read lots more about chess and how to play well, you can return to the Chess Homepage, by clicking here

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