We’d like to welcome you to the exciting world of computer chess! Whether you’re just starting to learn about this great game or you’re already a seasoned player, using your new chess computer will give you the opportunity to discover so much more about chess than you ever thought possible! Take a look through this manual to get an overview of your computer’s capabilities — all the special features and modes, all the unique options and playing levels. And take advantage of them over time, one by one! You’ll have great fun — and you’ll never look at chess the same way again! Your computer knows all the rules of chess — and it will never cheat! For those of you who haven’t played before, we have included a brief overview of the rules to get you started. For more detailed information, why not visit your local library, where you’re sure to find lots of interesting chess books!
At the beginning of a game, the computer will often move instantly on many levels. This is because it is playing from memory, using its own built-in “book” of opening chess moves. This book contains thousands of positions, including most major openings and many positions from grand master play. If the current board position is in its book, the computer plays a response to that position automatically, instead of having to think about the move! A special feature of this computer’s opening book is its ability to handle transpositions. A transposition occurs when a position reached by a certain set of moves can also be reached when those same moves occur in a different order. The computer’s integrated Automatic Transposition Manager handles these cases with ease!
Thinking on the Opponent’s Time
As you play, you may notice that the computer sometimes replies to your moves immediately, even in the middle of games played on the higher levels. This is because the computer thinks on your time, using the time you are taking for your move to think ahead and plan its own strategies. It tries to guess the move you are likely to make, and then calculates its responses for that particular move while you are still thinking. If the computer has guessed right, there’s no reason for it to keep on calculating — it immediately plays the move it has already found!
INFO MODE: WATCH THE COMPUTER THINK!
Imagine this: You’re playing chess against a friend, and it’s his move. You’d love to know what move he’s thinking about, and you’d really like to get his opinion of the board position. But, of course, you won’t ask — because that’s just not done! Well, guess what — when you play against this chess computer, you can ask anything you want, and you’ll get all the answers! In fact, you can get an incredible amount of information about the computer’s thought process. On request, it will show you the move it’s thinking of, the line of play it expects after that move, its evaluation of the current board position, how deeply it is searching, and more. As you can imagine, studying this information can help you learn so much more about chess!
Excerpts taken from the “Saitek Cougar” User Manual