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Novice Nook #25
#25! Wow! I know some of us have had to skip a few (or several) and need to catch up, but thanks to those of you who are hanging in there. Since there is no particular chronological order to the articles, my suggestion would be to read this week's and participate in the discussion and catch up on the missed articles over time.
This week's article is "Using a Computer to Improve". Let us know what you think!
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using the computer
It was an interesting article. I already do some of the things the author suggested. When I have a draw in an OTB game I often play the final position against fritz. If fritz simply repeats the moves. I remember I did this after I made a positional exchange sacrifice in an OTB game. I was not sure of myself at the time, but when fritz offered me a draw in the position I was more confident. His suggestion of using a computer to check tactical errors is also a good one. However, for a beginer "Full analysis" is not really all that useful. A simple blundercheck is usually all that is necesary. I would like to add that computers can be useful in testing what you know in books. I learned the 2 bishop, and knight bishop mates against a lone king by playing them against the computer. Perhaps You can also test your understanding of middlegame positions that you study in books by playing them against the computer. I have not tried this yet, so I don't know how useful it would be. The author also suggested the possibility of playing a game against the computer by adjusting the difficulty setting to match your skill level. Maybe I don't know how to adjust the level properly, but I have not found this to be useful at all. When I try this the computer will be playing like a chessmaster up to a certain point and then all of a sudden it hangs a piece and I take it and end up winning or drawing the game. This does not come close to the feel of playing a human opponent. I have not tried playing the sparring mode with Fritz. Has anyone tried this? Is it useful? For me databases are the most useful thing about the computer. Through databases I can research the openings I play in more detail. For instance, sometimes I find a line in an opening I like but I have trouble figuring out what the plan should be for both sides. I like up the position in a database for some games on the position and often the plan becomes clear.
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I play sparring mode quite frequently on Fritz, I find it tremendously good. It essentially plays a normal game of chess and every so often it will (at the low level I'm playing) leave a piece that can be pinned or forked. I find that I now notice these oppurtunities far more frquently when I play chess generally, so it's certainly a useful exercise.
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I would like a programme that analysed my strengths and weaknesses.
then designed games to play against me that gave lots of opportunity to strengthen my weakness and increase my strengths.
Is there such a programme?