Comparatively, which of the following is best? (Sorry for the new tangent, I have heard the Fritz series is quite good by the way)
I tried Rybka 1.0, and it seemed very fast, very precise, and very good. (And that was only the free, beta version). Seemed fine for analysis, etc.
I haven't tried Fritz, but I am playing 2 correspondence games with Fritz 8 vs. Chessmaster on a forum (on www.chessgames.com, to be specific). I have seen it give long lines of very good and clear analysis, so I suppose it would be ideal for analysis purposes. Doesn't it also have an astoundingly huge database?
I have Chessmaster, and unfortunately I must disregard my pride and say it is probably the worst of all of these. Then again, it's goal isn't to win tournaments, it's to teach people chess. It has unlimited tactical puzzles, tutorials on nearly any kind of strategy, a 530,000 game database (and I added 10,000 new ones to it), a huge amount of annotated games (including Christiansen's annotations on his match with Chessmaster 9000), and so many levels and styles I can't even count them. I know I won't need another program (or possibly even book!) to learn chess again. But, if I want to analyze, Chessmaster isn't so strong, but it definetely can find the same lines as any other program, it only takes longer.
With Shredder, it's reputation justifies to me that it's a great program, and I want to check out it's endgame analyzer (Icer). I haven't tried it, but I want to.
Finally, HIARCS, I haven't tried it either, but I've heard from *someone* that it evaluates positions with an amazing AI, so, like every other producer claims THEIR machine to be, it is the "best".