Wednesday, November 30, 2011

LET'S CHECK -- FRITZ13

Today I turned to ChessBase.com as I rolled out of bed and before heading for the shower and I see a Mr. Portman discussing the newest Fritz (13) edition. He's a good writer. I especially chuckled at the "could be improved upon" paragraph which wasn't much and yet raised an important point (the back button!). A nice issue too that he raised.

But what I really miss is DOES ALL THIS GIMMICKRY actually do anything other than "swell my head?" That is, does the "Bob Long Variation of the Muzio Gambit" really amount to anything in the scheme of chess openings? Nothing was devoted to this.

Some posts ago I asked readers who bought Fritz13 from me to comment on the "Let's Check" feature. So far, none have done so. I am sure there are some, like Kevin James in the Die Hard 4 movie, who sits in his basement all day long, and getting cookies from his Mom, who have spent untold hours deciphering Man's Plan for His Existence.

The idea of working hard on some variation of the Advance French and sending it to the German ChessBase servers to burp out to the rest of the world doesn't encourage me. So what if something I have done has my name on it? Isn't this the worst form of looking at oneself in the mirror all day long, first a full front face shot, then a profile, etc.? "What about that hair sticking out?" Good grief, we need one more narcissistic thing don't we?

Do I really relish the idea of taking something I have discovered myself and sharing it with potential opponents or even publishing companies? Or, wait awhile, and have some person add to the Bob Long line, the Zelda Xynx variation refuting the Bob Long line? This easily gets out of control. Something like the Sicilian Defense would be loaded full of lather or rather.

ON THE OTHER HAND
But there is this--maybe there is something I am not getting about all this. In Mr. Portman's article he seemed pleased but he gave NO examples of how he used this, on any opening. Nor did he say how FAST this analysis is when compared to "real time" use. Nor HOW does one move (on their own) deeper into the "French Fry" line for example. All he said was it was EASY (that is a common ploy in the marketing world and 50% of the time a total lie).

And then there are COMPETING lines (both with the same evaluation and different engines, etc.) Do I want to waste hours (and that's what I would be doing) looking all this over on my own? Do I not have a job and family to talk to? Was a Tutorial of all this provided on the DVD? No mention that I read. (I didn't completely read ALL of his paragraphs as some were increasingly long and dense.)

And speaking of other enhancements I am told there is an improved engine. What does that mean? Faster? More accurate? Higher rating? What?

Sorry, this review, nicely written, didn't tell me more than what I already knew or read except for the Back Button thing.

What do you guys say? I'll even listen to you who bought Fritz13 from someone else! This NEW feature sounds intensely gimmicky with very little useful value to me. Virtually everyone who bought one from me was to get a "new and improved" analysis engine, not one mentioned being excited about any particular features.

bob@thinkerspressinc.com

PS: Today or tomorrow I will be sending out, through the mail, Specials on famous chess players and their autographed books per Wray McCalester, a very old friend, and top notch friend, of mine. He's moving to Mexico next year. Not my choice, but then I am sure Wray has spent a lot of time thinking about this as he does with most anything.

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