Jose Chess

Jose Chess is a straightforward, feature-rich chess game for...

7.3

127 Votes

  • Category Checkers & Chess
  • License Free (gpl)
  • Version 1.4.4
  • Size 26.85 MB
  • Works under Windows XP / Windows NT / Windows 2000 / Windows ME / Windows 98 SE / Windows 98
  • Language English
  • Program by Jose-chess

Jose Chess is a straightforward, feature-rich chess game for one. Apart from playing against the computer, it can also be used to create, view and analyse chess games including those stored in .pgn format. The classic, simple interface is quite intuitive and uncomplicated to use and to learn how to analyse games, without difficulty.

The simple and straightforward download installs quickly, with a selection of a few language settings to choose from; the default is American / U.S. English. The software has a free licence.

On launching the program a marble effect board appears, with uncluttered graphics and two chess clocks. Animation can be selected including helpful hints. The main chessboard can be selected to display in 2-D or 3-D view and an information window is displayed to the right of the screen.

Jose Chess is an excellent option for players who want to play against a highly intelligent computer opponent – the software’s artificial intelligence has been reviewed favourably, seemingly able to adapt to the player’s ability and thereby offering a better game.

The software comes with a user help manual covering configuration options and an overview of the panels and database menus including screen prints and example dialogues. The help file also includes various technical details of the software, which can be customised by the programming-minded – for example, details of how to alter the game menu, pause and ‘move now’ settings etc. For those who love chess and like to have the extra option to really access the ‘nuts and bolts’ of the programming interface and underlying SQL, this product could be of real interest.

Other features include the ability to shuffle pieces, or to set up the board with pieces in their standard positions for a new game. There are different themes of chess pieces – magnetic, standard or harlequin pieces and more. Board covers can be selected from a range of different backgrounds, with pleasing visual effects that are easy on the eye. The board can be turned, so you can choose whether to play as black or white; fonts and text size can be customised and there is a print facility too. Contextual help is available to adjust and control the clock panel (analogue or digital).

Move timings can also be customised; 3-D view gives the impression of sitting opposite a real player. A progress indicator shows the computer considering its next move as you play against your opponent ‘Spike’, the data engine. Remember; try not to take too long when thinking about your next move – or Spike will win! There is also a facility to offer a draw to the computer opponent, or to resign. The ‘offer draw’ function does not work in all game versions.

The software requires Java Runtime environment and was tested using Java 3D Core Runtime 1.3.2. The game was originally written on the Windows NT platform for 486 processors but appears to function well on Windows 8 too, except for occasional errors when delving deeply into the help file, perhaps due to possible incompatibilities with different operating systems. There is a facility to report bugs, although it should be noted that Jose chess was last updated in November 2005.

Pros

  • High skilled and adaptable computer opponent
  • Analysis mode available
  • Lots of technical features (optional)
  • Sidebar with information

Cons

  • Graphics perhaps not elaborate enough for demanding tastes
  • Possible occasional errors experienced on Windows 8 when delving deep into database help files
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