Friday 11 May 2018

Chess and Meditation

Every now and then I get sent free stuff as a result of this blog. Usually it is books to review, but occasionally it is software. My latest review copy is a program called "Zen Chess: Mate in One", which is available on Steam.
At first I wasn't sure what the program was intended to be. It presents you with a succession of mate in 1 problems, and when you solve one, you move to the next one. It doesn't keep score (as far as I can find), and the problems don't seem to get harder the further you go.
But on a second visit I realised that the clue is in the name. It isn't so much a training program as it is a meditation tool. The program comes with a soothing soundtrack which gently plays while you solve the puzzles. The colours are very light, and the slow fade in and out of positions, is quite relaxing.
I've solved the first 60 positions so far, out of the 100 it is supposed to contain. I don't know the punishment for suggesting the wrong answer, as even in a relaxed state, I still have a competitive instinct.
The minimalist approach to the program seems to have carried over to the price, as it listed at 99c (US) on the steam website.
If you are looking for a tactics trainer, then this isn't going to be it. But if you just want to solve easy problems while imaging yourself floating in a tropical lagoon, the the cost won't kill you.


Raphael Dias said...

Glad you liked our game! It's main goal is exactly what you said: to solve mate-in-one problems in a meditative state.
I invite everyone to try it out:

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