Chess titans is a chess game that was developed by Oberon Games and released in 2006, but most of us remember it because of its inclusion with Windows Vista… microsoft’s finest operating system… still loading today…
Anyway my memory of the game is that the 3d graphics were impressive but a little disorienting. …and like everything vista, soooooo slow especially on the higher difficulties… So, today i’m going down memory lane, and we will see how good it is at chess and overall. This time it’ll be running on a fairly powerful windows 10 computer (after a few technical hiccups finding a version that works on windows 10), and hopefully it won’t be as slow as on my ancient Vista laptop.
First off let’s have a look at the settings and levels. 10 difficulty levels and quite a few graphics options, funnily enough it ticks and unticks them options based on the slider position. It even has a 2d board version if you are used to that. Lets get my spinning habit satisfied… ok ill promise to stop now…
Right, i am playing against the hardest difficulty, Level 10, and you can see one of my game sped up in the background now, in the opening i am playing the jobava london a slightly more aggressive variant of the solid london system, championed by 1200 rated players everywhere (and accidentally by magnus carlsen once). I could explain my thought process throughout, but there are far stronger players who can do a far better job at this kind of thing, and also i have a tendency to mess up when i’m talking at the same time, turns out my name isn’t Penguin GM…
But, my brief overview is that it plays worse in the opening, maybe 1300-1400 level, because while it develops its pieces efficiently, it allows a dangerous, even winning attack… Later in the game if you get there (as i did in a previous game – errr completely on purpose just to test the engine, and not at all because i blundered a 10 point advantage) it plays a little stronger i’d say 1600-1800 level because unlike many modern chess engines such as stockfish, which when playing at a low level setting far below their true rating start to make obvious silly mistakes past a certain move number, to cap their playing strength.
This one doesn’t do that, it feels like it just doesn’t have the calculation depth to play well. But it avoids most simple threats even in the endgame, which is more than can be said for many players at this sort of level.
In conclusion, it is less slow that i remembered, but that could be the well be the hardware im running it on, and all in all it was the perfect chess game for windows vista, visually pleasing but otherwise underperforming… maybe it should start an instagram account?
chess Alexandra Botez live on chess.com with gothamchess
Eric rosen oh no my queen, lichess. Scc. with hikaru nakamura and daniel naroditsky.