- The aim is to play chess against the computer with increasing levels of difficulty and with a limited number of hints that are given by a chess tutor.
- Also included are thousands of training positions such as different types of endgames, tactical combinations and chess problems (mate in 2,3,4 and more).
- The computer uses different chess programs (so-called chess engines) of various strength. The user starts playing against the weakest engine at first. Initially the engine plays with
limited strength but as the user wins more games the engine will be given more calculation time and its strength will improve. Eventually the engine will reach its
maximum level of strength and if the user continues to win he will be passed to the next stronger engine and so forth. And even if you consider yourself being close
to winning the next chess world championship, I can promise you that the included chess engines won't run out of steam that quickly. The strongest engines included in
this program (such as Rybka and Stockfish) will give a professional top ten world ranking chess player a real run for his money.
- To overcome a level you must win against the engine twice, once with the white pieces and once with the black pieces. With every won game your
personal point score increases. The higher the level the more points you
receive for a won game. The engines are arranged in groups. Each group
contains engines of similar strength. The basic rule for engines is, you
have to collect plenty of points against lower rated engines until to can
play the stronger engines.
In detail this means each group of engines has a minimum required point
score. If you want to play against an engine of a particular group your
personal point score must have reached at least the group's minimum point
- In case you don't feel being close to winning the world chess crown (yet), there is still some good news. You will get some real help.
Lucas Chess comes with a chess tutor. The tutor watches over your moves. In case you make a blunder, the tutor will first of all tell you and at
the same time it will suggest a better move. You can then choose to play the better move instead. For example in case you have overlooked a mate in three moves,
be assured that the tutor will tell you.
- How does this work? As already mentioned, Lucas contains very strong chess engines such as Rybka 2.3.2a (by Vasik Rajlich), critter, stockfish.
Note that this is currently one of the strongest existing chess programs (see
for chess engine ratings). You can not only play against Rybka, you can also use Rybka as your tutor, which
means you get a chess grandmaster as your coach. You may notice that some of the engines are not so easy to beat and in that case
a really strong tutor comes in very handy.
- So what happens if the tutor sees a stronger move than yours? Very simple, a dialog with three chessboards will pop up showing on separate boards
From the dialog you can choose whether to play your own move or the move suggested by the tutor.
- your own move (with a point score from the tutor)
- the tutor's suggested move (with a point score from the tutor)
- the move expected by your opponent (with a point score from the opponent)
- Does that mean you can turn off your brain and let the tutor do all the work? No, it's not quite that easy. The number of hints from the tutor is
limited. If you use too many hints you will run out of hints. Also, as you start winning and the engine level improves the number of hints decreases. Playing at the highest level against an engine
means that you will get no more hints from the tutor. Sometimes it can be good to decline the tutor's hint and choose your own move. In particular when your move
is only slightly inferior to the tutor's move (compare the point score!!). If you decline the tutor's suggestion then you haven't used the hint and the number
of remaining hints stays. This way you can preserve hints and use them further down the track when you may need them more urgently.
- A large number of training positions are also included. You can try to find the solution yourself and if you cannot find it, well the tutor will help you.
- There are 50000 chess problems (mate in 2) from Eduardo Sadier.
- More training positions (various endgames, tactical combinations, more chess problems
- In the utilities menu you will also find an option, which allows playing a game against any engine of your choice, regardless of your current point score (and even use the tutor).
- Also you can follow the games of the Grand Masters by means of the option: Play like a Grand Master
- Also a PGN viewer.