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  1. 06 Oct '08 14:37
    Wondering if playing against chess computers have helpped your game at all? I'm talking about the OTB computers where you actually move pieces, although you can comment on pc software as well. I am looking into getting an OTB chess computer (Novag Citrine to be exact) to play practice games anytime, since I don't like practicing on the computer screen.

    I've looked at DGT boards, but they are more expensive and you still need a PC to hook up to, so the Citrine looks good. So...your comments, are computers good to play against?
  2. Standard member Talisman
    Time traveller.
    06 Oct '08 15:37
    Originally posted by passedpawn22
    Wondering if playing against chess computers have helpped your game at all? I'm talking about the OTB computers where you actually move pieces, although you can comment on pc software as well. I am looking into getting an OTB chess computer (Novag Citrine to be exact) to play practice games anytime, since I don't like practicing on the computer screen ...[text shortened]... ok up to, so the Citrine looks good. So...your comments, are computers good to play against?
    I think playing against computers is probably the very best way to improve your game. as stated in a previous thread i now even prefer it to the playing over of master games. The thing with guessing the next move in a master game is very often there just isn't enough information given by the annotater as to why the move i would have played was wrong or not as strong as the move played by the master. very often when using this technique i would have to run the position through a computer to get the answers i wanted.

    even then you have to reset the position to the position at hand, so you never physicaly get punished for a string of bad moves or a bad plan or idea.
    That all changes when playing computers, especially the stronger ones. you are interactively involved in a real struggle with at times a GM strength opponent. your games can be discected afterwards for a real learning experience!

    I personally have downloaded shredder mobile for my mobile phone. I simply move the pieces on a real board to get the proper effect of playing a truly strong player OTB style.

    Obviously there are levels and the programme even allows you to connect to the interent to play the super strong Shredder 11 if you wish.
    I also have Hiarcs which i downloaded for my PDA, another strong programme rated about 2500 elo.
    My advice would be to invest in one of these programmes if you have a PDA or up to date mobile. The price is a fraction of that citrine set, £21.00 for Shredder Mobile. Add about £12.00 pounds for a club chess set and you're ready to roll. you can play a super GM in real OTB fashion any time you wish!
    It's a truly great way to improve. however there are issues regarding the strength of these programmes.you're never likely to be able to practice your attacking play because they are so damn strong.still the one thing is that they never make a move that a human can't.

    I supplement this type of training with chess puzzles and problems. Make some additional time for some supplementary study of strategic ideas and endgames and you have the complete programme for improvement.

    All the best.
    Talisman.
  3. 06 Oct '08 19:06
    Thanks for the reply and info Talisman!

    The only thing is that I already Fritz and Chessmaster and I have tried setting up a board and simulated a real OTB game, but it just wasn't the same and was somewhat distracting since you still have to look at the computer screen and you still have to enter your move in the computer. This may seem like a small thing, but to me it's annoying. I want to simulate an OTB game as much as possible and get away from looking at a computer. Is it worth spending $300 to get this...I don't know, I am weighing the pros and cons, but there does seem to be many pros, and the only con being price.

    Plus...if I take my laptop to my basement "lab" to fire up Fritz and play over the board I run the risk of my wife yelling at me because she wants to use the laptop!! This is distracting as well :-)
  4. Standard member bill718
    Enigma
    06 Oct '08 21:53
    Originally posted by passedpawn22
    Wondering if playing against chess computers have helpped your game at all? I'm talking about the OTB computers where you actually move pieces, although you can comment on pc software as well. I am looking into getting an OTB chess computer (Novag Citrine to be exact) to play practice games anytime, since I don't like practicing on the computer screen ...[text shortened]... ok up to, so the Citrine looks good. So...your comments, are computers good to play against?
    Computers can be a big help if used correctly. Going over your games using the hint key is very helpful. Computers are tactical wizards, and can sharpen your skills in this area.