Friday, 15 February 2008

Further adventures in Wizards Chess

Previously I wrote about "Harry Potter Chess", which is a multi-part chess learning magazine and collectible. I've now come across a new "Potter" related chess product in the shape of the "Order of the Phoenix" game for the PS2. (No, it's not my game, it's my children's. Honestly).
In the game you have the chance to play the Griffyndor Champion, who for some reason isn't Ron Weasley. The only problem is that he isn't very good. I'm sure the game designers didn't feel the need to put a version of Rybka into the game, and that isn't necessarily a bad thing. If the aim is to encourage kids to play chess by giving them a chance to win then they have succeeded admirably. The following game shows you how it works

Me v Griffyndor Trainee Wizard

1.e4 h6 2.Bc4 Rh7 3.Qh5 c5 4.Bxf7#

I assume that any kid winning like that will figure that chess isn't that hard after all, and stick with the game.
Having said that the program may get stronger as you find new opponents. After defeating the Griffyndor Champion he suggested I play the Slytherin Champion next. My son reports that the Slytherin Champion is about as good as him, so I wonder how good the Hufflepuf Champion is.

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