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  1. 24 Feb '10 23:43
    If you have chess software (Winboard, Fritz, etc.), what have you found to be the most effective way(s) to use it to help improve your game?

    I have Winboard, and have ordered Fritz 12 (hoping for faster speed, more versatile options).
  2. 25 Feb '10 00:42
    Fritz has a detailed opening book. Also, the 'Deep Position Analysis' is a useful to see who is winning in a given position, and to give ideas for possible lines.

    It can be useful to go through your completed RHP games with Fritz to see what you did wrong / right, but it's important not hang too much on it's every word. Fritz plays differently to us - you need to learn to play in your style, not its style. I also use the Fritz database to store my RHP games, which is useful.
  3. 25 Feb '10 02:33
    How is an effective way to use the deep position analysis option? I'm not too good with Fritz. What is that option for, and when should I try it?
  4. Standard member Nowakowski
    10. O-O
    25 Feb '10 02:45 / 4 edits
    Originally posted by rapabst
    If you have chess software (Winboard, Fritz, etc.), what have you found to be the most effective way(s) to use it to help improve your game?

    I have Winboard, and have ordered Fritz 12 (hoping for faster speed, more versatile options).
    Its very useful in endings - or to show you the mishap in a tactical mistake.
    Engines aren't usually overly instructive, so picking up strategic tips isn't usually
    advised to anybody.

    Playing against your engine in uneven endings is probably one of the very best ways
    to use engines. An engine can be a very devious (and flat out aggravating)
    opponent in the endings. Trying to win a won ending say Queen vs Rook, can become
    a real chore against such punishing opposition. I highly reccomend this type of practice.

    If you analyze your own games for missed tactics, then engines are very useful in
    pruning your thoughts. I have personally found however, that once you have analyzed
    your game by hand, actually playing through on a board; the variations that are
    suggested by the engine - can really open up your vision.

    Think of your engine similarly to your boss at work - if you don't have to talk to him,
    then don't... or at least not until there isn't any other way. When it tells you what
    to do, keep a brow raised - in a few minutes its suggestion may make no sense.
    Just as you only want to be in your bosses office for good behavior - you only want
    to be up against an engine when the game is already won 😉.

    -GIN
  5. 25 Feb '10 02:55
    For your rating I would focus on analyzing your games (after you go over them yourself) and looking at tactical opportunities you overlooked on both sides. Don't worry about where the computer analyzes a position as +0.22 but there was an alternative at +0.75, but pay attention to the situations where there were forcing sequences that would have won material. Also keep in mind that you do not think the same way as a computer so when it gives you the line don't just say "oh, I should have played 15. Nxc6 bxc6 16 Bxe5 etc" but look at the underlying reason why you missed it, eg "I overlooked the fact that the c6 knight was overworked since it was the only defender of e5 and b4".
  6. 25 Feb '10 03:13 / 1 edit
    Does anyone use it to evaluate openings, figure out what might happen and how to counter it?

    Even if you have a favorite opening, there are a *lot* of possible variations ("no battle plan survives contact with the opponent- that's why he's called the opponent"! <grin>😉.
  7. Standard member Nowakowski
    10. O-O
    25 Feb '10 03:17 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by rapabst
    Does anyone use it to evaluate openings, figure out what might happen and how to counter it? Even if you have a favorite opening, there are a *lot* of possible variations ("no battle plan survives contact with the enemy"!).
    Well, thats not typically advised.

    An engine (when a book is present) plays the opening very well - but that won't help
    you and me navigate. Opening study isn't going to be best practiced with an engine.

    Understanding why you're developing pieces to which square; how they'll coordinate
    together, and the strengths of yourpawn structure, and the weaknesses in your
    enemies, are important bits of knowledge from the opening going into the middle-game.

    -GIN
  8. 25 Feb '10 04:04
    Originally posted by Nowakowski
    Well, thats not typically advised.

    An engine (when a book is present) plays the opening very well - but that won't help
    you and me navigate. Opening study isn't going to be best practiced with an engine.

    Understanding why you're developing pieces to which square; how they'll coordinate
    together, and the strengths of yourpawn structure, and the w ...[text shortened]... nemies, are important bits of knowledge from the opening going into the middle-game.

    -GIN
    First I'm a gonna run em' through ma macheny, den I'ma gonna irony my trousers.
    Thread 69815
  9. 25 Feb '10 13:49
    Originally posted by Maxacre42
    How is an effective way to use the deep position analysis option? I'm not too good with Fritz. What is that option for, and when should I try it?
    Basically, to decide which side has the advantage in a given position, and what their best moves would be. We used it mostly in OTB league matches, for games that had to be adjudicated. This means the game did not finish on the night, and would be sent off to an adjudicator to decide the result. There was a fee for this, whereby if your team claims a result that disagrees with the adjudicator's result, you have to pay the fee.

    Therefore, we used the deep position analysis to weed out frivolous adjudication claims. If our team player was claiming a win for white and Fritz evaluates the position as -2, then we could probably safely put our money elsewhere. This is not always the case, of course - there are times when a strong club player (stronger than me!) will have a better view of a position that Fritz - but it's a useful starting point.

    I also use it in my own games, for analysing key positions where something went wrong, or for checking if a position in which I agreed a draw was really a draw.
  10. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    27 Feb '10 00:48
    I have recently bought Fritz 12 and installed it on a PC and also on a laptop. Turns out the installation is different on each one (I know not why!). One offers the option of checking the opening and sets out a few relevant games to illustrate alternative lines. The other - well, it refuses to analyse the early moves until in its opinion the opening has ended. Thereafter both are the same. I would really welcome a discussion about how this software works because the people who sell it seem incapable of offering sensible information for users and the people I know who own Friz all agree that the only way to discover its features is by trial and error.

    Anyway, I have a practice now that I ask Fritz for annotations on every game that I lose and all my OTB games (omitting obvious rubbish games). I have concluded that it is sufficient to enter up the game, then allow Fritz 30 (maybe 45 at most) minutes to analyse the whole game.

    It is fascinating. The verbal commentary can be very cutting for sensitive souls like me but I have to admit the justice in that - why can't it incorporate more nice, supportive comments? Where I benefit most is in that terrible stretch of many games where there does not seem to be much going on and each side is struggling to improve its pieces. In nearly every game Fritz comes up with an unexpected opportunity to make a dramatic difference - these just pop out of the position sometimes. Even when I am losing miserably, Fritz notices a glaring error by my opponent which I was too demoralised to notice.

    Gradually, the game is becoming a lot more interesting to me as a result - because I am becoming far more aware of the opportunities facing me on the board. OTB I have as a result stopped a stretch of six defeats in succession last Autumn and begun to even things out with some wins and more draws. The draws come from working out best moves even when I ought to be in despair and the wins come from occasions when my opponent fails after all to secure the deserved point and makes an error. I am now accepting that in a four hour game, I have to work through all the stages (opening, middle game, end game) and expect each to present new problems.
  11. 27 Feb '10 02:39
    Originally posted by aquatabby
    Basically, to decide which side has the advantage in a given position, and what their best moves would be. We used it mostly in OTB league matches, for games that had to be adjudicated. This means the game did not finish on the night, and would be sent off to an adjudicator to decide the result. There was a fee for this, whereby if your team claims a resul ...[text shortened]... mething went wrong, or for checking if a position in which I agreed a draw was really a draw.
    Thanks! Now I know I won't be needing that anytime soon hehe.
  12. 27 Feb '10 17:39
    Originally posted by Nowakowski
    Its very useful in endings - or to show you the mishap in a tactical mistake.
    Engines aren't usually overly instructive, so picking up strategic tips isn't usually
    advised to anybody.

    Playing against your engine in uneven endings is probably one of the very best ways
    to use engines. An engine can be a very devious (and flat out aggravating)
    opp ...[text shortened]... avior - you only want
    to be up against an engine when the game is already won 😉.

    -GIN
    Ya what he said. 😉