Generally speaking I’ve found working with chess training software to be a frustrating business. On the one hand it can make life much simpler but I often find myself asking why the programmers didn’t incorporate particular features. It also looks like very few of them bother to consult experienced coaches before creating their wares, coming up with things that in my view foster ineffective learning approaches.
Two of my favorite programs are Chessimo and Peshka, yet both of these suffer from the same problem. If you give a child a unit to do they can (and will!) game the system by entering any old move until the program shows them the answer. My other frustration with these programs is that they don’t allow you to create your own units. I’d happily pay for a Peshka authoring tool in which we could build our own courses.
One program that gets around both these problems is Chess Position Trainer. I’ve been playing around with it lately and like it a lot, not so much for the intended use (learning opening variations) as the fact that I can author training units myself. They also don’t allow the trainee to cheat, training mode will keep resetting the position until the gets them right! It would be better still if I could enter middle game positions rather than have everything branching out from the initial position, but then it wasn’t designed for this.
Here’s a youtube video showing some of its features, you can also download a trial version from here.