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Sargon V: World Class Chess

From the Database of Home of the Underdogs




Copyright 1991, Activision

Sargon V is a solid chess game with outstanding training options and good presentation, offering both 2D and 3D boards. Billed a chess game for expert, the game indeed plays a very good game of chess, with a world-class engine that is much stronger than the popular Chessmaster engine at that time.

In addition to offering a wide variety of 2D and 3D boards, Sargon V features a wealth of customizable game features and a large book of opening moves. You can challenge a computer which knows the moves of such famous games as Karpov-Kasparov (1990), or go through Annotated games in which the “Dean of American Chess” George Koltanowski explains the thinking process behind the all-time great moves. Another excellent instructional feature is the “Illustrative Games,” which let you guess, then tell you what happened in classic matches. The game has something for everyone on the learning curve, from novice to expert: in beginner’s mode, it shows you all the legal moves including varying degrees of difficulty; in Tournament Mode, it provides ample challenge for experts.

You can play against the computer, against a friend, or just watch the computer play against itself or famous historical games being replayed. You can also print out a list of your moves in your current game and a map of the board’s piece locations. The only gripe I have about the game is the ugly hand which appears to move pieces, but that’s about it. With an astounding range of options, strong chess engine, and innovative Illustrative Games feature, Sargon V is a highly underrated classic, the last and best in a solid series that deserves a lot more recognition than the overhyped Chessmaster series. Two thumbs up, way up!

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