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  1. 11 Apr '14 01:56
    Apparently, I saw that someone typed about having a free Houdini chess version for chess. Is that the one I should get for chess analysis for my games? If not, what is the best free program to get? And what free GUI should I get that would be needed to use along with the actual chess program?

    Is Houdini 1.5a any good or should I get a better version for money? What happened with Fritz? What happened with Shredder? What is the best pay-for chess program that beats all other competitors?

    I am using a laptop with a 64 Bit, 1Ghz dual core processor and 4 GB RAM under Windows 7.
  2. 11 Apr '14 08:42
    If you just want something free, you can use babaschess as a GUI, which comes with an engine (crafty). Chesspad is another free GUI. Also Tarrasch, which has a couple of demo engines. I find these good enough for checking my analysis.
  3. 14 Apr '14 22:56
    Hey All,
    I am not getting many responses on this quest. Scubily and GreenPawn have provided insight. Is Fritz 6 and better than using Crafty with a GUI?

    What else is good to get. Is Chessmaster good for teaching position or tactical maneuvers while analyzing one of my games?
  4. 15 Apr '14 00:24
    Hi KP.

    As I said in my PM post a finished game in the forum, If possible an OTB game, but an RHP game will be OK.

    There are some really helpful guys on here. You will get good advice.
  5. 15 Apr '14 00:44
    GreenPawn,
    Thank you for your input. I don't really get out to play OTB anymore. RHP is my main place for chess. However, I use a 14 day time per move which allows me to think and learn. I did not really study my OTB games. If I am going to learn, RHP is an online source.

    However, what books really show theory on an opening rather than just describe movement orders for an opening. I don't want to be bogged down with theory, but maybe I can apply theory to my own games even when I move differently after the opening.

    Just because I learn something new during my own game, doesn't mean I get to apply it for every game. Then there is my not knowing positional issues to start with so that I will not understand why I messed up even though I try to analyze my game.

    If you don't know what to look for, then how will your learn? When you are ignorant, you may not know what you are missing.
  6. Subscriber Ragwort
    Ex Duris Gloria
    15 Apr '14 19:07 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by KingOnPoint
    GreenPawn,

    However, what books really show theory on an opening rather than just describe movement orders for an opening. I don't want to be bogged down with theory, but maybe I can apply theory to my own games even when I move differently after the opening.

    Just because I learn something new during my own game, doesn't mean I get to apply it for ...[text shortened]... ok for, then how will your learn? When you are ignorant, you may not know what you are missing.
    Hi KoP

    My heart always sinks when people rush for a computer chess engine in what would seem to be a hope that some magical powers will be transferred to them by running their game through. It doesn't operate that way and it takes a lot of work to understand what the computer output is telling you. If you have played chess for any length of time you will naturally see moves that appear reasonable which the computer apparently rejects and you have to play down your line several moves before some tactical sequence is given that nets the pawn justifying the +1 evaluation it gives at the start. However if the +1 evaluation is triggered in response to an algorithm purporting to assign an arithmetic value to various "positional" features it may never give you a clear line. More likely a series of moves that maintain or slightly improve the value, or peter out to equality. In my view that will never teach an improver anything.

    At its heart chess is a game of vision and ideas. It is by taking your ideas and vision to the board and having your nose bloodied, your ideas undermined, your lack of control of the possibilities exposed that you can identify the weaknesses in your thinking that lead to the error. You can learn the basic positional ideas, rook on the 7th, pawn weaknesses, bad bishops, open files, rooks behind passed pawn, from almost any chess primer in an afternoon. But you can spend a lifetime developing the finer "positional judgement" when trying to assess if the pawn weaknesses in your position are outweighed by the attacking opportunities you have from greater mobility of your pieces. Some opening variations have the creation of these dilemmas at their heart but all they are is moves. Moves with ideas about development, threats and defences. Some are fashionable, some are risky, some are boring, a few are refuted. Some knowledge of opening theory will tell which but at 14 days per move you can try to work them out for yourself. If you are after a book which explains the ideas behind some common openings you could look at the preview of Fundamental Chess Openings by Van Der Sterren. This is similar to the Reuben Fine ideas behind the chess openings from the 1940s. Both miss things out, don't consider moves unbooked amateurs play, but do give you a story to hang your moves on.

    Here is an RHP example of how opening theory works.
    About 3 years ago in Thread 141239 I presented an annotated game Annotation 1427 where I played 7.Qd4 to take a game out of the books. Greenpawn showed up and lambasted me in his familiar way for playing a move that it took over fifty years of master practice to refute and presented a game by World Champion Smyslov to demonstrate. Two years later I play the black side of the opening against a 2000 player - although the moves were in a different order the position after 7.Qd4 arises and I had a quick and easy win Game 10160487. That's how it works. You try a move, if its any good it stays, if its busted by someone it gets chucked out. You have to read about it, or discover it in databases or magazines, or by being brought to task in a forum to benefit. That's what theory is - a huge swirling vortex of moves that have been tried before. It will suck you in and devour you. Enter with caution.
  7. 15 Apr '14 23:38
    Hi Ragwort,

    " Greenpawn showed up and lambasted me in his familiar way for playing
    a move that it took over fifty years of master practice to refute."

    It was not too bad a roasting, quite mild infact, you got off easy.

    And look what it did for you. A 13 move win v a 2000+ player!

    Someone listens! All that ranting and raving over the years. Someone was listening....

    Ragwort you have made an old man very happy.

    Hees - Ragwort (and greenpawn) RHP 2003.



    And this game showing the same line.

    achilles193 -The lost player RHP 2011

  8. 16 Apr '14 22:58
    In the 2nd example above, is the standard move for White's move 6, e5, with white not playing Nc3 until at least move 9 at the earliest?
  9. 16 Apr '14 23:01
    Perhaps one of my problems is that I don't have sense enough to figure positional things on my own. And I don't have sense enough even with 14 days per move to figure out the best moves in a particular position to start with.
  10. 17 Apr '14 09:12
    @ Ragwort. Great post.
  11. 05 Jun '14 17:51
    ChessX is a great database that works with games in a pgn format.http://chessx.sourceforge.net/

    The new build "bookmaster" handles bigger pgn files faster. And makes an opening tree on the fly with stats. You can downlload a database millionbase 2.2
    http://www.top-5000.nl/

    ChessX comes bundled with stockfish, but you can find newer stockfish builds on their page

    http://stockfishchess.org/


    This stuff is on par with commercial programs. You cant go wrong with these three downloads. good luck
  12. 11 Jun '14 01:18
    Is it true that computer chess programs are just bean counters? Do they just try to find the best "bean surplus" over the opponent rather than use any other methods of winning?

    Do they not care about positional ideas? They do use tactics, don't they?
  13. 29 Jun '14 19:29
    Computer engines are really good at tactics. And they are getting better positional understanding all the time. Stockfish 5 is the current champ. Komodo7a and Houdini 4 are second and third. All these engines are 3000 plus elo. I dont think any human on the planet could compete with those three engines in a tournament setting. And with constantly gaining elo and processing power chess engines are going to be strictly for analysis in the future, as nobody will be able to compete with them.