Fritz 18 marked the beginning of a new era, and Fritz 19 drives this development onward: a game against Fritz should be more than just a game - it should be an experience. In a time when online chess dominates, a chess program has to oer something special to be a real alternative to human opponents.
In Fritz 19 it works like this
- There are six different characters that mimic typical club players: Allrounder, Aggressive, Positional, Swindler, Fearful, Endgame Expert.
- Fritz plays human moves that fit these types, but builds-in tactical mistakes so that you can win with a sacricial attack, for example. The sharper the position, the more likely the program will misstep.
- There is a wide range of tips and support that you can use to the full, or ignore, depending on your mood. With all the tips, you will practically always win against the “strong club player” level. If you ignore them completely, it becomes challenging for a player like me (ELO 2000).
- You can earn trophies for special moves that are converted into digital trading cards, such as “rook on the seventh rank”, “exchange sacrifice” or “mate threat”.
- At any time during the game, you can switch to “assisted calculation” mode. Where is no clock, so you can train your calculation without stress in positions you have played yourself. This has an enormous training benefit.
The opponent zoo
The character Allrounder is probably the strongest opponent for every level of play. It is a development of “Easy Game” from Fritz 18. Everyone knows the Aggressive Player from their club. They regularly play on the attack, with a sharp opening repertoire. They are the ideal opponent for defence training with Black. The Swindler takes aggressiveness to the extreme, and o!en overplays the position. Material and solid position are of no interest, the main thing is to go for the king. Against this swindling fox, one usually has a material advantage, but suddenly it becomes highly dangerous. The wise owl symbolises the Positional Player. It loves a good pawn structure, a secure king of its own and coordinated piece-play. e distorted echo of this, is the fearful mouse. It appreciates crowded, safe positions and is afraid of complications. That is why it often plays weaker. The Endgame Fan, on the other hand, plays specifically for exchange. Simplification is paramount, the opening is o!en unambitious. When it comes to the endgame, on the other hand, things get really tough. An effective training opponent for this phase of the game!
Collectible cards as a reward: Fritz 19 celebrates your good moves.
When playing against Fritz 19, you can acquire 136 dierent trophies. Some are quite simple, like Closed Centre or Bishop Pair. You will swi!ly grab them. Others don’t just happen by themselves: the advance of a passed pawn, a knight outpost, an unsafe opponent’s king position, space advantage or a sharp position. The crowning glory are trophies such as queen sacrifice, mate with knight, and many more. There is a ranking list for each of these trophies. That should be reward enough for chess players, but we have come up with something very special, the description of which would go beyond the scope of this article: Winning trophies is rewarded with the distribution of digital trading cards in your ChessBase account. Do you recall Panini sticker albums? Then you know the score.
New opening training
We all manage our opening repertoire in variation trees, stored in databases. If you want to play against it, it gets technical: opening books have to be converted. On today’s powerful computers, this has become obsolete. In Fritz 19, you play directly against databases, your own repertoire, or an opening article from the ChessBase Magazine!
If the White player, the Black player, the tournament title, or the source begins with “White” or “Black”, then all the moves in this game belong to this colour. Fritz will then only play these moves. A repertoire is always rather narrow from the point of view of one’s own colour and broad for the opponent’s moves. Try it out: Your Najdorf repertoire with Black against the “aggressive” player! Tip for ChessBase users: Save a generated opening survey from ChessBase and play against it immediately
What else is available
The new engine in Fritz 19 is the Computer Chess World Champion for 2023. The Calculation Training has been extended, especially in the important preliminary query of candidate moves. The Buddy Engine and the annotated engine analysis from ChessBase 17 have found their way into Fritz. The notation (and the whole program interface) has been enormously enhanced in places. Tactical Analysis, the important full commentary of your games, has been improved and much more!