5

Almost 20 years ago there was a game called Power Chess 98 from Sierra. After every game you played, this sensual voice would analyze move by move telling you what you should have done, etc. It was the best way to learn chess in my opinion.

So my question is: Is there a software/game that has this feature, in other words, a post-game analysis through voice not text?

I don't want to read the analyses, I want to hear it as the pieces are moved in the board, after the game is over of course.

  • I'm fairly certain Chessmaster X (Tenth Edition) narrated the post-game analysis. – user7681 Jun 27 '15 at 16:33
1

Ubisoft's Chessmaster: Grandmaster edition does that

Using the Mentor > Game Analysis... functionality gives the spoken annotation requirement.

For the example below I went to the Academy section and chose a game from the Database. Then this was sent to the Training mode. Lastly, I used the Mentor menu at the top to analyse the game.

The annotations are narrated by Denny Delk in Chessmaster:

Q: Whose voices are used in Chessmaster?

A: The voice used for Chessmaster (annotation, analysis, and moves) belongs to Denny Delk. The voice for illegal move commentary is Jeanne Reynolds. Their voices have been featured in Chessmaster for several years... since Chessmaster 6000.

Source: Ubi.com

Would I recommend the functionality?

No, I would not recommend this functionality of the software, because the annotations are not very insightful in my opinion. I've taken sample commentary in the game below:

[FEN ""]
[Event "Hoogovens II"]
[Site "Lone Pine, CA USA"]
[Date "1975.01"]
[Round "10"]
[White "Böhm, H"]
[Black "Timman, Ton"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "c) U"]
[WhiteELO "2300"]
[BlackELO "2385"]
[WhiteCountry "NED"]
[BlackCountry "NED"]

  1. c3 {A00 Saragossa Opening. A rather passive treatment by White, planning a solid strategy of controlling d4.} f5            {A00 Saragossa Opening. There is some game reference in literature to this position, but it is most unconvincing. The players of the Black pieces were universally the better players, and as the positions evolved, the better player won. Objectively you'd have to say that Black was a bit better even here.}
  2. d4  {Out of Opening Book. f4 would have been in the Saragossa Opening opening line.} Nf6           
  3. Bg5            g6            
  4. Bxf6 {Pins Black's pawn at e7 with a partial pin and attacks Black's rook at h8.} exf6 {Removes the threat on Black's rook at h8. Black wins a bishop for a knight. Material is even.}
  5. e3             d5            
  6. h4             h5            
  7. Nh3            Bd6           {Enables the short castle.}
  8. g3             c6            
  9. Nf4 {Attacks Black's pawn at g6 and blocks Black's pawn at f5.} Kf7           {Removes the threat on Black's pawn at g6.}
 10. Nd2            Nd7           
 11. Bd3 {Clears the way for a kingside castle.} Nf8           
 12. c4             dxc4          {Threatens White's bishop.}
 13. Bxc4+ {Checks Black's king. White wins a pawn for a pawn. Material is even.} Kg7 {Moves it out of check.}
 14. Qb3 {Clears the way for a queenside castle.} Qe7           
 15. a4             a5            
 16. d5             Rb8           
 17. O-O            b5            {Slightly better is g5.}
 18. axb5 {Removes the threat on White's bishop, threatens Black's pawn at a5, and isolates Black's pawn at c6 and Black's pawn at a5.} cxb5 {Attacks White's bishop. Black wins a pawn for a pawn. Material is even.}
 19. Bd3 {Slightly better is Bxb5.} a4 {Moves it out of immediate jeopardy and attacks White's queen.}
 20. Qd1 {Moves it to safety.} Bxf4          
 21. exf4 {White wins a bishop for a knight. Material is even.} Qd6           {Threatens White's pawn at d5 and blocks White's pawn at d5.}
 22. Qf3            {Removes the threat on White's pawn at d5.} Nd7           {Takes the knight away from the edge of the board.}
 23. Rac1           Nc5           
 24. Bb1            Bd7           {Slightly better is Bb7.}
 25. Ba2            Rhe8          {Takes control of the open file.}
 26. Rfe1           Rxe1+         {Forks White's king and White's rook at c1. Black wins a rook. Black is ahead by a rook in material. The game ends in a draw.}
 1/2-1/2

I've never found comments such as "Slightly better is g5" to help in my training.

This is partly because computers are better at pointing out variations (the answer to "what should I have played?") as opposed to natural language descriptions (the answer to "why should I play that?").

This sentiment is also shared by Boris Spassky

From computers you need variations. The evaluation you need to forget.

Source: Attributed to Boris Spassky in The Wisest Things Ever Said About Chess, authored by GM Soltis

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I suppose you could use software like scid and turn on text to speech in your operating systems accessibility option.

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I envsion that Amazon Alexa will soon have this capability. It feels very Ex Machina-like. Not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.. first instinct is that it's a bad thing because it is you that should be doing the analysis, by hand, if you wish to improve your game and/or learn something of value. But if you're stuck, and have spent considerable time on a position, and you're getting nowhere, then I see no harm in this. Yet, in online competitive play, this could become quite the problem.

"Alexa, run Stockfish analysis on this current position. I want a forced mate in 7 or less."

Alexa:

"Checkmate in 5 ... Qxf7#."

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