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  1. 05 Sep '08 01:07
    When I first started using this site (in June) I asked in this forum whether chess Opening Guides were OK. The answer was yes - so when I am not sure of an opening or need guidance I use an e Book that comes with Book Up or Chess Opening Wizard. You put in the moves as the opening progresses and if gives you the most popular replies with an indication of whether White or Black has the most to gain. It also gives a few annotational remarks which are frankly not much help and usually it dries up between the 4th and 8th move.

    But recently I was playing somebody who put me on to a site ChessOK where they have what they call an opening tree which I think is based on the rygba(?) computer. You put in the opening moves and it gives numbers of users, percentages etc etc for each move and this continues on and on for as many moves as you want I think - at least I counted up to17. The fellow I was playing against said he used it for the first few moves and then like me gave up because it was no longer our game. There are no annotations and it is just like computer chess where if both players are using it you are watching somebody elses game.

    There are a lot of posts about cheating in this forum but databases , opening guides , end game tables are here to stay and I doubt whether the RHP moderators can really do more than keep blatant cheating away. But what an incredibly dull way to play chess.
  2. Standard member irontigran
    Rob Scheider is..
    05 Sep '08 01:24
    Originally posted by dixondo
    When I first started using this site (in June) I asked in this forum whether chess Opening Guides were OK. The answer was yes - so when I am not sure of an opening or need guidance I use an e Book that comes with Book Up or Chess Opening Wizard. You put in the moves as the opening progresses and if gives you the most popular replies with an indication of w ...[text shortened]... really do more than keep blatant cheating away. But what an incredibly dull way to play chess.
    its one of the reasons for the decline in chess. some will disagree with that but i think it hands down ruins correspondence. it would seem (by the numbers) that some of the better c. chess players arnt thinking for themselves.

    throwing an opening surprise gets awarded originality when they always know a solid reply.

    so you have to play even worse to throw them off
  3. 05 Sep '08 01:34
    If you follow the database without giving the moves any thought I imagine it must be dull,yes.But if you try to figure out the pros and cons of certain lines,compare lines against others and study the middle and endgames they produce I think it should be intresting and you'd learn a thing or two in the process.
    That's just what I assume though,I don't possess any databases and no longer use my openingbooks either.
  4. Standard member irontigran
    Rob Scheider is..
    05 Sep '08 01:42
    Originally posted by Katastroof
    If you follow the database without giving the moves any thought I imagine it must be dull,yes.But if you try to figure out the pros and cons of certain lines,compare lines against others and study the middle and endgames they produce I think it should be intresting and you'd learn a thing or two in the process.
    That's just what I assume though,I don't possess any databases and no longer use my openingbooks either.
    yeah, and a lot of the lower players who use DBs (i dont at all) get a worse position from not understand the position. theyd be better off doing a worse move that at least has their own recognition + ideas, a better grasp. dont you guys think?
  5. 05 Sep '08 01:44
    Originally posted by irontigran
    yeah, and a lot of the lower players who use DBs (i dont at all) get a worse position from not understand the position. theyd be better off doing a worse move that at least has their own recognition + ideas, a better grasp. dont you guys think?
    I know the openings in my repertoire better than a database.
  6. 05 Sep '08 01:52
    Originally posted by irontigran
    yeah, and a lot of the lower players who use DBs (i dont at all) get a worse position from not understand the position. theyd be better off doing a worse move that at least has their own recognition + ideas, a better grasp. dont you guys think?
    Agreed
  7. 05 Sep '08 01:56
    Originally posted by irontigran
    yeah, and a lot of the lower players who use DBs (i dont at all) get a worse position from not understand the position. theyd be better off doing a worse move that at least has their own recognition + ideas, a better grasp. dont you guys think?
    Absolutely right! Blindly following an opening database doesn't help much at all. I've won a lot of games where my opponent blunders a couple of moves after the database ran out.

    You're much better off taking a look at the position and say to yourself "OK, this is what I think I should do" and then check what the database says. If the database says a move is not very strong (low win/loss), then you might want to reconsider. If its not there at all, you might want to double-check, just in case its a blunder, otherwise, go for it and see what happens. In other words, use it as a check on your own ideas, not just to play the "book" line.
  8. 05 Sep '08 02:07
    Agreed...
    Knowing the preferred 16th move of some book line doesn't do much for a beginner like me when I still fail to see many tactics and don't consistently apply sound general principles.
  9. Standard member irontigran
    Rob Scheider is..
    05 Sep '08 02:13 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Erekose
    Absolutely right! Blindly following an opening database doesn't help much at all. I've won a lot of games where my opponent blunders a couple of moves after the database ran out.

    this happens a lot in the caro kann from white players. they follow all the odd moves in the opening and then dont get it, and only a few moves after their book runs out the completely get blasted with threats in an opening that shouldnt even have much tactical chances

    edit(continued): and then then there are guys who dont really seem to know theory against the caro and play logical looking moves and they always get to a sturdy position. indosmart and pineapple were the guys i was thinking of here.
  10. 05 Sep '08 02:30
    Originally posted by Erekose
    Absolutely right! Blindly following an opening database doesn't help much at all. I've won a lot of games where my opponent blunders a couple of moves after the database ran out.

    You're much better off taking a look at the position and say to yourself "OK, this is what I think I should do" and then check what the database says. If the database says a ...[text shortened]... . In other words, use it as a check on your own ideas, not just to play the "book" line.
    Yes. I think I agree with this. There is so much information out there that not to use any of it would be shutting out the whole chess world. But to use a database move without understanding why the move is being played ........... well chimpanzees can probably do it. There are some sites which give the ideas behind the opening lines -I particularly like the Exeter Chess Club.
  11. Standard member clandarkfire
    Grammar Nazi
    05 Sep '08 04:02
    Originally posted by dixondo
    When I first started using this site (in June) I asked in this forum whether chess Opening Guides were OK. The answer was yes - so when I am not sure of an opening or need guidance I use an e Book that comes with Book Up or Chess Opening Wizard. You put in the moves as the opening progresses and if gives you the most popular replies with an indication of w ...[text shortened]... really do more than keep blatant cheating away. But what an incredibly dull way to play chess.
    Databases made up of computer games, or just formulated by rybka are not allowed.

    Neither are endgame tablesbases.
  12. 05 Sep '08 08:10 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by irontigran
    its one of the reasons for the decline in chess. some will disagree with that but i think it hands down ruins correspondence. it would seem (by the numbers) that some of the better c. chess players arnt thinking for themselves.

    throwing an opening surprise gets awarded originality when they always know a solid reply.

    so you have to play even worse to throw them off
    I think chess may actually be growing due to its emerging popularity in India and other Asian countries.

    Secondly, opening theory is not all bad. Opening theory is really just a battle log of previous games as well as some additional analysis. In war, one naturally studies previous battles, applying successful strategies, finding new tactics and learning from the experience of others. You'd have to be a pretty irresponsible general to send your men into battle with no plan. In a simulation of war like chess, the same applies and those that work harder will be rewarded. Moreover, positions from opening theory are often more complicated and interesting than anything we'd come up with having no specific opening knowledge. It's also rewarding to study and find the positions you like best - tempting your opponent to go into your best territory where you may have some surprise. It is perfectly expected that a scientific (and also artisitc) war game will have opening theory and I don't think there's anything wrong with that. Also, don't forget that you can always choose sound and less theoretical systems if you find that the learning curve is too high.

    BTW: Repeating a series of moves does not mean one isn't thinking. One may have studied the available moves and come to the conclusion that it is the best series or the preferred one. Similarly, a few strokes in tennis are virtually the same for all top players and one wouldn't say that they're not thinking or clueless about tennis.
  13. 05 Sep '08 11:47 / 10 edits
    Originally posted by dixondo
    When I first started using this site (in June) I asked in this forum whether chess Opening Guides were OK. The answer was yes - so when I am not sure of an opening or need guidance I use an e Book that comes with Book Up or Chess Opening Wizard. You put in the moves as the opening progresses and if gives you the most popular replies with an indication of w ...[text shortened]... really do more than keep blatant cheating away. But what an incredibly dull way to play chess.
    wow, I disagree with almost everything you have said.

    what you are referring to is probably rybka.ctg, which is the opening book of rybka, and not the engine itself. Of course it doesn't go on as long as you want, otherwise chess should have been solved, and believe me, theory up to 17 moves is probably pretty average for current opening theory, and it's completely normal, expected, and is the way it should be, after hundreds of years of opening analysis made by many greats.

    The opening book type you mention is actually a specific database only designed in a way that you could make better use for openings. It doesn't consist of moves of rybka exclusively of course, that is not possible. It probably has what all other opening books has: again, hundreds of years of theory developed, which probably includes lines generated by rybka with a 0.1% or something.

    How do you think modern novelties are developed in opening theory? A bunch of seconds of grandmasters analyse openings with the computers to death, of course combining it with their positional understanding, and interactive analysis. This is how it's done probably since the Kasparov era, if you read any of Kasparov's recent books, you'll see a computer line almost every page, and that's how it goes for all grandmasters today. Actually this is how opening books are written today. Any modern opening book that doesn't involve intense computer analysis today would be worthless, believe me.

    if the computers weren't involved in opening theory, I bet half of the modern sicilian theory would not exist today. And I don't understand why it is completely normal using a printed opening book like Modern Chess Openings or Nunn's Chess Openings (the first one generally being referred to as "the modern player's bible" ), but using absolutely the same thing, only a lot convenient, improved and user friendly version, the .ctg format or any electronical databse, is totally wrong. It simply doesn't make sense to me.

    You have a vast sea of studies, developed with so much hard work from the grandmasters of the past and today, and why would you want to ignore it? If you want to be serious about correspondence and your openings, I think you should put all this romanticism behind you and try to use all the convenient tools you can.

    I have developed a strict opening repertuare which I stick with today, and I prepared my repertuare in a .ctg format (the same format of the Rybka opening tree you're talking about), and I can tell you, it makes all the difference in the world, and so much easier for me to memorize or study the openings I'm trying to learn and use. If I would stick with opening "guides" consisting of printed books or general guideline texts every time; after finishing a real time game, trying to find out where I stepped out of my repertuare in a wrong way, or what move I should have made etc would take probably 10x more time and effort. This way, I simply put the pgn into chessbase and walk through my electronical opening book. Rybka .ctg, or Fritz .ctg, is the same category, they are opening books, only in electronical format, and there's no rational reason to forbid them. I bet kramnik's seconds have bought Rybka III .ctg the day it went out for their preperation for the coming WC match against Anand, since it has many interesting novelties in several critical lines.

    and using the databases in a wrong way is a completely different matter.
  14. 05 Sep '08 13:18
    I am glad I started this thread. I can see that I really do not know enough about computerized chess. The posts by exigentsky and diskamyl make good sense to me. I think that probably my problem is that I was born in 1935 -but it is never too late to learn..........
  15. 05 Sep '08 14:55
    Originally posted by dixondo
    I am glad I started this thread. I can see that I really do not know enough about computerized chess. The posts by exigentsky and diskamyl make good sense to me. I think that probably my problem is that I was born in 1935 -but it is never too late to learn..........
    glad it made sense, when I read it later I thought maybe I was a little off the edge with my "bets"