Chessmaster Arrives on XBLA in January

Ubisoft's long-running Chessmaster series is headed to Xbox 360 in the form of a downloadable Xbox Live Arcade title. No pricing was announced, though the game is expected to release in January 2008.

Titled Chessmaster Live, it includes numerous AI opponents for solo play, five original chess variants, and chess pieces inspired by those of fancy board maker House of Staunton. As the title implies, the game features online multiplayer as well, complete with the ability to engage in one of those "message chess" matches that can end up taking months.

Though Chessmaster Live isn't the first chess game to hit XBLA, it will hopefully turn out better than Strange Flavour and Freeverse's budget-priced Spyglass Board Games, which was marred by cumbersome controls, a troublesome online setup, and the lack of same-screen multiplayer.