HOW TO GET TO PLAY A GAME WITH THE MONKEY IN CHESSMASTER 9000
The monkey in Chessmaster is the lowest-rated opponent with whom you can play a game. In Chessmaster 6000 the lowest player was rated 320 (on the Elo scale); when Chessmaster 7000 for Microsoft Windows 95-98 appeared in 2002, the "Kids' room" was introduced in the program and lower-rated opponents became available for beginners to start playing the chess as soon as they learned the moves. This could be done by going to the tutorial sections of CM 7000 itself (I'll abbreviate Chessmaster as CM from now on.)
Thus, you will find BoBo, the monkey, rated 1 at the bottom of the list of all the players that CM offers to you as opponents. Now, I need to say that computer programs are constantly upgraded, basically for you to spend your money on, even if you don't need a "Lamborghini" to drive to the grocery store. Some new features are always nice, but the main reason to upgrade is to make sure that your old program still runs on the new computer that you just bought. (It is sort of like having to put away your trusty bicycle because the roads were "upgraded" to eliminate the bicycle lanes.) My purpose in taking the time to write this set of instructions is to see what fun you can still have with your old bicycle (I mean: programs) and not have to spend your money for something faster. So, we come to upgrades of CM. I don't have CM 8000, but recently I spent $30 for CM 9000, version 1.0.0, which came out in year 2002, in order to accommodate the Windows 98, ME, and XP operating systems. Besides introducing new features that allowed one to play on the Internet, CM 9000 also thought it necessary to give BoBo a new name. Now it is the same monkey with the same grin and tri-colored cap, except that he goes by Stanley and tries to play chess like the Steamer (I will explain that in class).
This note is for those of you who do not yet have a copy of CM 7000, 8000, or 9000. If you don't have any at all, look for CM 9000 at a reduced price (say around $10), because CM10-10 has just arrived and lists for around $40, but you don't need it yet. Actually, if you want to play the monkey, look at over a third of a million recorded chess games, or follow the homework questions that I will distribute to interested students, then you can get by with CM 7000, that is appearing in used book stores for about $5 and soon enough you'll probably be able to get it for free from some friend who just bought his new Lamborghini.
You just have to make sure that the program will still work with your new machine. Note again that CM 9000 is good on Windows XP, and, as far as I can tell, so is CM 7000.
PLAYING AGAINST THE MONKEY
1. Let's say that you have installed CM 9000 in your computer (The instructions for playing the monkey in the earlier version of CM are very similar, but if you need help with them, let me know in class.)
2. Log in on CM with your name (just don't call yourself BoBo or Stanley; that will avoid confusion later).
3. Click the mouse on "Kids' Room." Look for "Preferences" button on the menu bar at the top of the screen. Click on that button and go to the expanded menu to select your chess set. I found that the easiest set for me to play with is a combination of 2D View, Small-Black & White Metal board, and Staunton Black & White pieces, but you can select for yourself any of the many combinations that are available. The 2D (2-dimensional), or 3D views can be picked on the left side of the screen. Don't check the "Match Boards and Pieces" box if you wish to select the same set that I did. The "Preferences" menu will let you set other features as well. I found that it is better to play without CM making any sounds, but that is up to you, or, rather, the family members who like peace and quiet.
4. From the "Windows" button in the menu bar you can pick "Game Status" and "Navigation" and still leave enough room to see the whole board.
5. Click on "Game" button, followed by "New Game." "Set Up Game Details" window comes up. "Click on "Select" button. "Select Personality" window pops up next. Put check marks in "Personalities, Male, Female, Age (all)" boxes and "0-500 Rating" box. Slide the vertical scrollbar toward bottom until you see Stanley's picture. Stanley is rated 1 point and it is difficult to tell whether he smiles or snarls as he plays.) Click the "OK" button.
6. Now we are back to the "Set Up Game Details" window. Your name and Stanley's should show up as the players and you probably have White (per the program's default setting). Later we can talk about how to reverse colors.
7. Click on "Time controls." In the window that comes next, you can set same time controls for both or give yourself more by setting "Separate time controls." Let's try separate controls; give Stanley 5 minutes (he is fast) and 15 minutes for ourselves. Click "OK." The chessboard is back and we are ready to shake hands (?) with Stanley. (Do you see his picture in the "Game Status" window at right? Check the time controls.)
8. Make your move. Stanley responds in a flash. Make your next move (but look around first for any threats that Stanley might be making). Go on until you win (I should hope so) by checkmating the monkey's king. Incidentally, I have issued a challenge to all students to checkmate Stanley's king in the fewest number of moves. So far the best I have done on CM 9000 is 13 moves, and only 14 on CM 7000. Those games I have saved on disk and also attached as an appendix to this set of instructions. Usually it takes me between 20 and 30 moves to break down Stanley's resistance. SEE WHETHER YOU CAN DO BETTER!
PRINTING AND SAVING THE GAMES
1. To print the game that you just played (after you clicked the "Checkmate" button to acknowledge your victory), click "File" button in the menu bar, pull mouse pointer to "print" then move it to "Move list" (or "Setup printer," if printer is not ready. You can also choose to print the diagram, but let's get the moves first). Click on your choice.
2. For "Annotation Type" which is the following window, accept default ("None"). Click "OK." The game is printed. Unfortunately, if your printer doesn't print chess figurines, they will be missing and you will have a good puzzle on your hands to fill in the letters K,Q,R,B,or N on the score sheet yourself later. (Actually this is one way to make a good chess puzzle from any game!)
3. Now, to save the game, go back to the "File" menu. Click on "Save." in "File Save" window, fill in a name of a folder where the file is to be saved. As default (in Windows 98) it may be in C:\My Documents\Chessmaster 9000\Users\Your name (as you gave it originally when you first logged onto CM 9000). In "File name" box below you can make up a name yourself or accept the one CM has given. (I typed in CS13mv# for example, meaning "Coach vs. Stanley, 13 moves to checkmate." This kept the file name short enough, in case I want to work with it in DOS later on.)
4. In the last box, "Save as type," on bottom, scroll down, highlight, and accept "PGN Game files (*.PGN). ("PGN" stands for "Portable game notation," which is most popular for chess games.) Click on the "Save" button.
5. For game annotation type (next window), accept default with "OK." The game is now saved on your hard disk.
REPLAYING SAVED GAMES
1. Switch to "Game Room." From "File" menu click on "Load." Double-click on the file name of the game that you wish to replay.
2. Click on "Actions" menu and see that Ctrl+R (the Ctrl key and the R key on your keyboard, pushed at the same time) will replay the game, move by move.
APPPENDIX - SOME SAVED GAMES
1. Game on Chessmaster 9000:
1.e4 Na6 2.f4 Nh6 3.Bc4 d6 4.Nf3 Ng4 5.f5 Nc5 6.Bxf7+ Kd7 7.d4 Ne6 8.fxe6+ Kc6 9.d5+ Kb5 10.Nc3+ Kb4 11.Qd4+ Ka5 12.Qa4+ Kb6 13.Qb5# 1-0
2.Game on Chessmaster 7000:
1. e4 e5 2. f4 Bb4 3. Bc4 Qe7 4. Nf3 Qd6 5. O-O Kf8 6. fxe5 Qxd2 7. Bxd2 Nh6 8. Bxb4+ c5 9. Qd6+ Ke8 10. Bxc5 Nc6 11. Nd4 a6 12. Nxc6 Nf5 13. Rxf5 g6 14. Qe7# 1-0
P.S. Stanley usually sees an upcoming checkmate in the next move and does his best to defend against it. You need to set up a position where he cannot avoid checkmate in two or more moves and then you can get him more quickly. (File VHVinstr.txt, 7Oct04)
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