Please turn on javascript in your browser to play chess.
Only Chess Forum

Only Chess Forum

  1. 30 Jul '11 12:57
    I'm a weak player (about 1100-1300 on the sites where I have an estabilished rating). This means I am very often unable to assess positions by myself. After I finish a (usually lost) game of rapid chess, I try to analyze it, but without much success. Being curious I ask Stockfish and I notice that seeing a number next to a move often satisfies my curiosity even if I don't understand the logic behind the number. Do you think this is harmful for my development? How should I use an engine?
  2. 30 Jul '11 14:33 / 1 edit
    I don't think you learn much from analyzing blitz games, period. Analyzing OTB games, where you've had a chance to think about it during the game is much better.

    I'd use computers to analyze for tactics only. In general, you're much better off if you can get a good chess playing friend to analyze games with you. I don't think analyzing games with a computer hurts, but if you don't understand most of its recommendations, its not helping you much either.
  3. 30 Jul '11 14:38
    Originally posted by Erekose
    I don't think you learn much from analyzing blitz games, period. Analyzing OTB games, where you've had a chance to think about it during the game is much better.

    I'd use computers to analyze for tactics only. In general, you're much better off if you can get a good chess playing friend to analyze games with you. I don't think analyzing games with a c ...[text shortened]... but if you don't understand most of its recommendations, its not helping you much either.
    Well, I'm not really analyzing blitz, rather quick chess like 20 minutes, where I do actually get to think a bit. Thanks.
  4. 30 Jul '11 15:33
    Originally posted by WanderingKing
    I'm a weak player (about 1100-1300 on the sites where I have an estabilished rating). This means I am very often unable to assess positions by myself. After I finish a (usually lost) game of rapid chess, I try to analyze it, but without much success. Being curious I ask Stockfish and I notice that seeing a number next to a move often satisfies my curio ...[text shortened]... ehind the number. Do you think this is harmful for my development? How should I use an engine?
    Hi WanderingKing,

    My novice two cents: If you can't understand at least some of the logic behind the number, then I think you're just wasting your time with engine analysis. And maybe you're even harming your development, if you're using engine analysis as a crutch to avoid putting in the study time necessary to get better.

    You can use engines to find tactical shots, that is, if you're willing to dig through the variations. The engine isn't just going to give you the tactics on a silver platter. And I don't think the engine will be able to explain the positional/strategic aspects of a game.

    How should you use an engine? I really only use one for tactical analysis of games. (And I'm not even sure engine analysis makes you a stronger player. So you find a number of tactics you missed in a game, so what? What does that tell you, that you need to work on your tactics? I already knew that. 😉 )

    When I analyze a game, I usually use Arena. I'm not saying Arena is best, it's just what I use and am most familiar with.

    Actually, I think the first step in game analysis is to go through the game by yourself, without any silicon assistance. Try to find things that you missed during the game. Only after you've done that should you turn to engine analysis.

    Once into the engine analysis phase, I'll usually start with an automatic analysis of the entire game. (Make sure the engine's multi-pv setting is off for this. If you run the auto analysis with multi-pv on, you'll get gibberish output.) You can choose 10 or 15 seconds per move, but even that will often result in variations that are 15 plies deep or more. I have a hard time understanding tactics deeper than about 6 plies (3 full moves). Instead of setting a time per move, you could set a number of plies per move, say about 8.

    Automatic analysis will identify the major tactical blunders in the game, and the move numbers associated with those tactics should be easy to spot in the histogram chart.

    Now, the second phase of analysis: Close out the automatic analysis window, click on the Edit button, and change the engine's pv setting to multi-pv. I usually pick a multi-pv setting of around 6, but that's just my preference. (Note that multi-pv slows down the depth search somewhat, but the advantage is that it not only gives you the best move, but it also gives you a number of "next-best" moves.) Now you can click on any move in the histogram that you're interested in, and then click on the Analysis button. Now you can go forward and backward through the moves in an attempt to figure out what the missed tactic is for that particular move. If you can figure out what the tactic is, great, you're a little higher on the knowledge curve. If not, you've just wasted some time. 🙂
  5. 30 Jul '11 16:10
    There is nothing wrong with analyzing blitz games - I did it all the time when I was 1800-2000. I still do. The idea behind anlyzing blitz games is that you get lots and lots of chess positions into your brain - you pick up patterns and ideas. At least that's my theory. I would play blitz games in positons (and openings - like Marshal Gambit, Speilman Ruy Lopez, etc.) that I never played OTB. I would know the so-called "book" in these lines many moves deep but they really did not suite my style or preference. Yet, it's good to look at lots of positions. In regards to computers - my belief s that they are almost worthless at your level. Pick up some good books (they are hard to find since there is a lot of junk out there) and study them. Go to a club and learn from the advanced players. Also, I would not buy a book without going through it first. Our loca club sellschess books, etc. and I always look through them first.
  6. 30 Jul '11 21:16
    Thank you, guys. Mad Rook, what's multi-pv and how do I use it?
  7. 30 Jul '11 21:58
    Originally posted by WanderingKing
    Thank you, guys. Mad Rook, what's multi-pv and how do I use it?
    Multi-pv stands for "multiple principle variation". It causes the engine to produce analysis output of multiple lines at the same time. In other words, it gives the best line, the next best line, the next next best line, etc. Not all engines have this feature, but many do. Stockfish has it.

    You can activate multi-pv either through the main menu system or via right-clicking on the engine analysis output window to bring up the context-sensitive menu.

    First make sure the engine is loaded into Arena.

    If you're using the main menu, choose: Engines -> Engine 1 (or whatever the engine number is for the engine of interest) -> Configure. This will bring up the engine configuration window. Find the setting for "MultiPV" and change it to whatever number you like. Just remember that the higher the number, the longer it will take to analyze to a particular ply depth.

    If you're using the context-sensitive menu, right-click the mouse inside the engine analysis output window. In the context-sensitive menu, choose "Multi PV Mode", then choose the desired number.

    It's now ready to rock 'n roll in Multi-PV mode. The nice thing about this mode is that it's often helpful to know other lines that are nearly as good as the best line. And sometimes it helps to know which are the good lines, and which are the really bad lines.
  8. 30 Jul '11 22:53
    Fantastic! Thanks!
  9. 31 Jul '11 13:09
    you are wasting your time using a chess engine. Complete some games and get a chess rating and then learn from your mistakes.

    Why do you only play rapid chess and you haven't got a rating here?
  10. 31 Jul '11 16:26
    Originally posted by kopatov
    you are wasting your time using a chess engine. Complete some games and get a chess rating and then learn from your mistakes.

    Why do you only play rapid chess and you haven't got a rating here?
    I have a provisional rating here, because I've only just started. I don't only play rapid chess. I play blitz and bullet too. I just don't analyze those. I play them because it's fun for me.
  11. 31 Jul '11 17:28
    You joined 29 October 2009 and you are still provisional? While blitz/rapid can be played by anyone "for fun", it is a futile exercise to be spending your time analyzing those in the hope of improving your slow chess.

    When are you going to finish "having fun" and start improving your real chess?
  12. 31 Jul '11 18:51 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by kopatov
    You joined 29 October 2009 and you are still provisional? While blitz/rapid can be played by anyone "for fun", it is a futile exercise to be spending your time analyzing those in the hope of improving your slow chess.

    When are you going to finish "having fun" and start improving your real chess?
    Yes, I joined then and yes, I'm still provisional. I think you have full access to all of my my games and my rating, so you don't need to ask.

    I play slow chess for fun too and want to improve my real bullet, real blitz, real rapid and real correspondence chess, and it's also fun for me. I'm not planning playing games longer than 30 minutes and shorter than correspondence as of now. I'm not sure why you're implying that I'm actually going to stop having fun.

    I find the way you have asked your questions impertinent. If you don't want to be polite, please refrain from communicating with me.
  13. 31 Jul '11 19:33 / 2 edits
    This is a public chess forum (not everybody is here to massage your ego) and this is what you stated that you have only just started:-

    Originally posted by WanderingKing
    I have a provisional rating here, because I've only just started. I don't only play rapid chess. I play blitz and bullet too. I just don't analyze those. I play them because it's fun for me.
  14. 31 Jul '11 21:03
    Originally posted by kopatov
    This is a public chess forum (not everybody is here to massage your ego) and this is what you stated that you have only just started:-

    Originally posted by WanderingKing
    [b]I have a provisional rating here, because I've only just started.
    I don't only play rapid chess. I play blitz and bullet too. I just don't analyze those. I play them because it's fun for me.[/b]
    Yes, I have only just started.
  15. 31 Jul '11 21:41
    Originally posted by WanderingKing
    Yes, I have only just started.
    Only "just started" since 29th October 2009? Interesting.