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Arena 3.5

Play chess online or against 250+ engines

by Mike Williams

Our Rating:
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Based on 1 ratings
License: Freeware
Operating Systems: Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows 8, Windows Server, Windows Vista (32 bit), Windows Vista (64 bit), Windows XP
Requirements:
Languages: English, German, Russian
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 03 July 2014
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 1127
Developer: Martin Blume
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Arena Chess 3.5
Play chess online or against 250+ engines

Arena is a powerful tool for playing chess and analyzing games.

The program interface is better than many similar tools. The 2D board looks good and is very configurable, key options are relatively easy to find, and you can learn a lot about Arena's features just by browsing the menus. There's detailed local help, too (and a real Windows Help file, not a PDF or a website with no search feature).

Arena is able to use more than 250 chess engines, many of which have adjustable strength, so you're unlikely to run out of opponents. Although if you do, it's also possible to play online games against people worldwide.

The program has strong support for analysing games, helping you understand the thinking processes of individual engines.

A host of extras includes support for variant games, including Shuffle Chess and Fischer Chess/ Chess 960. There's a stack of configuration options to ensure everything works as you'd expect. And if you find yourself getting too engrossed when you should really be doing other things, don't worry - a built-in Boss Key (Ctrl+0) can dismiss Arena to the system tray whenever someone gets too close.

Verdict:

A powerful chess playing and analysis tool. Arena's well-designed interface and detailed help file mean it's easier to use than many similar programs, too.

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

WhatsApp Messenger 2.12.1

Free Full Commercial Software

WhatsApp Messenger is the world's most popular instant messaging app for smartphones.

You can use it to send and receive text and voice messages, photos, videos, even call your friends in other countries, and because it uses your phone's internet connection it might not cost you anything at all (depending on whether you'll pay data charges).

It's easy to set up and use. There's no need to create and remember new account names or pins because it works with your phone number, and uses your regular address book to find and connect you with friends who use WhatsApp already.

You can talk one-to-one or in group chats, and because you're always logged in there's no way to miss messages. Even if your phone is turned off, WhatsApp will save your messages and display them as soon as you're back online.

There's plenty more (location sharing, contact exchange, message broadcasting) and the app is free for a year, currently $0.99/ year afterwards.

Version 2.12.1 brings:
 - WhatsApp Calling: Call your friends and family using WhatsApp for free, even if they’re in another country. WhatsApp calls use your phone’s Internet connection rather than your cellular plan’s voice minutes. Data charges may apply.

[...]
Value:
Free
Rating: