Chessmaster 9000


    RELEASE DATE: 8/27/2002

    • Screenshots
    The world's best-selling chess brand invites you to master history's greatest game.

    Whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or advanced player, Chessmaster® 9000 promises to improve your skills and elevate your level of play.

    Key Features
    • Enjoy and learn from more than 800 classic games, including the best of 2001 and 2002 Grand Master games.
    • Study the best opening moves and how to dominate the opponent sitting across from you.
    • Experience a new and improved chess engine, which allows players to compete against more than 150 different opponents from beginning to Grandmaster level.
    • Includes the new Psychology of Competition chess course taught by International Master, Josh Waitzkin.
    • Play a variety of online, multiplayer options, including rated chess games and chess games just for fun.
    • View the best graphics ever seen in a chess program, featuring more than 30 new chess sets and optional, true 3D gameplay.
    • Play against new, random opponents for greater replay value.
    • Improve your game with the new Blunder Alert feature.
    • Test your skills with the new Endgame Quiz from five-time U.S. Chess Champion, Larry Evans.
    • Jump right into a game with the new QuickStart play or turn up the action with "speed chess."

    System Requirements
    Minimum System Requirements
    • Operating System: Windows® 98/Me/XP (only)
    • Processor: Pentium® II 450 or AMD K6-3 500
    • RAM: 64 MB RAM for Windows 98 & ME (128 MB RAM recommended); 128 MB RAM for Windows XP (256 MB RAM recommended)
    • Video Card: DirectX® 8.1-compatible; 3D video card optional
    • DirectX Version: DirectX 8.1 (included on CD)
    • Hard Drive Space: 300 MB hard drive space
    • Multiplay: 56k modem for Internet play

    *** What's New in Version 1.0.2a? ***

    1. Fixed a bug regarding take back action.

    2. Fixed a notation bug.


    III. *** What's New in Version 1.0.2? ***

    1. Fixed a rare bug which caused you to always play against the Chessmaster personality in a Rated Game, no matter who you chose to play against. This bug only occurred on Windows XP or 2000 machines.

    2. Fixed a bug with choosing a random opponent in a Rated Game that could cause a user's rating to be inaccurately adjusted after the game was completed.

    3. Fixed a rare bug which could corrupt the names of the folders in the File dialogs (e.g. Load Game, Save Game, etc.). This bug only occurred on Windows XP or 2000 machines.

    4. Fixed a bug with loading an adjourned Rated Game that could cause a user's rating to be inaccurately adjusted after the game was completed.

    5. Fixed a bug in Blunder Alert in which pressing the "I Take it Back" button would sometimes take back the move in the move list but not actually move the piece on the board back to its original position.

    6. Fixed a bug in which it was possible to select inactive menu items via the keyboard.

    7. Fixed a crash bug that was caused by minimizing and restoring the application while the Game Analysis feature was being used. However, in general, you should avoid minimizing Chessmaster 9000, or switching to another application, while a Mentor feature (such as Game Analysis, Solve for Mate, etc.) is being used, as Chessmaster will no longer have as much access to your computer's CPU, causing lower-quality results.

    8. Fixed a rare bug in Chessmaster Live in which, whenever the user attempted to challenge another player, the user received a message stating that the player was not available for challenges. This bug only occurred on Windows XP or 2000 machines.

    9. Added two command line parameters to Chessmaster 9000. By launching Chessmaster.EXE with the "-disable3D" switch, the program will disable all True3D options, and not allow you to select any True3D boards and pieces. This is useful for users who have video cards or drivers that claim to be DirectX 8.1 compatible, but are not. By launching Chessmaster.EXE with the "-enable3D" switch, the program will enable all True3D options, regardless of what your video card and its driver can support. Note that these two switches are PERMANENT. In other words, if you run Chessmaster with "-disable3D", and then run it with NO command line parameter, you will STILL not get 3D support until you run Chessmaster with the "-enable3D" switch. The opposite is true for the "-enable3D" switch.

    10. Modified the "Mentor Preferences" dialog to contain a new setting that affects all engine instances. The menu item in the "Preferences" menu is now called "Engine". It still contains the setting where you can change the Blunder Alert Threshold and the Transposition Table Size for the Mentor engine instance. But it also now contains a control called "Engine Priority", in which you can tell Windows how "important" the engine processes are to your overall multi-tasking system. This is useful if you intend to use other Windows applications at the same time as Chessmaster 9000. HOWEVER, note that changing this setting from its default of "Normal" can GREATLY reduce the overall strength of play of ALL engines in the program (INCLUDING imported Winboard Engines!), as well as lower the quality of Advice and Game Analysis. Once again, this setting is ONLY useful for users who wish to multitask while playing Chessmaster and had difficulties doing so before installing the v1.0.2 patch. Also note that changing this setting will NOT affect engines that are currently active; it will only affect engine instances that are created after the setting is changed.

    11. Greatly reduced the probability of a Blunder Alert telling you that you should have made the move that you DID make. However, given that the Blunder Alert feature attempts to very quickly determine if a blunder is made, this behavior is still possible. If you find that the Blunder Alert feature pops up more often than you believe it should, then you should consider increasing the threshold value by going to "Preferences -> Engine".

    12. Fixed a bug in the Annotation window involving editing the User annotation of a move. This bug would cause any text after about 500 characters to be truncated once the "OK" button was pressed after editing. Users may now enter up to about 8100 characters of annotation text per move.

    13. Fixed a bug in which personalities that had access to the Endgame Databases would fail to find the correct move in the EGDBs if there was a White pawn on a2 or a Black pawn on a7, or in rare en-passant cases. Also, mates longer than 150 moves are now handled properly (only of interest for separately generated 6-man EGDBs).

    14. Fixed an error with two menu items and their corresponding accelerators in the Kids Room. The "Quickstart! -> My Level" is now CTRL+Q, and "Quick Hint" is now CTRL+H.

    15. Tournament PGN files are now automatically saved with Time Stamp Annotation information if that feature is selected.

    16. Fixed a bug in which attempting to import a PGN file with only one game into an opening book failed to import any moves.

    17. Fixed a problem with the biography of the Lili personality.

    18. Added another PGN Import criteria for opening books -- Knight Moves.

    19. Mentor Lines spin box no longer stops at 2.

    20. Blunder Alert window can now be closed while the engine is thinking.

    21. Fixed a bug that allowed players to choose some options from the table's right-button menu while the Blunder Alert window was visible and the "Why?" button pressed.

    22. Fixed a bug that highlighted the e6 square when the answer from an en-passant quiz was displayed, instead of removing the captured pawn.

    23. Fixed a bug in which the wrong menu was displayed when you right-clicked on one of your pieces.

    24. Fixed a rare bug in which you couldn't solve a "Pin the Piece" drill because you couldn't move the right piece as that move would leave your king in check.

    25. Fixed a bug that left the table empty on the last move in the last 4 games from "Josh/Psychology of Competition"

    26. Limit the maximum value of time of the game to 99:59:59.


    IV. *** What's New in Version 1.0.1? ***

    1. Added support for downloadable True3D boards and pieces.

    2. Fixed a rare problem in Rated Games (including rated games in a Tournament) that could, after the game was finished, cause a large number of dialogs to appear, each one referring to the result of the current game. This bug could permanently corrupt a user's rating. If you happened to experience this bug, you should delete your user and create a new user.

    3. Fixed a rare problem in which it was possible for humans to be added to a tournament if the user asked for random computer opponents.

    4. Made minor adjustments to the Capablanca, Lasker and Morphy personalities.

    5. Fixed two tutorial errors.


    V. *** What Problems Still Exist? ***

    The other bugs that have been reported, but are either not fixed or not confirmed, are:

    1. It has been reported that attempting to switch from a True3D chess set to a 2D or Fixed View set could cause a crash on a computer with the Intel i850 EP chipset. If you have a computer with this chipset (which has its video card embedded with the motherboard) and are experiencing this bug, you can avoid it by only using True3D boards and pieces. It is possible that this is not a bug in Chessmaster 9000 at all, and is due to a video driver problem with this card. This is most likely caused by drivers that are not 100% DirectX 8.1 compliant. You should also regularly look for updated drivers on your computer manufacturer's website.