Chessmaster: The Art of Learning review

Old school chess, new look, same feel

GamesRadar+ Verdict


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    Simplicity of program

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    Great learning tool

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    Challenging opponents


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    It's still just chess

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    Online play

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    Difficulty of opponents

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Chessmaster: The Art of Learning. Everything you need to know is right there in the title: this is typical chess with focus on cultivating skill of players of every level. This game doesn’t really offer much to the hack ‘n’ slash gamer with an itchy trigger finger - you won’t find any crazy modes like Killer Queens or Hide and go Rook here. However, if you’re a fan of the cultured man’s black and white battlefield, this is right up your alley.

Whether you’re a novice to chess or already have an ELO rating of 1300, The Art of Learning can help make you a better player. First, enter your date of birth and how often you play chess and you will receive a rank according to the ELO rating system used by national chess associations. Afterwards, make a selection of any of the activities that are all designed to help improve skill. Attending the academy (which is instructed and narrated by eight-time National Chess Champion, Josh Waitzkin) will teach you the basics and then go further with advanced tactics and endgame strategies.

Already know the intricacies of the black and white jungle? Dive right in for a challenging ranked game or check out some famous annotated games and see, with notes on strategies, how some of the champs won their titles, play-by-play. Not interested in any of that either? Play one of the puzzles or minigames; isolating a few pieces and finding ways to attack colorful fruits or finding the path a knight must take in order to capture all the pieces makes for casual fun and still emphasizes fundamental principles of chess.

More info

DescriptionWell, what can we say? It's chess.
US censor rating"Everyone","Everyone"
UK censor rating"",""
Alternative names"Chessmaster XI"
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)