Chess Openings Trainer

Snoopy329

I know this question has probably been asked a million times but, I have been searching for a while now and can't seem to find an answer. I am looking for a software program which deals with training you in chess openings. When I say "training" I am looking for the following:

 

Something simple. I'd like a program that just drills you in learning the main lines, variation lines and possibly some continuations. Perhaps this can be achieved by playing against a program or engine where you have the option choosing what the engine will do like accept or decline gambits and then then the the engine will simply follow the predetermined lines and continuations. Or, perhaps the program can simply give you exercises that will somehow help you remember the main line, variations and again, some possible continuations.

 

I really don't want anything that has theory in it or has annotations or comments or a multimillion game database for me to look at. I just want to be to choose an opening from the ECO and do exercises that help in the memorization of the main and variation lines. I also don't want to have to enter the sequence of moves by hand like some programs I've seen.

 

Is there any such program like this?

 

Thanks in advance.

baddogno

HIARCS will do that for most common openings.  You choose to start a game against the engine and your starting position from a list of maybe a hundred openings.  You get to see the next move possibilities and popularity in the usual database format.  I guess the program has to choose the "best" move every time, but you can choose the most popular, the most successful, or whatever you want to explore.  Pretty sure most modern chess programs have something similar, but HIARCS is what I don't use....sigh.  

Oh wait, that's not what you were looking for at all....my bad, but still a cool program.

dannyhume
Chessable (online), Chess Openings Wizard Professional (downloadable software), Chess Positions Trainer. You upload a PGN file or input moves to create one and then you can use the programs’ drilling features.
Nic_Olas

The easiest way for me to learn openings has been to look at many games and play them out quickly over the board to remember move orders. You should still study everything you look at and don't assume the person you are playing is gonna play along. Be prepared for anything and keep an open mind. 

Snoopy329

Thanks for all the replies. I never got emails stating I received replies... Regardless, I have settled on Chess Positions Trainer. I like the interface. Thanks again.

RussBell
dannyhume wrote:
Chessable (online), Chess Openings Wizard Professional (downloadable software), Chess Positions Trainer. You upload a PGN file or input moves to create one and then you can use the programs’ drilling features.

Danny -

Can you provide a link to the software.  I have a Chessable (free) account, but cannot locate the download of the Openings Wizard Professional software.  When I Google it, I get links to Bookup.

RussBell
Snoopy329 wrote:

Thanks for all the replies. I never got emails stating I received replies... Regardless, I have settled on Chess Positions Trainer. I like the interface. Thanks again.

Snoopy -

Is this what you refer to?  Otherwise, can you provide a link the software?  Thanks.

http://www.chesspositiontrainer.com/index.php/en/

tonyblades

Speaking as a chess coach, you could simply adopt Nimzowitsch's advice: get some master games in book form, cover the moves with card and try to deduce the next move.

SeniorPatzer
tonyblades wrote:

Speaking as a chess coach, you could simply adopt Nimzowitsch's advice: get some master games in book form, cover the moves with card and try to deduce the next move.

 

That takes too long. 

Snoopy329
RussBell wrote:
Snoopy329 wrote:

Thanks for all the replies. I never got emails stating I received replies... Regardless, I have settled on Chess Positions Trainer. I like the interface. Thanks again.

Snoopy -

Is this what you refer to?  Otherwise, can you provide a link the software?  Thanks.

http://www.chesspositiontrainer.com/index.php/en/

Yeah, thats the one.

RussBell
tonyblades wrote:

Speaking as a chess coach, you could simply adopt Nimzowitsch's advice: get some master games in book form, cover the moves with card and try to deduce the next move.

In fact, Graeme Buckley wrote 2 books, Multiple Choice Chess I & II, that allow one to do exactly what you suggest....i.e., complete Grandmaster games are presented in which the reader is given the opportunity throughout the game to guess the next move, and be awarded points based on the accuracy of the answer.....a fun way to learn and compare yourself to the masters....

https://www.amazon.com/Multiple-Choice-Chess-Graeme-Buckley/dp/1857442482/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1519268699&sr=1-3&keywords=graeme+buckley+chess

 https://www.amazon.com/Multiple-Choice-Chess-II-Everyman/dp/1857443098/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1519268699&sr=1-2&keywords=graeme+buckley+chess

 

 

dannyhume
RussBell wrote:

Danny -

Can you provide a link to the software.  I have a Chessable (free) account, but cannot locate the download of the Openings Wizard Professional software.  When I Google it, I get links to Bookup.

 

RussBell- 

Chess Openings Wizard is the "new" name for Bookup... "new" since at least this past decade.  Mike Leahy is the creator.  So you are/were in the correct place.  There are 3 versions: free, Express, and Professional.  I believe the Express and Professional versions allow the opening training option (I have only owned the Professional version).  The only issue I have recently run into with the newer builds is that he got rid of the possibility of exporting ebooks as multiple games (for instance, if you wanted to import your repertoire as several separate lines/games to import into ChessBase or Hiarcs or whatever).  

RussBell
dannyhume wrote:
RussBell wrote:

Danny -

Can you provide a link to the software.  I have a Chessable (free) account, but cannot locate the download of the Openings Wizard Professional software.  When I Google it, I get links to Bookup.

 

RussBell- 

Chess Openings Wizard is the "new" name for Bookup... "new" since at least this past decade.  Mike Leahy is the creator.  So you are/were in the correct place.  There are 3 versions: free, Express, and Professional.  I believe the Express and Professional versions allow the opening training option (I have only owned the Professional version).  The only issue I have recently run into with the newer builds is that he got rid of the possibility of exporting ebooks as multiple games (for instance, if you wanted to import your repertoire as several separate lines/games to import into ChessBase or Hiarcs or whatever).  

Thanks Danny!  Do you have any thoughts to share as to whether Chess Openings Wizard vs Chess Position Trainer would be the better choice, say for organizing an openings repertoire.  In particular, as well, whether the product is being actively supported, maintained, improved, etc.  It has been my experience that similar products which were created years ago are not necessarily being supported today...

dannyhume
RussBell wrote:

Thanks Danny!  Do you have any thoughts to share as to whether Chess Openings Wizard vs Chess Position Trainer would be the better choice, say for organizing an openings repertoire.  In particular, as well, whether the product is being actively supported, maintained, improved, etc.  It has been my experience that similar products which were created years ago are not necessarily being supported today...

Russbell-

I tried downloading and setting up CPT earlier in the decade and was extremely frustrated by how difficult it seemed (I am not a computer/techie person).

COW is easy to use and regularly maintained. Mike Leahy in recent years has created a version for Mac and iPad, and says he is creating a phone app (he has been promising the latter, however, for a few years now).

Since COW no longer allows exporting your created ebooks/repertoire as multiple games/lines, I can no longer recommend it for repertoire management, but it is still great for instantly catching transpositions and for training openings. In the earlier builds, when you could export your repertoire in COW as multiple games/lines in a PGN file, it was great because you could then import the PGN file into something like ChessBase, Hiarcs, or Chessable.  I have no idea why he got rid of that feature, but maybe he will bring it back in the future.

Try downloading the free version of COW, clicking through the free stuff that comes with it, and see what you think.

For opening repertoire management, I would say ChessBase is better than COW (not sure about CPT, but assuming it is kind of like COW). However, let's say there is a scenario where you played a game and wanted to know where you or your opponent deviated from your repertoire, then COW would be easier in terms of playing through the games and seeing where things deviated and what move you forgot or where a new move needs to be added to your repertoire, since COW shows moves one at a time in series (just like "Opening Tree" mode in ChessBase or Chess Assistant) whereas with ChessBase, it would be a bit cumbersome if you had each one of your repertoire lines as a separate game (which in general, you should for optimal repertoire management), and had to find the line that matched your game most closely (and without any help catching tranpositions, which COW automatically does).  ChessBase is monstrously complex to my feeble chess brain, so I would defer that to more experienced players. 

RussBell

Danny -

Thanks for your detailed reply.  Based on the fact that my only interest in any of the products would be for opening repertoire management and analysis, it seems that neither COW or CPT are really optimum, if I understand you correctly.  I also share your opinion of ChessBase, i.e., it tends to be complex, at least for someone not familiar with it.  I also was hoping for something "simple".  I'm curious though regarding your mention of Chessable .  Do you think it offers any decent (i.e., not particularly complex) opening repertoire management functionality?

PhillipTheTank

Chess Position Trainer is pretty much the ultimate in repertoire management.  You won't find better.

RussBell

Thanks Phillip!

dannyhume
RussBell wrote:

Danny -

Thanks for your detailed reply.  Based on the fact that my only interest in any of the products would be for opening repertoire management and analysis, it seems that neither COW or CPT are really optimum, if I understand you correctly.  I also share your opinion of ChessBase, i.e., it tends to be complex, at least for someone not familiar with it.  I also was hoping for something "simple".  I'm curious though regarding your mention of Chessable .  Do you think it offers any decent (i.e., not particularly complex) opening repertoire management functionality?

In my opinion, Chessable is best for training with spaced repetition, and that same type of training is good for reading through a book quite thoroughly (I don't believe in memorization of every chess book as an effective way to learn), but you can certainly upload or input your repertoire lines and edit them in Chessable... then you have them online for yourself, as opposed to having to have the correct software.  

Chessable has the same sort of opening training that COW had long before, except they do add the automatic spaced repetition component. However, if you input your lines into Chessable, each line is separate, so you won't catch transpositions the way COW will... you would have multiple redundant lines that you would be training, which would reduce your efficiency... this I know because I have been dabbling in the London, and only COW has begun to help me sort through the bewildering number of early move orders amongst numerous authors' recommendations.

For opening repertoire management analysis, I believe the higher-level players tend to prefer ChessBase (Chess Assistant and Hiarcs and others are similar, but ChessBase seems to be the leader).  For analysis, Chessbase will allow to add multiple engines and have them going all at once up to 6 lines in my version.

If you are serious about opening repertoire management and analysis, it may be worth it to get ChessBase, even temporarily hiring a coach who uses it regularly to help you set it up and familiarize yourself with its features ... you can cross-reference your lines with games in a database, copy/paste multiple engine analysis, get a printed summary of your opening which can show you statistics and which famous players have played it the most and when, etc.  

There ought to be several advanced players (and threads) on this site who use ChessBase regularly that can answer questions ... maybe they aren't into "opening trainers" and therefore are skipping this thread.  

RussBell

Thanks Danny, again, for your excellent analysis and comparisons of the various products!  All good food for thought.  You have certainly helped to clarify my thinking on the subject.   Now I just have to decide how I want to go forward...