Originally posted by kmac27
the analysis board is the demise of true chess thinking and results in a huge raise in rating that has difficulty passing 1800. You have been forewarned.
I disagree with the second part of your statement, although I agree that it is a danger. The analysis board removes the need to visualize the position as you calculate it. However you still need to spot all your opponents relevant possibilities, and you still need to calculate accurately. The RHP analysis board will not store variations (you have to use something like SCID, or pencil and paper for that) also it will not warn you if your variation includes illegal moves - you have to see that yourself.
If you only played correspondence chess then there would probably be a problem, but since you don´t there isn´t. Visualizing the position ahead and calculating with what you do see are related, but different skills. The advantage of having an analysis board is that you can teach yourself how to calculate, and learn about possibilities without having to hold future positions in your head. In fact I think it´s use can help develop your chess.
The problem most people have is that because they have far too many in progress games (me included
) this causes people - well me anyway - to spend a couple of minutes messing round on the analysis board and not calculating in a disciplined fashion. I think that if you want to play at a higher level then using the analysis board can allow that. But like most tools it is possible to misuse it, and it can hold you back if you are not self-disciplined in the way you use the thing.