Want to play chess like a star? Well, so do I, but I haven't anyone to play against. The next best thing is an electronic chess game. They come in a variety of styles and levels, and they include all kinds of features to help you improve your game. I can't guarantee that you will be the next Kasparov, but at least you don't have to waste valuable practice time waiting to find a worthy opponent.
Playing a computer can be a lot more boring than playing a real person. If you are online, consider playing other humans instead of a computer. Yahoo Chess works well. Also look at some of the chess server sites online. If you are on the road, one of the portable devices listed here could work well for you.
Many types of intelligent chess computers are on the market. It all depends on how you plan to use it that will determine what type you buy. Check out the different options below to make your choice.
Features to Look for When Buying a Chess Computer
** A place to store the pieces onboard.
** A strength rating of 1750 is adequate for most beginners and intermediates.
** Choose a junior model for kids since these have the best teaching mechanisms.
** Memory feature to hold the game even if you have to stop in the middle of it.
** Easy to read LCD display (on handhelds and on tabletop models).
* '''For beginners'''
** Hint option for times when the going gets tough.
** Teaching mode for easier learning.
** Selectable opening moves to practice getting used to different strategies.
** Mate problems to learn how to finish up a game effectively.
** Undo or take back option to experiment and facilitate learning.
** Beginning to intermediate strength rating of 1200-1600.
* '''For intermediate and advanced players'''
** Rated games.
** Mate training option to work on developing skills.
** Computer's ability to play at tournament levels of up to 2300 for the most advanced players.
** Chess clock.
** The size of the board should be tournament size or close to it.
** The pieces should be weighted.
** Every model will come with some kind of warranty.
** Typically warranties are for one year, but some of the more expensive models might have a longer warranty.