I haven't played chess with anyone for years. I was walking around in the pc game store when I saw the Chessmaster 10th Edition as out. I bought it, thinking I could have some chess fun with this thing.
Installed it and loaded it up. It's not bad value for money if you like chess. It comes with lots of options and chess board customisations. Some of them are really nice. You can pick the kind of game you want to play: touney, ranked play, chess puzzles or just training. The in-game voice advisors are very clear and pleasant, like a gentle school teacher, it tells you what you can or cannot move and if you like the option, warn you when you are about to make a stupid blunder. It would even play out the possibilities to show you how ridiculous you are for making that move.
If you want to play against real people, you can go online and find your opponents on the ubi.com servers. There is also support for LAN games.
You start out with a number of points, and depending on whether you win or lose, you gain or lose points which affect your rank standing. The AI opponents are also ranked, from small kid who just started learning to adult super-expert. Anyway, I played against whoever the game suggested I should play against. It tries to pick one that is of similar standing to me. After each game, there is a game summary with suggestions of who you should play with next, what your mistake was if you lost and your worst and best moves.
After 6 games, I was reduced to playing against a child and I am still losing miserably!
So much for "I've played chess before."
It's really nice and strangely addictive. My only grumble is that the chessboard is fixed view, sometimes I just wish I could tilt it a bit so that I can see the positions better. (Strike that, I found out how - up down keys on the keyboard. To self - next time RTFM.) And another thing, I wish this thing didn't need the CD in the drive to play, I would love to have this on my laptop.