SparkChess 8 is the latest available version
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What’s new in SparkChess 8
SparkChess 8 is a highly recommended upgrade. There are dozens of new features and improvements! Here are the highlights:
Bigger opening database
The opening database is 4 times larger and more in-depth, allowing you to practice more varied openings in depth. The AI characters also play openings differently, depending on their abilities.
SparkChess is now up to 50% faster, allowing the AI characters to find better moves within the same allocated time.
This has been the number one request from users. SparkChess now has a wide range of unobtrusive sounds for piece movements and notifications (muted by default).
Building upon the successful lessons introduced last year, we’ve added 15 additional interactive lessons – tactics, openings, mate strategies and puzzles. These lessons are invaluable for chess beginners.
Different game modes
In multiplayer we’ve added support for specialized rooms, allowing you to play games with more advanced time control, just like in professional chess tournaments. For example, “5|5″ means 5 minutes per game with 5 seconds bonus after each move, allowing for very fast and dynamic play.
New Score System
The old scoring system was easy to understand but led to inflation, so we replaced it with an “Elo” system, just like the one used by Chess Federations worldwide.
There are many other enhancements such as the ability to hide comments in replay or the simpler way to export a PGN file from a multiplayer game.
Previous improvements: SparkChess 7
SparkChess 7 is a highly recommended upgrade. There are over 100 new features, improvements and bug fixes across the game. You will notice some of them instantly, others are buried deep in the code. Below are just the highlights:
The first thing you’ll notice in SparkChess 7 is the beautiful interface – instantly familiar but sharper, more professional with its subdued colors, designed to be non-intrusive and to let you concentrate on the board.
Optimized for large, wide screens, you now have the ability to enter Fullscreen mode for the ultimate distraction-free experience.
New difficulty level and lessons
Based on user feedback, we introduced a new AI opponent – Deon. We spent considerable time playing against him and tweaking his abilities, so he’s just challenging enough for those who beat Cody all the time but find Claire too tough. Deon is now my son’s favorite opponent.
Also for those just starting with chess, we have a suite of 7 interactive lessons covering all the basics – so if you’re still not sure how en-passant or castling work, you’ll have all the answers in no time.
Given the ever-increasing number of players available at any given time, we introduced a filtering option. You can show just the players with scores close to yours, or from the same country or from your own subnet (usually from the same building or neighborhood.)
More powerful analysis
Gain more insight from the improved board analysis tool. In addition to the control “heat map”, it shows mobility and attack/defend information and provides a full analysis of the board in plain English. Elements like king safety, pawn structure and strategic positioning are all taken into account.
Previous improvements: SparkChess 6
Beautiful Medieval Fantasy chess set
In addition to the classic set and the 2D diagram mode, we added an alternative 3D-modeled, hand-painted chess set with a medieval/fantasy theme. We took great pains to make sure the new set is fun and easily recognizable.
Faster. Stronger. More fun, too
The chess engine is up to four times faster. As a result, Boris is able to play stronger than ever before while still taking less than 10 seconds to move. As for Guru, let’s just say that I’m sure it’ll be a real challenge.
SparkChess will remain responsive while the computer is thinking, which is especially useful since Guru will think for up to three minutes, though you may force it to move at any time.
Crisp Full HD support
If you have a large screen, you’ll want to maximize the SparkChess window. The pieces look beautiful on Full HD (1920×1080) and larger screens.
We introduced multiplayer in SparkChess 5 and further improved in version 6.We also made sure that Full Version users get a royal treatment. We want multiplayer games to be fun so we spent considerable time polishing the overall experience. Among many other improvements, Full Version users can have scores higher than 10,000 points and are indicated in the invitation list with a golden crown.
You can integrate SparkChess with your Facebook account now and let everyone know of your multiplayer victories and highscore (and it won’t say a word about your losses).
You can now import and export PGN files and databases.