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Chessmaster LIVE - Xbox Live Arcade review

Live out your closet desire to join the chess club


  • Varied AI opponents
  • Puzzle mode
  • Ease of play


  • Chess is hard
  • Visually bland
  • Losing to beginners

Board and card games have proven pretty popular on Xbox Live Arcade, so it’s a bit surprising that we haven’t seen more of them. The latest board game to join the party is one of the most widely-known, and one of the hardest to master.

And that might be the biggest thing working against Chessmaster Live - chess simply isn’t that easy to play, to the point that a lot of people just aren’t interested in investing the time to learn. However, Chessmaster takes this into account, offering one of the most user-friendly chess programs ever seen.

With the assists on, simply highlighting a particular piece on the board offers up information on where said piece can move. The game also shades possible moves that could lead to a piece being captured in red. Finally, if you move one of your pieces within range of capturing an opponent’s piece, the game will point that out with a green arrow. If that move will put your piece in jeopardy, the game lets you know that as well.

More info

DescriptionIt's everything you love about classic chess without your little brother throwing the board and one of the most user-friendly chess programs we've ever seen.
Platform"Xbox 360"
US censor rating"Everyone"
UK censor rating""
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)