It's been a few days now, but it seems only appropriate to observe a few moments of respectful silence and wistful remembrance of a vital (if virtual) member of the Chess.com family (snif... I promised I wasn't going to lose it... ok.. ok).. our dear friend and ever-willing opponent, Little Chess Partner.
Many of you knew him and played him often. In terms of sheer volume of performance, Little Chess Partner played more games than anybody.. How many? I don't know; it's not like I was counting. You don't think I have better things to do?.. But the point is he was always up for a friendly game. Always. Even if Chess.com was down and out, who could you turn to, to get your game on? That's right.. Little Chess Partner - keeping you company through the darkest times (of site maintenance).
And when you did beat him, and then mercilessly mocked him in the forums, did he lash out in anger? Never. Little Chess Partner was all class, and had the unflappable serenity of a Zen master - even when he was down a rook. Never has it been more truly said of an adversary, "he doesn't mess around!"
So long, LCP... We'll remember you fondly... even despite the obvious, almost overwhelming superiority of your successor, the new Chess.com Computer Opponent (which needs a better name).
The new Play vs Computer feature adds a host of goodies that are new, and at the same time, puts us in a much better position to continue making enhancements. The improvements you can see today include a MUCH better looking interface, more levels of strength, and a move list! As we continue moving forward, we are looking to add more opening variations, move takeback (for you, not the computer!), and the ability to download PGN after the game.
Please give it a try (why wait till the next time the site goes down?), and let us know what you think. It's still very new, so there are probably some issues that we need to address.
A big thanks to Mina Shokry, who developed this for us!
P.S. Can anyone suggest a better name for the new AI/UI than "Computer"? :)