Originally posted by tlswms
is the consensus that for a novice who doesn't know the difference between one opening and another that CM is the best?
Chessmaster is a fine product, and well worth the $20 I paid at Best Buy. It was originally priced at $40, and it is not worth that much. Fritz at $55 is underpriced in comparison.
Chessmaster is not better or best in any way, but it has lessons that reach a bit more towards beginners.
Chessmaster's teaching on openings is a bit dogmatic, IMO. Fritz puts more and better emphasis on ECO codes, and thus is better in the long run even for those starting without any opening knowledge. Fritz does a better job of recognizing transpositions; much of the difference is due to the vastly superior database features of the product, and better integration of all aspects of the product into a coherent whote. Chessmaster's playing, teaching, and database features are discreet that function more as separate programs. Only its teaching features can hold a candle to Fritz, and then only for players up to 1400 or so.
Chessmaster was my first chess program almost 20 years ago, and I used it for years. Consequently, I find it difficult not to check out new editions when they become available. However, I find limited use for it today. When I used Chessmaster 2100, it was a state of the art program. Today, there is Fritz, designed and maintained by chess professionals. CM, on the other hand, is an old program given a few tweaks by the gamers that now own its code.