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Looks like my search for chess software is over for now. ARENA 3.0 is all I really need right now and it was free! Awesome.
can you elaborate on this? I was looking into buying Chessbase AND either/or Hiarcs/Fritz and seeing what local liquor store I could hit right before closing so as to get the cash to fund the purchase. Instead I saw that Hiarchs has what looks like a product that integrates their engine with a db. I'm now supposing Fritz might too. I'm also wondering if they play well with like the downloads from chesspublishing.com and such. I'm raising a lot of questions that are off topic for this thread, but I'm hopefully hinting at ways you could tell us more about why you've found love at first sight with Arena 3.0.
Being a 700 - 800 rated beginner, I was just looking for a program to play against and a program that would analyze my games played over-the-board, etc.
All the questions you have, musicalhair, are far above my ability to answer at this time and I apologize for that.
@muscicalhair : all these GUI read .pgn so they can read chesspublishing stuff.
Arena's a good, general purpose program. The area where it shines is engine tournaments. (Hence the name Arena, get it?) It does a good job of letting you play against engines. Its game annotating ability is OK, but its database capabilities are very limited. If you like to heavily massage game databases, this ain't the program for you. Instead, try Scid vs. PC, or one of the commercial programs.
A couple of glitches I've noticed with Arena is that a small number of engines seem to sometimes lose games by time forfeit. Also, while Arena can play Chess960, it doesn't handle the castling notation perfectly. (It doesn't use or accept the Shredder FEN notation for castling.) This usually isn't a problem, but some other programs might balk at reading a Chess960 game played in Arena. And Arena can't read Chess960 games played on other programs using the Shredder FEN format.
thanks for the answers everyone!
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