Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Chess as War

In the past I've mentioned my dislike for ornate chess sets, which have occasionally been purchased for me as a gift. A simple Staunton designed chess set is all I need for most occasions, and anything above that is needless frippery.
However I don't mind fancy sets that come with computer chess programs. While I was not that 'into' Battle Chess when it first came out, I did see the appeal of it to non-serious chess players. Even to this day when I talk about chess to work colleagues and non-playing acquaintances, Battle Chess still gets a regular mention.
Given the appeal that Video Games/Chess crossovers have, it is hardly a surprise that new products in this genre are still being released.
The latest one I've spotted is 'Chess War - Borodino' which is a chess playing program with a Napoleonic's feel. The design of the pieces is based in the French Army from around the time of the Battle of Borodino, and as usual, each movement or capture is accompanied by a little animation. Apart from that it is a pretty straightforward chess program, albeit with some nice graphics.
It runs on both the iPad (for 99 cents) and Android devices (free but with ads), and you can by extra content if you so wish. Oddly one of the extras is the ability to play Fischer Chess (for an extra $1.99) but in the app they called is 'Fisher' Chess.
As for its strength, it started of giving me a challenging game on the default setting, but eventually missed a two mover and lost all its pieces. I'm sure it will play better on the harder levels (as most programs do).

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