Guest Author - Lisa Shea
Chess is often looked on as the ultimate game of logic and intelligence. Formalized into its current state in the 1400s, it has a much longer history. Windows Vista and Chess Titans let you learn how to play for free!
You can customize your board type and piece types, and set the difficulty level of your computer opponent. In this screenshot I chose wooden pieces on a wooden board. Once you choose black or white, you're set to go!
Even at the most basic level, the chess game provides a good challenge for beginners. You click on a piece, and the board lets you know what valid moves are for that particular piece. Fairly quickly you figure out the basic characteristics of each type of piece on the board, how they move, when to use them. Then the fun begins.
By playing and replaying games, you can get a sense for what works and what doesn't. You can undo moves and try something else. If you get stuck, just start again and try a new strategy. The more you play, the more you get a sense of how the game progresses and what the best strategies are.
You can play against a human if you want (one at the same computer as you) but really I imagine if you were going to do that that you would pull out an actual chessboard which is more user-friendly to sit around :) Still, the option is there.
Yes, the game doesn't have any actual training built into it. It doesn't say to you "try doing this and I'll explain why it fails". Instead, you can see first hand why things fail, when your pieces get gobbled up :) Because you can ramp up the difficulty of your virtual opponent, you can slowly increase the computer's challenge level as you gain more skills.
Highly recommended for anyone who doesn't know how to play chess and wants to improve their skills. Chess is a great game for learning logic, patience and memory skills, and is a fun way to pass the time with friends near or far. There are many online chess games and tournaments 24 hours a day. So get your skills started here - and have fun!
NOTE: I do not think you can buy this game separately. It comes free with Vista, so if you're interested in this game, it might be time to upgrade to Vista!