Packed Chess Free is a complete chess solution for those that enjoy the game. With both single player and online modes, as well as some innovative features, it’s one of the best free chess programs out there.
I’ve always been a fan of the game of chess. I’ve never been very good at it, but I have always been a fan. The co-ordination of forces, the strategy implemented, the thinking man’s game.
It has much appeal and while I have never been very good at it (I suspect because I have trouble thinking thirty moves ahead of someone else) I have always enjoyed playing against others that aren’t very good at it either. Hence, I am always on the lookout for a decent chess program, especially one that has online features.
While there are tons of chess portals (a fancy term for a place to play chess against others online among other things) out there for use, many of the best ones are actually completely free. Packed Chess Free is an excellent example of them. Additionally, it can help you learn more about the game, such as what those letters and numbers mean when someone says “Castle to E4”.
Still a work in progress, PCF is already a very decent solution for your chess needs. Currently in version 0.9 and ready to go into v1.0 in 2012, it’s a portal to a whole community of chess lovers and knowledge about the game as well as a great way to play the game itself. There’s an Android version in the works, but not released just yet. In the current version there is even a chat platform to maintain contact through the game. Note that although the install required .NET framework 4, I don’t really consider this to be a downside since I have never had a problem with it.
One of the nicest things about PCF and why I call it a chess solution is because not only can you play against the computer (which has some pretty impressive AI at times, doing things like making human type mistakes) or play against others online, but a somewhat more rare feature included is the ability to play in a hot-seat mode. A hot seat game will have two players using the same computer, taking turns controlling the mouse/keyboard. Three ways to play and tons of options, totally free, PCF has so much to recommend it, I’d say it’s worth checking out even if you only have a passing interest in chess. I enjoyed every moment playing it and I expect to continue enjoying it. Until next time, my friends.
The program page no longer exists, but you can download of the program here.