Chess. What can you do with chess? You can't add sniper rifles, you can't add cutscenes, you sure as hell can't stick Tom Clancy's name on the box without someone noticing. It's chess. Not war, despite what enthusiasts and their "but it's war of the mind!" slogans might tell you. It's just... chess.
So it's no surprise to see no surprises with Chessmaster LIVE, which is a straight shooting version of chess, no bells or whistles attached. You can choose between a 2D or 3D look, you can have a moves readout alongside the board, you can playback a replay of the match but hey, it's chess. Chess is chess is chess. And that's all this is.
There's a wide variety of AI opponents to plough through with their own traits, though it's hard for chess novices to really pick these traits out through their individual playing styles. Rather, it's more that you can find an opponent who matches up against your skill level, which is monitored by your win/loss ratio and the calibre of opponents that you have beaten. Taking on all comers? Then go against the grandmaster. Taking a beating? Then play against the monkey wearing a comedy hat.
There's not much else to say about Chessmaster LIVE. It's a graphically functional, perfectly playable plug-in for those who want a quick game of chess. Nothing more, nothing less. Just chess.
It's chess. A perfectly playable and enjoyable version of chess.