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Computer chess.

Every kid knows that computers are smart. A lot of adults were upset when Garry Kasparov, considered the world's best chess player, lost his match to IBM's brainiac chess computer Deep Blue last May. The real upset of the match was that human being Kasparov actually beat Deep Blue in the first game. (Kasparov lost the second game, tied the third, and was blown away in nineteen moves in the final, fourth game.)

When it comes to chess, computers are a kid's best friend. They'll play whenever you want -- they never get tired or cranky. The better chess programs will teach you all kinds of cool moves, and the really good ones will help you improve your skills by giving you problems to solve and advice on your game. If you go onto the Internet, you can find other chess players (humans, that is) who will gladly challenge you to a game.

For a beginning or intermediate players, there is no better program than Maurice Ashley Teaches Chess, from the Davidson company. Mr. Ashley, an International Master, takes on the role of a coach. In fact, he sounds just like your school sports coach. He talks to you. He drills you and trains you. Then it's up to you to take on the other team -- in this case the computer itself -- at one of three levels of difficulty. The program costs about $45. Call Davidson at 1-800-545-7677.

If you are a good player already and want a real challenge, the new Power Chess program by Sierra is a real mindblower. It's not just powerful; it's got real personality. If you just want to be crushed, you can play the Chess Queen. If you want to play someone who is just a little better than you, play the Chess King (the computer figures out your level of play, and just barely beats you). Afterward, the Chess Queen walks you through your game and points out the good and bad moves. Or you can play the Chess Prince, the Chess Princess, one of the Chess Nobles, or one of twenty "Commoners." All have personalities (some you create) and act more like real players than machines. Cost: $30. Call Sierra On-line at 1-800-757-7707.
COPYRIGHT 1997 Children's Better Health Institute
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Copyright 1997 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Software Review; Evaluation
Publication:U.S. Kids
Article Type:Product/Service Evaluation
Date:Sep 1, 1997
Words:370
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