Software to improve my game.....

harryhood

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I've decided to play a little chess now and then to fill the
spaces between ASL. My girlfriend bought me a nice set on eBay
and we've been having a lot of fun.
Right now I've got Arena 1.99beta4 using the Rybka 2.3 engine.
I also have KChess Elite and Chessbase Light 2007, but don't use them much.
I've been going thru some PGN's of games I've d/l from
various places and playing some games against the engine.
Is this a good choice for a noob to learn with?
What texts are recommended to improve play?

Thanks!
 

Lurker

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Rybka 2.3 beats Grandmasters, so I'm sure you'll have your hands full. The only problem you may have with it is becoming discouraged because you can never beat it.

There are tons of good books out there for beginners, though off the top of my head I don't remember any. My favorite for intermediate players is 'My System' by Nimzovich.
 

Scott Tortorice

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First, welcome to the chess forum!

Second, when it comes to chess programs, I highly recommend the Chessmaster series. Besides providing challenging and instructive opponents, it also has a complete interactive chess course (for beginners through advanced players) built right into the game. It simply cannot be beat for its value. The latest version is Chessmaster 10th Edition, but if you can wait a month, Chessmaster Grandmaster Edition will be published next month. :supper:

For books, there are very many to choose from. My favorite for complete beginners is the Simon & Schuster Pocketbook of Chess. It will give you a well-rounded introduction to the Royal Game. After that, you can try any number of great books. However, there are many great online resources too. I suggest you sign-up for Chessville's weekly newsletter (it is free). It is loaded with advice, reviews and chess news. There is also The Chess Cafe which is a great site for similar news. Check out their book review section, it is very comprehensive and has a 'best of' selection for books.

Personally speaking, I have found that the best way for me to improve is to focus less on theory and more on the simple replaying of professional-level chess games. You can learn a lot just by trying to guess the next move made by a GM.

Feel free to ask any other questions!
 

harryhood

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Thanks for the link Scott! How does Chessmaster Grandmaster Edition
differ from CM10?
 

Scott Tortorice

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Amazon lists the following elements of Chessmaster: Grandmaster Edition:

Product Description
Chessmaster: Grandmaster Edition expands the scope of chess to include broader principles of learning. Josh Waitzkin's much-anticipated book The Art of Learning (Free Press) is designed to pave the road to successful long-term growth on and off the chessboard. The eight-time National Chess Champion and two-time martial arts World Champion puts users in his shoes in some of the most riveting and formative moments of his chess career, including the legendary climactic game from the book and film Searching for Bobby Fischer. Waitzkin then turns to the classics, introducing beginners to brilliant games from some of the most important players in the history of chess. In his most revealing commentary ever, Waitzkin not only teaches the beginning chess player the fundamentals of the game, but also humanizes the road to mastery. Never has chess been so exciting.

Learn Chess:

* Extensive course on the basics of chess taught by International Chess Master Josh Waitzkin.
* Tutorials from Josh Waitzkin’s groundbreaking book The Art of Learning.
* Attacking Chess course commentary by Grandmaster Larry Christiansen.
* Famous Games: 900 of chess’s most important games presented and analyzed.
* 600,000+ game database.
* Coverage of all classic and modern opening variations.

Single Player:

* Training mode: play one of many predefined opponents and analyze your game.
* Ranked Play: test your skills against a variety of opponents and establish your rating.
* Play 1 of 50 predefined tournaments or create your own.
* Set up a position to solve chess problems or reproduce famous positions.

Multiplayer:

* Play with a friend via Internet or LAN connection.
* Play rated and unrated games, tournaments, ladders, simultaneous exhibitions, watch other matches, set up/take chess lessons via LAN or Internet.
* Play 1 of 12 new chess variants including Limited Shuffle, Shuffle, Giveaway, Marseilles, Progressive, and Pocket Knight.
* Play correspondence chess.
I'm looking forward to it! :D

For details on CM10, go here. Its features include:
From the Manufacturer
More than ever, Chessmaster 10th Edition delivers on its promise to make you a better chess player. The program will improve your game regardless of your level of experience. This landmark edition provides the largest upgrade ever to the features and graphics of the franchise. Whether you are new to chess or a tournament-level player, Chessmaster 10th Edition allows you to master history's greatest game.

Features:

* The new Chessmaster Academy: At the Academy, International Master Josh Waitzkin will personally walk players through the basics of chess, plus introduce a variety of simple strategies for dominating your opponent. The Academy also features the best attacking moves as taught by noted chess champion, Larry Christiansen.
* A totally revised interface: clean, clear, and easy to navigate, this all-new interface represents the biggest upgrade to the look and feel of Chessmaster in over seven years.
* Full-featured online chess module: more than just a place to play chess live with other players, Chessmaster online allows players to establish rankings, create tournaments, utilize teaching tools, and join a thriving chess community.
* More fun for the whole family: Features such as animated chess sets, a variety of whimsical 3D sets, and simple and efficient learning tools, makes chess more fun than ever. Younger players and chess beginners will appreciate the specialized section just for them. As players improve, the game suggests an appropriate AI opponent.
* A comprehensive chess engine: wise enough to teach an absolute beginner and powerful enough to defeat a grandmaster, experience the all-new edition of the King engine--the brains behind the best-selling brand in chess.
* Intermediate and advanced player options: seasoned chess players can test their skills against ranked AI opponents, set up tournaments and simultaneous exhibitions, and survey their performances using the new statistics system.
I use CM10 all the time; it is a solid program. The only portion of the program that needs improvement is the multiplayer server. Ubi never supported it properly. From the description of CM:GE, it sounds like they have performed an extensive overhaul.

Do you play any correspondence chess?
 
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harryhood

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Hi Scott,

Thanks for the info on CM_GM. I'll probably grab it as long as the copy
protection crap is gone......

I haven't played correspondence chess. I play ASL via VASL and logfiles all the time though.
What is the standard method of playing by email? I just started my 4th VASL pbem
game so haven't touched a chess set or the s/w in a week ;-(
 

Scott Tortorice

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I just started my 4th VASL pbem
game so haven't touched a chess set or the s/w in a week ;-(
:eek: What?!? You're a chess player now! It's time to put away all your other games!

:D

If you're familiar with VASL, then you'll find most correspondence chess programs to be very similar. The easiest way to play nowadays is over an online chess server that tracks the whole game. There are very many today, but one of my favorites is Chessworld.net. They offer both free and pay memberships. If you PM me your email address, I'll send you an invite to a game (something with a long time control, like 7 days per move).

Another good server I have been experimenting with is Gameknot.com. Not as feature rich as Chessworld, but decent enough.

BTW: I go by 'CrusaderScott' on both.
 
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harryhood

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:eek: What?!? You're a chess player now! It's time to put away all your other games!
Dude, ASL is crack and heroin mixed together :pIMP:
I just can't stop!!

Thank you for the invite, I think they got my rating wrong
though, it's more like 700 :upset:

B.
 

Scott Tortorice

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Thank you for the invite, I think they got my rating wrong though, it's more like 700 :upset:

B.
1400 is the standard rating everybody is assigned when you first start out. Don't worry, the more you play the better you'll get.
 
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