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Old April 26th 04, 09:00 PM
Samik
 
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Default Playing against a computer: good or bad ?

Is it a good idea to practice by playing against a computer,
(e.g gnuchess)
or is it better to play against a human ? What are the good
and bad points of playing against a computer ? (I am about
1800 USCF)
Samik
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Old April 27th 04, 12:56 AM
Gunny Bunny
 
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Default Playing against a computer: good or bad ?


good

"Samik" wrote in message
om...
Is it a good idea to practice by playing against a computer,
(e.g gnuchess)
or is it better to play against a human ? What are the good
and bad points of playing against a computer ? (I am about
1800 USCF)
Samik



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Old April 27th 04, 06:52 PM
Samik
 
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Default Playing against a computer: good or bad ?

(SaltOfLife) wrote in message om...
(Samik) wrote in message . com...
Is it a good idea to practice by playing against a computer,
(e.g gnuchess)
or is it better to play against a human ? What are the good
and bad points of playing against a computer ? (I am about
1800 USCF)
Samik


A similar question was answered there :

http://groups.google.fr/groups?dq=&h...chess.analysis


To quote one of the posters there
"a friend of mine plays Shredder
every day in a rapid game. Though this is a fairly good training for
defence, a side effect is that he has developed a very passive style
(just trying to resist and get the draw), avoids tactics like the
plague (which is good against the computer, but not against humans),
and has some difficulties winning against weaker players. Though, to
be fair, he puts up better resistance against stronger players"

And I totally agree ! THAT is my whole point against playing the
computer.
You develop a very passive/defensive style, never trying to win
because you know its fruitless. Similarly, you never initiate a
tactical battle because
you'll never win it. Thats because most tactics by players of our
callibre
have flaws, which the computer spots and punishes us ruthlessly. But
that doesn't mean we shouldn't try tactics. Its like saying people
should stop loving because no lover is perfect. Just because human
runners have no chance against racing cars doesn't mean that human
races should be banned and only car racing allowed. So my feel is that
if we play too much against the computer we'll never develop our
tactical abilities. In fact, we'll not develop the strategic abilities
either, because the computer is most likely to undermine those
strategies by some tactics. So, we all we'll develop is the ability to
to spot and guard against short term threats, exchange away the pieces
and get a draw. (in fact, whenever I try to play for a draw against
the computer I have
a high success rate).
Samik
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Old April 27th 04, 07:46 PM
Mike Ogush
 
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Default Playing against a computer: good or bad ?

On 26 Apr 2004 13:00:56 -0700, (Samik) wrote:

Is it a good idea to practice by playing against a computer,
(e.g gnuchess)
or is it better to play against a human ? What are the good
and bad points of playing against a computer ? (I am about
1800 USCF)
Samik


I would say that it is better to include human opponents when playing
complete games. Computers have their own unique style - much more
tactical against humans and almost completely clueless about strategic
planning. If you play a lot of games against compters where you care
about the result of the game you may develop a passive or strictly
reactive style of play just in order to survice aginst stronger
programs.

What computers can be great for is to gave a GM strength opponent (at
least tactically) to practice your technique. For example when you
are studying a particular positional technique such as the minority
attack, you can set up positions and play the computer from either
side of the position. This can give valuable practice in taking a
psotion where you have an advantage and increasing your advantage to a
win by applying a technique or in defending to reach the draw when you
have a disadvantage.

For programs that have tablebases for the ending (so the program plays
a given ending perfectly) you can also use this method to practice the
type of endgame you are studying at the time.

Mike Ogush
1961 USCF


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Old April 28th 04, 05:59 AM
matt -`;'-
 
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Default Playing against a computer: good or bad ?


"Samik" wrote in message om...
Is it a good idea to practice by playing against a computer,
(e.g gnuchess)
or is it better to play against a human ? What are the good
and bad points of playing against a computer ? (I am about
1800 USCF)
Samik


If you have a good Computer opponent than it can be good. I like ChessMaster9000 because I can choose from a variety of opponents.
If I choose a weaker player than myself than I get a chance to practice tactics - which is good so that I can develop them. When I
play it at a stronger level I find that I have to learn to read my opponent a little more to stay ahead of the computer's tactics.
I find it best to play a long timed game of at least 45 min to 1 hour. This will give you time to think carefully about your moves.
I think you should ramp up your opponent's playing strength on the PC - don't always play the same strength.

I also like reading a few Chess books to learn some new ideas and I especially like reviewing the games of Leonid Stein from the
book below - it has great annotation of his games. Just playing out the moves one by one and thinking about the reasons for the
moves helps the learning process. He has a nice style that I have found very interesting - of course you may have a favorite GM of
your own and if you can find a really well written book of his games I would recommend studying it. Also find a few good books on
Chess strategy, tactics and absorb the knowledge. There are many out there to choose from and you should try to stop at a local
bookstore and find one that reads the best for you.

I really think that you can learn by practicing tactics, playing the PC, reading some good Chess books, playing real people. Not
necessarily in that order. I like the combination of all these myself and have found benefits from them. I found a friend recently
to play against and talk over Chess strategies and ideas and this has been a great help to my game - I have to recommend it.

A good place to play chess where you can take all the time you want to make a move (up to 3 days): gameknot.com
It has free membership or you can choose the premium services (which I am considering because I like it).
If you every feel like a game I go by chessknave on gameknot.

My favorite book:
http://www.jeremysilman.com/book_rev...sk_strtgy.html

HTH's, matt



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