Joined: 07 Aug 2017
|Posted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 4:20 pm Post subject: Kasparov Trainer MK12 review (black & white version)
|So I got a Kasparov Trainer MK12, the black&white version, with pieces and all, and wish to share my experiences with you. From most important to lesser:
(--) the board freezes after every 7th move. You can counter that by manually resetting the board from by pushing the button/switch on the side "Go" to "off" to "Go". The board recognizes it has been turned back on and remembers the position. Best to do this when it is your move. Did I already mention that it is undoable to keep remembering this in practice? The manual mentions something about static and pressing the "New game" and switch on at the same time to reset it but by then you would have just erased your game.
(--) the batteries don't fit. The manual shows an innocent looking picture of sliding in 4 aa batteries, but there is not enough space to fit them. If you place an aa, aa, aaa,aa it does fit, but the aaa will fall out unless you support it with some tape.
(+) The feel of the board is fine.
(+) the pieces are plastic but feel fine, the horse has manes and all, and the bottoms are "weakly magnetic" in a pleasant way.
(+) the layout of the board is great, restful on the eyes, the squares are not too big but not too small either. The pieces are grayish/black, and fit fine on the squares.
(+) moving a piece involves taking it up and putting it down. The sensor board registers almost immediately your move. For castling you don't press the rook, just move him.
(+) the look of the controls is very nice, unobtrusive, so no flashing crap to bother you.
(-) a position on the board is not clear if there is dimmed light, don't know why but it's just the way it is.
(-) the feel of the buttons is not so fine: the buttons are just areas on a flat surface, and don't stick out. I want real buttons.
(-) it comes with a book on winning chess but the letters are very small, the writing style of Kasparov is offensive, and he jumps from the rules directly to opening theory and after that the basic tricks are named (forks, pins & skewers aka shish-kebab), but explained badly and short.
(-) After 2-3 moves of you it has run out of opening theory and then it takes on easiest level 5-10 seconds and produces a lame move. It does play reasonably well, albeit a bit dull.
(-) it cannot mate. Just for fun it had a queen and some other pieces, I had only a king and it managed to stalemate me. Which it confirmed with the flashing leds "draw". Ridiculous.
As already mentioned, I do not care for collecting, instead I want a clean house with stuff I use, so I sent it back to where it came from and good riddance. So consider the above as a well-meant fair warning.
The hobbyist could use the surface to put a decent piece of software under it and then you would have a great toy.
Strive for avoiding anything flat that emits light. Love the unhackable chess computer with real pieces and a tactile feel. I do not collect, I live.