HOW TO PRACTICE BASIC CHECKMATES IN CHESSMASTER 9000
1. Log in.
2. Click on "Game Room."
3. Click on "Game" in upper menu bar, then on "Set Up Game" in pull-down menu. "Set Up Game Details"(SUGD,for short) comes up.
4. See the two large buttons at top and also at the bottom in the left side of the window. The bottom one should be pushed in (for human player) and the little slot to the right of it should have your log-in name in it. (If it doesn't, type the name that you log in yourself.) At the top, the button that shows the computer should be pushed in. The name in the slot to its right may be any of the Chessmaster characters whom you have played before. I would suggest that you change it to "Chessmaster" by pushing the "Select" button, picking "Chessmaster" from the "Select Personality" window which comes up, and clicking OK. We do this to make sure that your checkmating exercises will be met with the strongest responses.
5. Now you are back in the "SUGD" window. Click on the "Time Controls" button and set separate time controls to give yourself plenty of time, say 30 minutes, while leaving a couple of minutes for Chessmaster, since he is a very fast thinker. Click OK.
6. Click on "Game" in the upper menu bar and on "Set Up Position" in its pull-down menu. In the "Set Up Board Position" window which now shows next to a full chessboard, push the "Clear Board" button. The board now shows the two kings in their regular starting positions. Move them wherever they need to be and add the other pieces by picking them from the box in the upper right where they are all lined up. (Note that the hand can be used to drag pieces to different positions and the red "X" erases pieces off the board.)
7. Check that the correct "Side To Move" light has been turned on and click OK to accept the position that you have set up.
8. Now you are back at the chessboard, with time ticking away. If you are not ready, pick "Actions" from the upper menu bar and click on "Pause" in the pull-down menu. To see the moves and the time, you should have the "Game Status" window to the right of the chessboard. If it isn't there, click on "Windows" in the upper menu bar and click on "Game Status" in the pull-down menu.
THAT'S IT TO GET GOING. In case you didn't know, the basic checkmates are any of those four that can be forced against a lone king by four different combinations of pieces. (I am using Bruce Pandolfini's definition from his book "Chess Thinking." If you don't have it, put it on your wish list.) I would say that if you can checkmate Black in no more than 33 moves from the following position: White Ka5, Bh5, Na1, Black Kc5, then you are doing better than at least 99 percent of all chessplayers.
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