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Old News and Reviews

[!Important!]

We were gone, now we're back
11/29/08

There was a slight problem with the hosting of ChessAssistance. ChessOk has agreed to host the site on their servers so that this free resource could continue to be available for ChessAssistant users. Happy holidays everyone!  ...more

[Extra!]

Special upgrade offers for Rybka
07/23/08

ChessOK is now offering a number of upgrade and purchase options for the new Rybka 3.0 and Chess Assistant 10.0. You can find more info on these offers here. You may also want to check out some of the Rybka information (tutorials, interviews and the like) here...more

[Extra!]

Rybka Aquarium
04/19/08

As some of you may be aware, Convekta/ChessOK and Vasik Rajlich are hard at work on a new chess playing program, code named Rybka Aquarium. This new program will have some familiar elements for users of Chess Assistant (like the tree and database). Aquarium features a slick GUI (coupled to the super-strong Rybka engine), and will provide many ease-of-use features. Dadi Jonsson has interviewed both Victor Zakharov and Pete Lupherenko about their new GUI - you can read it here...more

[Extra!]

GM Jaan Ehlvest vs. Rybka odds match!
07/05/07

On July 5-8, 2007 there will be a match between Rybka 2.3.2a (World Champion version) and GM Jaan Ehlvest. Games are visible on the ChessOk server. Go to www.chessok.com and the rybka forum for more details.  ...more

Software

Rybka and Chess Openings 2007
04/05/07

This version of Convekta's opening reference contains a much larger games database, along with the latest version of the Rybka chess engine.  ...more

Software

Pocket Chess Combinations and Pocket Encyclopedia of Opening Blunders
03/03/07

Convekta now has two more PocketPC programs available, giving them a grand total of eight(!) different tutorial packages for the PocketPC...  ...more

Software

Dinosaur Chess Review
01/28/07

And now for something completely different.... I have a review of Dinosaur chess. This program is designed for children, and is now being distributed by Convekta. This is a slickly produced piece of quality software that deserves your full consideration if you want something for your children. Read the full review for more details.  ...more

Software

Chess Openings 2006
11/02/06

Convekta's refreshed their Openings reference software yet again. This version, in addition to updated data and recommendations, contains at least one killer additional feature.  ...more

Software

Rybka Review
09/23/06

Do you want the strongest chess engine out there? Convekta, in association with International Master Vasik Rajlich, is now distributing Rybka. Included on the CD are both 32 and 64 bit versions of the engine, along with an opening book (Chessbase format).  ...more

[Extra!]

Chess Assistant 9.03
09/09/06

Chess Assistant 9.03 is now available for download. No word on what exactly has been fixed, but there wasn't much wrong with CA 9, so my guess is that most of the fixes are not critical. However, you should still consider updating. Go here to download your copy.  ...more

Software

Chess Assistant 9 review
07/29/06

Well, it's finally here - Bob has returned from his European junket and has been able to take a look at Chess Assistant 9. Read the full review for all the details.  ...more

[Extra!]

New downloads
06/07/06

Just a reminder folks - this site has some neat downloads here. In fact, I've just added a whole passel of piece sets, generously donated by Dadi Johnnson.  ...more

[Extra!]

Chess Assistant 9 is here (!)
05/31/06

Egad, looks like Chess Assistant 9 is now available. This one is a surprise to me folks! Minimal details at the Convekta Store...more

Software

Two PocketPC chess programs for beginners
05/07/06

Convekta's two latest PocketPC programs are Pocket Tactics for Beginners, and Pocket Chess Basics.  ...more

Software

Chess Middlegame Collection Review
03/25/06

Convekta's bundle of middlegame CDs should keep one busy for quite some time. With 2300 instructional games/fragments as well as 2600 exercises, it constitutes a formidable instructional tool.  ...more

[Extra!]

$10,000 USD internet open blitz tournament
03/19/06

Convekta will be holding an internet open blitz tournament with a $10,000 USD prize fund.  ...more

Software

Slav Defense Review
03/09/06

Convekta's Slav Defense CD is another in a series of electronic opening encyclopedias which employ Convekta's super-powerful opening tree mode, which first appeared in Chess Assistant 8.  ...more

Software

Opening Instructor Review
01/21/06

Read the review to find out what makes this Opening CD different from Convekta's other opening encyclopedia.  ...more

Software

Six World Champions Collection Review
01/08/06

Convekta's bundle of six world champion game collections is the ideal choice if you want to study these great players. This collection of material comes in a single DVD box containing four CDs. The first contains Lasker, Alekhine and Capablanca. Tal, Botvinnik, and Spassky are on the remaining three CDs.  ...more

Software

Pocket Chess Endings and Middlegames Review
12/11/05

Convekta's released another set of training programs for PocketPC owners. The material in these programs is essentially identical (with minor exceptions) to their bigger PC brethren.  ...more

[Extra!]

New products and specials at Convekta
11/23/05

You may want to sidle over to www.convekta.com. They have a number of new products (Slav Opening CD, Pocket Chess Endings, Pocket Encyclopedia of Middlegame, Chess Middlegame Collection, Six World Champions and Opening instructor). To top it off, they have a pre-holiday sale going on as well!  ...more

Software

Pocket Chess Strategy Review
11/22/05

Convekta's release of Pocket Chess Strategy comes very soon after their release of Pocket CT-ART. Both programs represent a genre of software that have here-to-fore been ignored by most of the other chess software companies. Right now, these programs are your best choice if you want to study chess on your PocketPC.  ...more

Software

Middlegames IV review
10/10/05

Convekta's latest offering in the Middlegames series covers: the Two Knights' defense, Ruy Lopez (Schliemann and 5...b5 variations), Sicilian defense (Richter attack), French defense (3. e5 and 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 variations), Caro-Kann defense (3.e5 var.), English defense, King's Indian defense (Classical, Saemisch, Fianchetto and Averbakh variations), Nimzo-Indian defense, Slav defense (4...dc var.), Old Indian defense.  ...more

Software

Review of Chess Combinations Encyclopedia
08/28/05

Convekta sticks to their familiar format of chess exercise collections with this latest offering. Take a look at the review to find out what sets this program apart from others in Convekta's catalog.  ...more

Software

Comprehensive Chess Openings 2005 Review
07/17/05

Comprehensive Chess Openings 2005 is a wide-ranging opening reference that has theoretical recommendations for just about every opening. The key difference in this latest release is that there is no longer a reliance solely on Informant-type symbology to convey important ideas and concepts. Indeed, this version contains quite a bit of text commentary sprinkled throughout the opening material.  ...more

Software

Convekta releases a killer chess app for the PocketPC!
06/12/05

PocketPC owners are blessed with a wide array of chess playing programs from which to choose. But until now, there has been a dearth of tutorial software for this platform. Convekta has chosen to remedy this situation by porting their most successful chess training program to date – CT-ART, to this platform.  ...more

Software

Convekta's new CD on Nimzowitch's opening
05/28/05

After releasing several CDs on more mainstream openings, Convekta ventures into relatively uncharted territory with 1...Nc6.  ...more

Software

Spassky CD Review
05/21/05

This CD is the latest in Convekta's series of annotated world champion's games. In this latest release, there have been some changes made in the training modes. Check out the full review for more details.  ...more

Software

Total Chess Training II review
04/03/05

Total Chess Training II is the second in a series of training program bundles from Convekta. This particular offering is targeted at more advanced players, and should provide many hours of focused training. See the full review for more details.  ...more

[Extra!]

Chess Assistant 8.1 available for download!
03/17/05

Chess Assistant 8.1 is now available for download. This version integrates both ICC and Chessplanet support. The upgrade is split into three downloads; but hold on to your modems, the total is 31 megabytes!  ...more

[Extra!][!Important!]

New opening table tutorial videos and Chessplanet help files
02/26/05

In my earlier review of Chess Assistant 8, I talked about the new opening tables mode, but did not go into great detail about the use of this function. Convekta has now created a flash video that does just that. It is a must see for anyone that has been unable to harness the power of this new mode.  ...more

Software

Six-man tablebases on DVD!
02/11/05

Convekta has recently released a collection of six-man tablebases. The cost is $29 for a whopping 17GB of data. See the full article for more information.  ...more

[Extra!][!Important!]

ICC support is back in Chess Assistant 8!
12/10/04

Apparently the letters to both ICC and Convekta had some effect. Convekta has added ICC support back into Chess Assistant (CA) 8! This feature was included in CA 7, but due to licensing issues, did not make it into the latest version of CA. Now CA 8 supports two great servers - Chess Planet and the Internet Chess Club.  ...more

[Extra!]Software

Chess Assistant 8 Mega Packet Review
11/20/04

Convekta's new Chess Assistant 8 is now available. In this detailed review, I'll provide a brief overview of Chess Assistant 8's capabilities, as well as provide a detailed discussion of the new features.

You might want to get yourself a plate of milk and cookies, this review is a little bit on the long side. It also has quite a few graphics, so it may take a while to load.

  ...more

[Extra!]

Superfinal 2004 Coverage and Free Commented Games
11/17/04

Convekta has live coverage of the Superfinal tournament currently being played in Moscow. You can find instructions on how to watch, along with free commented PGN and html format games here...more

[Extra!]

Chess Assistant 8 now shipping!!!
11/05/04

People have been talking about it for a while, and it appears as though it is finally here. Convekta has all the details for you on their site. Some of the highlights include the Tiger 2004 engine, new search capabilities and  a new opening tables viewing mode. The latter is good for distilling the large amount of chess tree data that Chess Assistant provides.

Update! Chess Assistant 8 orders are now being shipped! Watch for a review in the coming weeks.

  ...more

Software

Modern Chess Openings King's Indian Defense
09/07/04

Convekta's new opening CD on the King's Indian Defense is similar to their two previous offerings on the French and Sicilian. How does this CD stack up? Read the full article to find out.  ...more

[Extra!]

Updated CA Lite information
08/29/04

Convekta has some new information on the differences between Chess Assistant Lite and full versions. You can find this information here. Also, in the coming weeks, I will have some very interesting information that resulted from a recent visit I had with Convekta personnel in Moscow.  ...more

[Extra!]

New Chessplanet site
08/01/04

Convekta now has an English website for Chessplanet. See this link for more information. Also note that people using previous versions of the program may experience connection problems. The IP address has been changed for the server (the default configuration for the newest version of the client points to the new IP).  ...more

[Extra!]

Chess Assistant Build 730, and New Chess Assistant Lite are Available
07/24/04

See this link for the download. However, if you are happy with build 729, then I would recommend that you not update at this time.  ...more

[!Important!]

Convekta's Games of the Cup, Starting July 15, 2004
07/13/04

I recently received more information on the $20,000 internet tournament that Convekta is running. Here are the important facts:

Does this sound interesting? Read the full article for more details! Note that this information has now been updated since it was first posted on 7/11/04.

  ...more

[Extra!]

More news on Chessplanet
07/09/04

As I announced earlier, Convekta has a new internet chess server. Since the original article was written, there have been some new developments. First and foremost, this server is now the official server of the Russian Chess Federation. Second, Convekta has managed to secure a major sponsor for an online tournament, which is to be held on July 15th, 2004. The total prize fund for this tournament is 20,000 USD, and anyone can play.  ...more

Software

Encyclopedia of Middlegames III
06/24/04

Convekta's released the third CD in their Middlegames series. For more information on the user interface and opening variations covered, see the full article.  ...more

[Extra!]

Free access to a large collection of six-man tablebases is now available
05/12/04

Tablebases are commonly available from a variety of sources. Indeed, Convekta has a set of five man (including some six-man sets) available on CD and DVD. But getting a complete archive of 6-man tablebase on your own machine can be difficult. So far, Eugene Nalimov has generated over 600GB of tablebase files already, and Convekta expects twice that total will be generated before the set is complete. So getting 6-man tablebases on your own computer is a big problem. Luckily, Convekta has made these files available over the internet.  ...more

Software

Modern Chess Openings: Sicilian Defense
05/03/04

Convekta's new opening CD on the Sicilian is quite similar in form and function to their French CD, but has a bit more content. Read the rest of the review for the details.  ...more

[Extra!]

A CT-ART study regimen
05/02/04

Convekta has added an article on using CT-ART to their sofware school section. Those that are using this program for tactical improvement may want to take a look at it.  ...more

Software

Convekta game service subscription
03/30/04

Do you want to add some commented games to your existing Chess Assistant databases? Game service is Convekta's subscription-based method for keeping your game databases current. It can be delivered by e-mail, or downloaded automatically through Chess Assistant itself.  ...more

[Extra!]

New internet chess client available
03/04/04

Convekta has a new internet chess client available. It is currently undergoing testing, and they welcome constructive comments on improving it. The current name is "Club Chess Assistant". The client can be downloaded here...more

[Extra!]

Update: New version of Chess Assistant Lite available
02/27/04

Convekta has made a new "Lite" version of CA available for download. You can get it at the Convekta download page, or at the ChessAssistance.com download page. Make sure that you also get the updated help file as well. It should be unzipped, and copied into the CA 7.1 directory. See the full article for limitations of this version.  ...more

Software

Chess Tactics for Intermediate Players
02/19/04

Convekta recently sent me a copy of their latest tactics training CD. Chess Tactics for Intermediate players shares a common interface with many other Convekta products, and operates with the same practice/test cycle that programs like CT-ART, and Chess Tactics for beginners have popularized.  ...more

Software

Modern Chess Openings: French Defense
01/05/04

This new opening CD from Convekta has some really cool features for opening study. A new quickbar allows fast access to opening reports, ECO tables, and various test modes. And electronic texts give explanations of important ideas.  ...more

[Extra!]

Kalinin teaser, and other news
12/16/03

Convekta is running a couple of specials on their website. In addition, there are some new opening CDs, one of which is previewed in the article. CA users may also see an updated version of the program before year's end.  ...more

[Extra!]

Interesting endgame studies books
12/08/03

I don't normally write about books, but I thought I should mention these, since I've not seen them reviewed elsewhere. The books in the "Masterpieces of Chess Composition" series are quite interesting and unique. Each one contains 100 endgame studies by a particular composer or set of composers.  ...more

Software

Review of Convekta's new Mate Studies training CD
09/14/03

Ok, I hope you all have your thinking caps on. Convekta has just come out with a collection of training examples that is guaranteed to induce serious mental strain. This new program is called simply "Mate Studies". It contains approximately 5000 (!) examples from about 195 different authors. And so far, it is the first program of its kind on the market.  ...more

Software

Review of Comprehensive Chess Endings and Nalimov Tablebase DVD!
07/17/03

Convekta recently released some software with the modest name of "Comprehensive Chess Endings". Many of you will probably also recognize this title as belonging to a multi-volume reference work by Yuri Averbach et al. This software includes all the material in the original hardback series, as well as enhancements and corrections to the text. Everything has been checked by computers and GM Averbach himself.

If this weren't enough, the program is also being offered as part of a package that includes all the Nalimov 3-5 man tablebases on DVD. Put these two packages together, and you get what I will call the ultimate endgame reference. The price for all this is only $59 USD!

I will cut to the chase - this is a fantastic bundle, and is easily worth triple the asking price. But go ahead and read the review if you need proof. There are also some good illustrative examples for how you can use this bundle in your studies.

  ...more

Software

Chess Openings 2003 Review
06/11/03

Do you ever wish you had an easy to use electronic opening reference that had wide coverage of a variety of different openings? Such a product would include up to date theory as well as a supporting collection of master games. It would also show transpositions between different move orders, a chess tree, and allow fast and easy access to the data. Moreover, it would be offered by a company with good support policies and reasonable prices.  ...more

Article

Some other sources of CA information on the web
06/01/03

I've been meaning to make a short list of interesting Chess Assistant info that I've recently come across on the web. While most of these sources have been mentioned previously on this site, some of them may have escaped your notice.  ...more

[Extra!]

New downloads
04/20/03

CA 7 owners should take note. Convekta has released an update for CA 7.0/7.1. After the update, you will be running CA 7.1, build 722

Make sure you also check out the new endgame classifier, and Openings 2003 data (both in Add-ons area of download section). Convekta is giving this data away for free to owners of CA 7! The endgame classifer allows for very quick searches of endgame positions, while the openings data gives you the latest theoretical data.

This latest build has the new auto-update feature. See the downloads section for this build and an MS-Word file detailing the new update feature.

  ...more

[Extra!]

Keeping track of site updates on ChessAssistance.com
04/13/03

Did you know that there is an easy way to keep up with the latest developments on Chessassistance.com, without having to visit the site everyday? Its called an RSS feed, and there are quite a few popular websites and desktop applications that can pull information of these feeds.   ...more

Software

Famous Players Collection - Botvinnik
04/01/03

If you want to get better, you've got to study master games, it's as simple as that. And what could be better than studying the games of the former world champions?  Add a free version of Chess Assistant with carefully designed test positions, and you've got all the material you need to do the job.  ...more

[Extra!]

Convekta announces new web site
03/16/03

Convekta has started a chess news website that they are calling an "internet chess newspaper", it will be called "Chess Weekly" and is located at weekly.convekta.com. Current, and future issues will contain:

  ...more

[Extra!]

CA7.1 Official...
03/03/03

Chess Assistant 7.1 is now officially shipping. Existing owners of CA 7 are able to update to version 7.1 for free, check the downloads section for the latest version.  ...more

[!Important!]

CA 7 Patch installation instructions. PLEASE READ!
01/27/03

Please read these important instructions before installing the CA 7 update. Those people getting 501 errors, or for whom the patch fails to install, should read this.  ...more

Software

Famous Player Collections
01/17/03

Convekta offers a number of well annotated game collections. Years of research have gone into each CD in this series, and they are the best game collections available. No other software is required to access the data on these CDs.  ...more

Software

Endgame Theory and Practice Review
11/02/02

This endgame CD was released at around the same time as Convekta’s other endgame offering (Chess Endgame Training – or CET). I struggled for a while to place this CD into a separate category from CET, but in the end, I am convinced that there is a fair amount that both CDs have in common. That is not to say that there are duplicate exercises between the two (I have not run into any yet). But rather, there are similarities in the types of knowledge and techniques that are being taught.  ...more

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