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Opening exercises?

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NightKingx

Hi all, I want to learn some openings in a deeper way that I already know. I was planning to do it in the following way: Play against an engine which always makes the same opening (also follows different lines ramdonly). I created a book for the french defense in chess master and a personality which uses that book, expecting to play real games against it but always in some line of the french. But since Chessmaster is pure crap and they don't realease a new one or a patch, many bugs still happen, and among them there is one which makes that book I have done, not work well. The engine doesn't really follow it, so I cannot play as I wanted.

Do you have any idea of any other program in which I can do this easily and in which I can select the strenght of the engine? Also, if you have a better idea to work the openings, also you are welcome :) Or a program which already have the openings inside it and it's made to practice them?

Thanks!

Bronco

I thought you could import other engines into chessmaster (I can't remember for sure).

Have you checked out Chessimo for practicing openings? They also have an app.

http://www.chessimo.com

NightKingx

Chessmaster doesn't recognize other engines when I try to import them. That is another bug. Even if I could, those engines would have their opening books or probably, the one I want won't work either.

About chessimo, I didn't know that page. I am going to explore it to see what I can get from it Wink

Bronco

Any luck SkyMarshal ?

NightKingx

I didn't like that site...

The free course are just basics, very easy mate in 1 and things like that.

I am still thinking how to do it. The funny thing is that if chessmaster worked properly, it all would be solved!

DunnoItAll

The program you are looking for is called Chess Position Trainer.

pfren

Chessmaster does not accept UCI engines natively. Maybe you could try importing one via polyglot adapter, but... why don't you use another, fully UCI compliant product? (SCID, chessx, etc). Chessmaster is discontinued and unsupported since the Stone Age.

NightKingx

DunnoItAll : I will look for it, thank you! :)

IM pfren : Yes, the problem is that with Chessmaster I can play against a personality with a set strenght and many other values I can set, an it makes it really nice to start a game against a player with a strenght exactly (or almost) like mine...Besides it is the program I own and I wanted to give it a try in something that it suposes to be possible to be done. But I will follow your advice as well, and see if I can find those (SCID and chessx), though I have never heard about them before.

Thank you guys!

pfren

SCID and chessx aren't exactly like Chessmaster- they are chess database managers. But both are excellent, and free/ easy to find. SCID does have a learning curve, while chessx is very user-friendly.

EscherehcsE

@OP, phren is right; Chessmaster is discontinued and unsupported.

Having said that, you didn't say which version of Chessmaster you have. Did you download the patches from the Ubisoft forum download page and install the patches? Did you know that there are a few French opening books available from the same download page?

NightKingx

pfren : The programs are nice. But it is not really want I am looking for. Thank you anyway.

EscherehcsE : Yes, I have the latest version. Grand Master edition, with the last patch avaliable, and yes, I have those books also. The problem is that when I create a new personality with one of those books, it doesn't really use it (Maybe it is not the personaliy, but the  fact that I have created my own books, longer lines for the French for example, than the lines that came with it).

What I want it is this: An engine of my strenght which always uses the opening/defense that I want (different lines of it). That is why chessmaster should fit perfectly for this job...but it doesn't!

DunnoItAll

Please disregard my recommendation of chess position trainer above. I outspread your post apparently.

EscherehcsE
SkyMarshal wrote:

pfren : The programs are nice. But it is not really want I am looking for. Thank you anyway.

EscherehcsE : Yes, I have the latest version. Grand Master edition, with the last patch avaliable, and yes, I have those books also. The problem is that when I create a new personality with one of those books, it doesn't really use it (Maybe it is not the personaliy, but the  fact that I have created my own books, longer lines for the French for example, than the lines that came with it).

What I want it is this: An engine of my strenght which always uses the opening/defense that I want (different lines of it). That is why chessmaster should fit perfectly for this job...but it doesn't!

Good, you have the patches. I only have the 10th Edition, so I may not be able to help with the problem. If it's a bug in the program, then there's nothing we can do.

Does everything work OK if you use a standard Chessmaster personality and one of the thematic French Defense books from the Ubisoft forum download page?

If you're willing to upload your custom book's OBK file and the personality's CMP file to a filesharing site (Sendspace is easy to use), I'd be willing to play around with it (assuming it's backwards-compatible with version 10). It would help if you could give at least one variation to show exactly where the custom book doesn't work as you expect.

Failing any solution to the Chessmaster problem, I'd probably take phren's advice and try to learn how to make custom polyglot books that can be used with Scid vs. PC. (Although I've never used it, there's a utility program that claims to convert OBK books to pgn files. You could then convert the pgn file to a polyglot book.) You could find a number of UCI engines that play at lower levels that could be installed into Scid.

Arena might be another choice, but you'd have to learn how to create Arena's abk opening books, and I'm not sure how well Arena handles custom books. (One guy claimed that Arena had a transposition bug for manually-created books, and he wasn't sure whether the bug had been fixed.)

NightKingx

I think I will just have to resign myself and give up this method. I find that problem to be a bug, nothing else. Chessmaster is plenty of them.

EscherehcsE

OK, whatever you want. I just thought I'd offer another pair of eyeballs to look at the problem.

Btw, regarding the problem of importing engines; phren was right, Chessmaster can't directly import UCI engines, only Winboard engines. (You can use a polyglot adapter to import UCI engines, but it takes some extra knowledge and effort.) In addition, I've never been able to import 64-bit engines, so I'm assuming that Chessmaster can only import 32-bit engines.

NightKingx

As a tool to play chess, Chessmaster is great. But if you want it for something else, it is crap. I have also tried to import chessmaster engine into rybka, but seems like chessmaster is made to be uncompatible with anything else. Doesn't (easily) import, it creates its own games format (instead of pgn, chessmasterfilegame or something like that which only chessmaster can read...). So yes I give up in the matter. I just don't understand how ubisoft can create such a piece of shit and sell it and later don't even upload patches to correct the bugs. That says a lot about them...

EscherehcsE
SkyMarshal wrote:

As a tool to play chess, Chessmaster is great. But if you want it for something else, it is crap. I have also tried to import chessmaster engine into rybka, but seems like chessmaster is made to be uncompatible with anything else. Doesn't (easily) import, it creates its own games format (instead of pgn, chessmasterfilegame or something like that which only chessmaster can read...). So yes I give up in the matter. I just don't understand how ubisoft can create such a piece of shit and sell it and later don't even upload patches to correct the bugs. That says a lot about them...

Yeah, Ubisoft actually added an OPK number that tries to prevent anyone from exporting the King engine outside of the Chessmaster program. Very small of them. It's possible to get around it, but it's not worth the hassle, in my opinion.

If you want to continue training on openings, you might want to take a look at Scid vs. PC. I've been able to convert a Chessmaster OBK opening book to a pgn file, and then convert it back to a polyglot opening book that can be used with Scid vs. PC. It's possible that some (many?) of the move weightings got slightly changed in the process, but Scid vs. PC has a book tuning feature that allows you to tweak the weightings. If you're interested in the details, I could fill you in. (You basically have to use a couple of command-prompt utility programs.)

stanley1

Hi I too am looking to get the Chessmaster opening book converted out to a format that will be more portable and long lasting. Not even sure if Chessmaster will continue to work properly in Windows 10.

Would you be so kind as to share your method for converting the obk to png?

cgrau

Chess Opening Wizard. Outstanding program. Here is an article I wrote on it for MACA's Chess Horizons in July 2013. http://www.masschess.org/chess_horizons/chess-horizons-article.aspx?ch_uid=117

EscherehcsE
stanley1 wrote:

Hi I too am looking to get the Chessmaster opening book converted out to a format that will be more portable and long lasting. Not even sure if Chessmaster will continue to work properly in Windows 10.

Would you be so kind as to share your method for converting the obk to png?

Hey Stanley, I like your avatar. Smile

Well, it's been 18 months since I thought about this...I had to do some digging to refresh my memory. Basically, I used an OBK2PGN utility that I found on the internet. There was a little bug with the utility's output that I had to correct. I never really documented the process very thoroughly, but I did make some short notes.

 

The home page of the OBK2PGN utility is:  http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/npattins/index.html

The download page for OBK2PGN is:  http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/npattins/ChessOpeningBookPage.html

 

If you need to convert from PGN to a Polyglot book, you can modify the general process that Steve Maughan used:  http://www.chessprogramming.net/category/opening-book/

 

If it will help any, here are my informal notes that I made over 18 months ago:

 

 [Beginning of notes]

Note: When I used the OBK2PGN program to convert the Chessmaster book to a PGN file, the PGN file didn't have any results at the end of each game's move list. (Each game's result tag specified 1/2-1/2, but there was no 1/2-1/2 result at the end of the move list.) This bug prevented the polyglot program from converting the PGN file to a polyglot book.

To fix the PGN file, I had to open the PGN file with Scid vs. PC, and then perform "Tools --> Export All Filter Games --> Export Filter to PGN". The exported file then had the required 1/2-1/2 result at the end of each game's move list.



General Conversion Procedure:

1) Use OBK2PGN.exe to convert the OBK opening book to a PGN file.

2) Use Scid vs. PC to fix the "result" bug in the PGN file.

3) Use a modified version of "Maverick's Opening Book Creation Script" to convert the PGN file to a BIN polyglot book.



(Contents of "make-mavericks-book.bat" file)

rem pgn-extract-17-14 -s -C -N -V -tstartpos.txt  -oFrench_Exchange_fixed.pgn French_Exchange.pgn
polyglot make-book -pgn French_Exchange_fixed.pgn -bin French_Exchange.bin -max-ply 100 -min-game 1

Pause 0


(Note: I don't think the pgn-extract step is needed, so I remmed it out.)




4) Use Scid vs. PC's book tuner if needed.

[End of notes]