Based on the best-selling chess-book of the same name by Bobby Fischer.
The educational course, illustrated history of chess and 500 chess matches of amazing Bobby are presented in this game.
Window-interface, 3D view, feedback of any depth, match recording and replaying are present. The strength of the engine is similar to Chessmaster 2000.
All chess lovers out there have certainly heard the name of Bobby Fischer. He was the USA chess sensation, the only American who could really challenge the Soviet dominated world of chess during the times of the cold war. Even those who don't love or play chess might have heard about him, for he was involved with scandals (I think he still can't return to the US because of violating sanctions imposed on Yugoslavia, which he ignored and went to play in a tournament there anyway) or by books and movies based on him or at least exploiting his name.
As the name of the game proposes this is not about his life (even though there is a short biography included from the book with the same title), but it's about playing and improving your chess game.
Unlike most chess games from the 80s and 90s this game has a large library of Bobby's actual games which you can watch and see what he played and might even figure out why. The game also included lessons on defending, attacking, winning and so forth.
Naturally as with any other chess game you can also play the game itself. You can play against a human player or against a computer (on various levels of difficulty).
Now I have to warn you, that when it says beginner, the computer will really play as a beginner. It will intentionally do many really stupid mistakes. OK, I admit I loved chess and played in low ranking tournaments up until my 15th year, so I might be a tad stronger opponent then your regular Joe, but trust me, I'm really not all that good and any serious chess player could beat me with one knight tied behind the back. Still I have managed to win against all level of the beginner mode without having any difficulties. It really wasn't all that fun (unless you want a feeling of beating the computer in chess).
When you select non beginner modes the situation gets more serous though and you should start using your thinking cap. What happens here is that you set the clock and play according to it. You can have the computer respond instantly or give it time to think (and as you know, computers are fast thinking machines). It is at that point that you really start playing chess.
Naturally you can configure the colors of the board (not too many choices though) and you can always take back moves (once you realize just what the computer had in stored for you when making that move five minutes earlier). You can also turn the sound off (which I strongly recommend). The sound of the game is just awful (nothing but annoying beeps), although the game does have some good sounding sound files, which are played during chess lessons. Also the boards are 2D only (except for lessons and viewing Bobby's games), but any real chess player will tell you that 2D is preferred to 3D where you might have problems seeing all the pieces. Save and load games in progress goes without saying really, so all the standard features are there.
Still the game offers another great feature. If you run the AUTHOR file you will be able to create a chess lesson yourself. This is really a nice feature, seeing how you can build on an already extensive data base.
You will need the latest version of DOSBox to play the game, because of the video compatibility. This game uses high resolution VESA graphics and needs the NEW DOSBox 0.71 to run.
Possibly the best instructional chess game ever made, Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess is based on the excellent book of the same name (no relation to the film Searching for Bobby Fischer). For those who are not in the know, Bobby Fischer is to chess what Michael Jordan is to basketball. Winner of the United States Chess Championship by age 14 (the youngest player ever to do so), International Grandmaster the following year, and the first American to win the coveted World Chess championship, Fischer is reputed to be the strongest player the world has ever seen.
With excellent tutorials and a challenging AI, BFTC will appeal both to children who are learning the game, as well as intermediate-level players who want to improve their skills. While not as animation-rich as Interplay's Battle Chess 4000 which were released during the same period, BFTC nevertheless has a lot to recommend it. Among the game's highlights are the 300 self-paced, interactive lessons developed with Fischer's help. The lessons explain the rules of the game; the elements of checkmate; back-rank mates, defenses, and variations; displacing defenders; and attacks on enemy pawn covers. All strategies are based on Fischer's insights. The illustrated chess lessons are sequenced, building on moves and principles learned previously. The program grades your progress by evaluating your answers to questions based on course content. Unfortunately, an incorrect answer may elicit a humiliating round of laughter instead of a simple, "No, try again."
As an added bonus (sadly missing in the CD-rip version on this site due to space constraints), the game includes a digitized version of Fred Wilson's "Picture History of Chess," a great book that provides more than 300 photographs and commentaries describing important events in the game's history. Unfortunately, the text isn't hyperlinked or cross-indexed. There are also no search, bookmark, or print options.
The game proper lets you play against the computer at 10 levels of play (with or without a timer). You can also watch the computer compete against itself. Features common to chess games are all here, including hint and undo move. A neat feature is the "Show Book Moves" option, which tells the game's chess engine tries to play a series of predefined moves at the beginning of each new game. Although the board is presented in bland 2D graphics, it is more than adequate. While you cannot play against another human, you can set up the board to play any legal position so you can solve particular chess problems or test different endgame positions. An optional "Author Mode" lets teachers or chess coaches create custom lessons and chess tutorials. Last but not least, players can study 570 Fischer matches by watching each game replayed in 2-D or 3-D mode. You can manually control contest playback (move by move) or choose the Animate Game option to watch moves made automatically.
In summary, BFTC has a plethora of excellent tutorial options that make it ideal for a novice or intermediate player. It won't develop your chess-playing skills overnight, but if you are interested in learning how a chess master thinks, BFTC teaches you effectively how to analyze chess problems and strategies to the point where you can really improve your skills.
People who downloaded Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess have also downloaded:
Grandmaster Chess, Complete Chess System, Civilization 2, Civil War Generals 2, Virtual Chess for Windows, Civilization, Chess Maniac 5 Billion and One, Civilization: Call to Power
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