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Old July 19th 04, 02:51 PM
Henri Arsenault
 
Posts: n/a
Default Chessvbase lessons too expensive?

I am not sure that this is the right forum for this discussion, but I
can't hink of a better one...

I play chess on both ICC and on the Chessbase site (using Fritz8 in the
latter case). I enjoy reading the news on the Chessbase web site every
day, and I buy some of their products. The recent Chess Media system,
which allows both video and chessboard moves to be seen at the same time
is very promising (it requires the Fritz8 program or equivalent program
from Chessbase).

But I am a bit puzzled about the chess lessons on their sites. 25 ducats
for a half-hour session with a canned program? A ducat is about a US
dollar, and a dollar a minute seems to me like a LOT for a canned
tutorial.

I have not taken any full tutorials, but the zombie expressions and
almost inaudible tone of voice of the instructors on the tutorials where I
have watched the first couple of free minutes could put anyone to sleep in
five minutes. One of the free videos has Mig Greengard tring to get the
system to work for over five minutes for an interview with Susan Polgar,
then the video ends before the interview even begins. Same thing for
another Greengard free video supposed to cover some game that I have
forgotten. After that, I got a message that I had used up all my free time
and I was unable to watch any mmore. thank heavens for small favors...It
smacks of amateurism. And BTW, I like Mig, at least he keeps me awake...

I am not writing this to put down Chessbase but to push for improvement.
If you are going to sell a product for a dollar a minute, you had darn
well better have a professionoal and polished product. I believe that
educational chess products have a great potential, and I have put my
money into buying some of them (for example Bareev's King pawn Repertory
from Chessbase, which is excellent but organized in a way that is foreign
to whichever half of my brain tries to interpret chess lessons. I have not
bought any of the Chessbase interactive lessons, but I might if the cost
to value ratio seemed worthwhile.

The models for good instructional chess that I know of are the tutorials
that are included with Chessmaster 9000. For a game that I have seen on
sale for about $15 US, these tutorials are worth every cent of the much
higher price I paid for the game (I also have every version of Fritz
except Deep Fritz 7&8 as well as every Chess game available for the Palm,
so I am not a shill for Chessmaster - as a matter of fact I prefer Fritz
for analysis and for online playing). The analyzed games by Josh Waitzkin
alone are worth the price of the game, and there are a lot of other
tutorials for players of every level - and I haven't had time to go
through even half of them yet despite having the game for over a year.

One original and interesting exercise in the Chessmaster tutorials is
where you examine a given setup, then you clear the board and have to put
all pieces where they were. I was surprised (and disappointed) to see how
rotten I am at this game - even at the beginner level where there are only
a half-dozen pieces, confirming the fact that I do not have a photographic
memory and understanding why I am not so good at visualizing 20 moves
ahead. But I bet that doing this exercise regularly (there are setups for
beginning, intermediate and advanced players - good luck with 25
pieces...), one could improve one's visualization abilities considerably.

Anyway, comparing the quality and price of the chessmaster tutorials with
those on the Chessbase site, it seems to me that the gap is much too wide.
Even at half the price (about a dollar for two minutes), the chessmaster
lessons would still be far too expensive. After all, after one has spent
30 dollars watching a half-hour lesson, everything vanishes and there is
no option for review or interaction with the teacher because the lesson is
a canned video. I would even hesitate paying $5 for such a half-hour
canned lesson, much less $30, when I can get much better lessons lasting
hundreds of hours for the same price!

It is not up to me to tell Chessbase how to do its marketing, but it
seems to me that they would have a much better chance of mass-marketing
their online videos if they severely cut the prices and improved the
professionalism of the presentations - perhaps even requiring the
instructors to take public speaking lessons if necessary...

Since advertisement plays such an important role, some of the lessors
should be FREE so that potential customers can get a feeling for what they
will get. But don't count on my money for anything costing more than a
dollar an hour.

Opinions welcome.

Henri

PS: Chessbase has good free chess videos online on the chessclub.com web
site. These are analyses of recent games, but why can't videos of similar
quality cover instructional aspects of chess with the Chess Media system?
  #2   Report Post  
Old July 21st 04, 03:47 PM
DFG
 
Posts: n/a
Default Chessvbase lessons too expensive?

100 ducats will cost you US$11.90, or 10Euros. Here is the link at
XhessBase if you wish to purchase them

http://www.chessbase.com/shop/index....om&user=&coin=

DFG

"Henri Arsenault" wrote in message
...
I am not sure that this is the right forum for this discussion, but I
can't hink of a better one...

I play chess on both ICC and on the Chessbase site (using Fritz8 in the
latter case). I enjoy reading the news on the Chessbase web site every
day, and I buy some of their products. The recent Chess Media system,
which allows both video and chessboard moves to be seen at the same time
is very promising (it requires the Fritz8 program or equivalent program
from Chessbase).

But I am a bit puzzled about the chess lessons on their sites. 25 ducats
for a half-hour session with a canned program? A ducat is about a US
dollar, and a dollar a minute seems to me like a LOT for a canned
tutorial.

I have not taken any full tutorials, but the zombie expressions and
almost inaudible tone of voice of the instructors on the tutorials where I
have watched the first couple of free minutes could put anyone to sleep in
five minutes. One of the free videos has Mig Greengard tring to get the
system to work for over five minutes for an interview with Susan Polgar,
then the video ends before the interview even begins. Same thing for
another Greengard free video supposed to cover some game that I have
forgotten. After that, I got a message that I had used up all my free time
and I was unable to watch any mmore. thank heavens for small favors...It
smacks of amateurism. And BTW, I like Mig, at least he keeps me awake...

I am not writing this to put down Chessbase but to push for improvement.
If you are going to sell a product for a dollar a minute, you had darn
well better have a professionoal and polished product. I believe that
educational chess products have a great potential, and I have put my
money into buying some of them (for example Bareev's King pawn Repertory
from Chessbase, which is excellent but organized in a way that is foreign
to whichever half of my brain tries to interpret chess lessons. I have not
bought any of the Chessbase interactive lessons, but I might if the cost
to value ratio seemed worthwhile.

The models for good instructional chess that I know of are the tutorials
that are included with Chessmaster 9000. For a game that I have seen on
sale for about $15 US, these tutorials are worth every cent of the much
higher price I paid for the game (I also have every version of Fritz
except Deep Fritz 7&8 as well as every Chess game available for the Palm,
so I am not a shill for Chessmaster - as a matter of fact I prefer Fritz
for analysis and for online playing). The analyzed games by Josh Waitzkin
alone are worth the price of the game, and there are a lot of other
tutorials for players of every level - and I haven't had time to go
through even half of them yet despite having the game for over a year.

One original and interesting exercise in the Chessmaster tutorials is
where you examine a given setup, then you clear the board and have to put
all pieces where they were. I was surprised (and disappointed) to see how
rotten I am at this game - even at the beginner level where there are only
a half-dozen pieces, confirming the fact that I do not have a photographic
memory and understanding why I am not so good at visualizing 20 moves
ahead. But I bet that doing this exercise regularly (there are setups for
beginning, intermediate and advanced players - good luck with 25
pieces...), one could improve one's visualization abilities considerably.

Anyway, comparing the quality and price of the chessmaster tutorials with
those on the Chessbase site, it seems to me that the gap is much too wide.
Even at half the price (about a dollar for two minutes), the chessmaster
lessons would still be far too expensive. After all, after one has spent
30 dollars watching a half-hour lesson, everything vanishes and there is
no option for review or interaction with the teacher because the lesson is
a canned video. I would even hesitate paying $5 for such a half-hour
canned lesson, much less $30, when I can get much better lessons lasting
hundreds of hours for the same price!

It is not up to me to tell Chessbase how to do its marketing, but it
seems to me that they would have a much better chance of mass-marketing
their online videos if they severely cut the prices and improved the
professionalism of the presentations - perhaps even requiring the
instructors to take public speaking lessons if necessary...

Since advertisement plays such an important role, some of the lessors
should be FREE so that potential customers can get a feeling for what they
will get. But don't count on my money for anything costing more than a
dollar an hour.

Opinions welcome.

Henri

PS: Chessbase has good free chess videos online on the chessclub.com web
site. These are analyses of recent games, but why can't videos of similar
quality cover instructional aspects of chess with the Chess Media system?



  #3   Report Post  
Old July 21st 04, 04:35 PM
Henri Arsenault
 
Posts: n/a
Default Chessvbase lessons too expensive?

In article , "DFG"
wrote:

100 ducats will cost you US$11.90, or 10Euros. Here is the link at
XhessBase if you wish to purchase them

oops, if this is right, then I misread the instructions on Chessbase on
how to buy ducats.

OK, a factor of 8 less expensive makes more sense. I will have to look at
these lessons again; a half-hour lesson for a couple of bucks is beginning
to get close to my threshold.

Henri
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