Originally posted by Dan St John
My wife is learning to play chess (YAY!), and is interested in joining... but would like to try to get a better footing before starting with competitive play. Does anyone know of a function on this site that allows you to play the CPU? She really does NOT want to play anyone (however they might go easy on her) until she gets better. Not even me. So... any help would be great. Thanks, and Merry Christmas (Still only on Fourth Day of Twelve).
especially the weakest engines will play very
differently from humans. she'll learn much faster what kind of things to look out for by playing other low rated humans.
my suggestion for anyone just starting chess:
0) run! for the love of whale, run as fast as you can! it's too late for us, but you can still save yourself from the addiction!! ruuuunn!!!
1) that failing, google & learn "chess opening principles", and aim to obey them as much as possible. especially 'castle early' and 'develop fast, with a threat if possible'.
2) start doing tactical puzzles on http://chess.emrald.net/ for example, as often as possible. it's free, very addictive, funfunFUN, and will improve your chess the fastest in the first few years. the server will adjust the difficulty of problems by how well you do, so you'll always get suitable problems for your level, for a beginner and a master alike.
aim to understand the solution, and avoid getting caught in the 'ratings game' even though the time to solve is short. use as much time as you need, do not guess or hope your solution is right. with improving understanding the skill and rating will also improve, not the other way around.
3) play. preferably humans, as engines simply play differently. learn from your defeats. RHP is the perfect place for a beginner, as you can use days or weeks to think about one single move. and again, take your time
. double check your move, triple check, sleep on it, make absolutely sure you're not missing anything. you'll be amazed how far simply being very careful can take you. all the low rated players take typically seconds to move. all the high rated take typically at least a week to move. it's not a coincidence.
4) happy trails. try to remember eating and sleeping.