Wednesday, May 20, 2020

The $1000 Game


I was playing the last round of the 2019 Southern Class. If I win it would put me in 1st place Class C. The prize was $1000. We both made multiple mistakes in the last moves of the game.


 

Saturday, November 30, 2019

How I Installed Chess.com on Amazon Fire 7 Tablet



First you need to change a setting on the tablet. Goto Settings (swipe down from the top and tap the little gear) - Security & Privacy - and turn on "Apps from Unknown Sources".

Next you need the Android install file called an apk file. To get this you can install the Chrome browser app "APK downloader" in the Chrome webstore.

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/search/apk%20downloader?utm_source=chrome-ntp-icon&_category=extensions

It will generate a QR code you can scan into your tablet.

Or you can skip this step and scan the one below.


I used the Kindle app "QR & Barcode Scanner". By Gamma Play.com As soon as it finishes the option to open / run the file will appear for a few seconds. Click and install / open the file. If you miss it you can start over or go find the file on your device and run it from there. In the download folder. When it opens input your user name and password for Chess.com and your setup is complete.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Computer Aided Analysis


  What follows is my thoughts on this subject. I do not claim that this information is in any way perfect. I share them with the hope of being of some help to others. If you have something to share leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you. 

  Computers can out play us. It's a fact. Can they also teach us? Yes and there are a lot of programs and websites that do just that. One that comes to mind is Chessable.com. One area where computers might seem to fall short is in the area of game analysis. You put your game into an analysis engine and it spits out a very machine focused review of the game. The explanations if any make no sense to the human mind. Garry Kasparov has been at the forefront of explaining how computers and Artificial Intelligence in particular should be seen as a tool. A learning tool. Maybe a partner in the quest for knowledge.  
  
  Software designers are working on improving this communication gap. Websites like Decode Chess are making incredible strides in this area. The game report and analysis at Chess.com have undergone a design change toward this goal.  

Still for now at least I think we will have to settle for taking the computers advice and trying to make sense of it ourselves. In this article I'm going to share how I do that. I hope someone might find value in this sharing.

So let's begin. At first I thought I would try to pick one of my better games to write about, Then I realized that was wrong. I try to analyze all my games. The good, the bad, and the ugly. We especially want to analyze our losses. So here it is. My process...

First the game without annotation. I run through the game and get a quick impression of what happened. If you want to follow through my process just play through the moves below and see what thoughts come to mind as you do.



Spoiler alert here are my first thought (memories) of what transpired in this game.

  1. My opponent though rated in the 1500's violated multiple opening axioms. Like don't bring out your Queen early, and Knight's on the rim are dim. Yet I lost this game.
  2. My opponent developed like a new player. Looking for a "cheapo" Qf7#.
  3. I must have blundered in the middle game.
  4. I remember only playing on so long on the chance of a stalemate. 
Next I load the game into a database program. Here I'm using SCID vs PC. (See my 3 part article about setting up SCID vs PC) You can use about any chess database program. Chessbase of course. I have a large database of games (over 7 million) that I load in the "Tree" window. Then I start stepping through the moves. When the tree runs out of moves I mark that move as a Novelty. To see the graphics larger right click and select open in new tab. Then open that tab and look it over.

So in this game the Novelty happened at 6. ... Nge7. Is this where I blundered?


  No! A deep look by Stockfish shows that black is about equal or maybe has a very slight advantage.    
Next I start Stockfish running and slowly step through the game. Looking for the first move when the advantage shifts from Black to White. That occurs at 23. ... Nb4. Where bxc4 is better. I'm interested in fixing my game at the earliest error. So I'll return to this later. For now I continue stepping through the moves. At 25. ... Nd3 I find the big blunder. White gains a decisive advantage. No need to look further.


Next I load the game into Decode Chess.com. For my method their decode recommendations come way to late in the game. So I select my two key plays. It becomes clear to me now. The move 23. ... Nb4 allows the White Queen to take c5 and b5! On 26. Qxb5 the Knight and Bishop are attacked.


So 25. ... Nd3 appears to be the big blunder, but the snowball started rolling at 23. ... Nb4.



So I need to be more careful about letting pawns fall, and letting a Queen invade my space. I'd love to hear about your process or your opinion of mine. Soon I hope to publish a article about using a game database to find your strengths and weaknesses. Consider following this blog for future updates. Thank you.


Sunday, August 18, 2019


Books + Tech = Learning Made Easier


  
A difficult aspect of studying from a book is visualizing the chess board. They have diagrams. You can set up a board to follow along. Still I get lost trying to follow variations and then get back to the original position. I've found a great study aid. Many of the classics have their games and variations stored in PGN format.

One publisher Everyman Chess includes files and apps for just this idea of following along on your computing device. Click Here to find out more about Everyman's system.

Google "chess books pgn" and you will find a lot of sources for the PGN files. The quality and completeness of these files may vary. If you find a good source please share it with me.

One good source for these and other files is Bill Wall's website. Click Here to take a look at what Bill has listed. He says it's the biggest and I believe him.

Here is a PGN download link for the following book. (Check back I may add some files from time to time.)

"The Art of Attack in Chess~Vukovic"

"My System~Nimzowitsch"

I hope you found this helpful. I would love to hear from you. Here is a game from Chess.com that shows an attack on the castled King. A subject from Art of Attack.




So far "The Art of Attack in Chess" has shown me some amazing world class attacks on the uncastled King. While I am thrilled by the beauty in these chess games. It has not given me knowledge that I can use in my games. Here is one of the example games.



Ready for chapter 3 attack on the castled King. See all this reminded me of a game I lost in 1994. I missed the win, but it was an exciting game.



Below is the same game analyzed by Stockfish 10 in the Fritz 16 interface.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Play A Game Online Courtesy of Chessbase


Play against Fritz online. Select your level and move.



Here is a game I played against it. I admit I had to take back a move.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Chesslang & Shortcastle - Web Based Teaching Platform & Tournament Promotion and Payment Method

Chesslang is one product of Shortcastle. This group has some great ideas. Another product is Paychessentry. A way to promote and collect entries for your event. If you're a director you should take a look. Give them some feedback. I signed up back in 2017. I thought it had a lot of promise. The company is obviously based in India. They need to get improved USCF and other national connections.




More recently they have developed Chesslang to help teachers and students. Combining more than 10 tools into one web application. Again I recommend you take a look, and give some feedback. This looks like a very inventive brite group. I hope they can find success with these products.



These are revolutionary products. That can change chess organizing and teaching forever. By the way it looks like they are hiring. So look at these products and let me know what you think.

https://www.shortcastle.comhttps://chesslang.com/https://paychessentry.com/




Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Chess.com Study Tools Rock!


Chess.com has updated their post game study tools. The Game Report button is the door to a jackpot of information and tools to help you.


The Report tab like you would expect gives a report on the game. The stats are great and the chart shows the ebb and flow of the game. Then under "Top Themes" are puzzles and lessons based on the themes that were key in the outcome of the game. This is a great new learning tool.


Next click on the Analysis tab. Here you can step through move by move and see recommendations with lines. Key moments in the game are color coded. 


Use the Retry tab to play the game over from a key position.


Want to see more statistics? Click the Details tab.



Last but not least is the Openings tab. I think it interesting to step through the moves until it says the database cannot find that move. It's a good bet that it is a move worth researching. See why no one has played that move. There is probably something wrong with it.


These new tools make Chess.com a much better place to study and learn from your games.

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