Rybka and Chess Openings 2007 contains both the strongest chess engine currently available (Rybka) with an electronic opening reference (like ECO) that is extremely fast and powerful. The opening information is accessed via the Chess Assistant 9 interface, and so if you read my review of CA 9, you'll have a pretty good idea of how this works. I'd also like to refer you to my review of last year's version of this program, which can be found here.
Rybka and Chess Openings 2007 employs the "opening tables mode" that was introduced in Chess Assistant 8. This new mode conveys a great deal of power, and makes the new material on this CD easy to use and modify (if you so desire). For more information on the new opening tables mode, see the appropriate sections in this article and this one.. You can see a screenshot of this mode below. You browse the table on the right using the mouse or keyboard. The annotations below the table are updated as you move through the table, as are the tree statistics for the current position (shown below the board). Because of Convekta's clever programming, all this information appears very quickly, even on slower computers.
Serious students of chess know that there are several aspects to learning an opening. One is the consultation of existing theory on the best variation to play from a particular position. Convekta addresses this by providing a reference that encompasses over 500,000 opening moves with over 8000 key positions containing text annotations. Another aspect of opening study is the examination of master games. For this, Convekta provides a reference database, which contains over 3,100,000 games. And while opening variations and model games are good, the addition of text explanation to key positions is what sets this product apart from many others.
I have long recommended this software for people that don't want to purchase the full version of Chess Assistant, but that also want a comprehensive opening reference. This latest version of Convekta's opening study tool comes with the Rybka 2.3 (even stronger than Rybka 2.1), with a larger collection of games (an increase from about 1 million to over 3 million).
The software is also configured so that one can install Rybka independently of the openings program, and use it within any chess playing interface that supports UCI (Chessbase, Fritz, etc.). Printed instructions are also included to facilitate this process.
This version also comes on DVD, which was necessitated by the inclusion of a larger opening tree and games database. The latter is also present in PGN format, and will occupy about 2.1 gigabytes of hard drive space. As I mentioned previously, the database has now expanded to over 3 million games. Some of the games contain opening annotations, but you should not expect to find any with significant game commentary in them. To get this, you'll have to purchase one of Convekta's other programs (like the Famous Player's series, or one of the opening CDs).
As I mentioned in my Rybka review, you can't find a stronger chess engine anywhere at the current moment. In fact, Rybka recently completed a match with GM Jan Ehlvest, with pawn odds (5.5-2.5). That should give you some idea of how strong this engine is. It also currently sits at the very top of most computer vs computer lists that you'll find on the net.
Once again ChessOK has come forth with a very convenient and powerful opening reference .While there isn't any new "theory" compared to the previous version, the games database has been greatly expanded, and version 2.3 of Rybka is included. This is the best combination of opening reference and strong playing engine currently available on the market.
Must be installed from original CD, no refueling necessary. Takes approx 4.3 G of hard drive space, without PGN games installed.