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I'm a newbie to chess. As I want to improve my chess, I want to play against the computer. Is there a program where I can set the ELO rating of the computer opponent? (best if it is updated automatically to match my skill based on previous games)
Perhaps LucasChess is something for you. (I must admit I never tried it myself).
Note that it is difficult to assign a well-defined Elo to engines, because they think differently from Humans. There exist engines with an option to set the 'skill level' (e.g. Crafty), but this often leads to very unnatural blunders. So it is often better to simply use a weaker engine than use a very strong engine that is artificially weakened. (Although weakening by limiting their thinking time is usually not that bad.)
LucasChess uses this method: different engines. But you can emulate that with any interface (WinBoard, Arena, Shredder), of course, picking your own engines. As the weakest engines have Elo ratings below zero, there must be something of the strength you want...
Fritz always used to have an option for opponents. I can't recall if you could specify a rating range, but they had some preset opponents like "club player" and "drunk player" etc.
LucasChess looks nice. Thanks!
Firtz 12 lets you set its ELO. In the training bar choose Rated Game, in there there's a slider from 1200 to 2300, plus a checkbox that say 'Unleashed' which is apparently ELO 3158
Oh and I just played a couple of quick games set initially at 1200 and as I lost it reduced its ELO even further, it's playing me at 1081 atm.
It's often difficult, even on here, to find humans who will let you play the same opening lines repeatedly, or practise fixed piece endgames, or allow you to take back moves to find out how it might have happened.
well I can't even beat the bl00dy thing set to 1081 so it's sure harder than chess.com ratings. Who'd have thought it.
Weak computer opponents are kind of the holy grail of computer chess. Nobody quite does it right. Chessmaster's are okay, but they still will randomly play non-human moves and straight-up give you material sometimes. But, you know, in my last OTB tournament, a 1590 just straight up gave me a bishop, so I guess it isn't terribly unrealistic. At one of the ones before it, a 1750 dropped a piece, but it was subtle and I missed it until after the game. Drat! So perhaps I shouldn't be so hard on the computers. But that's the thing, poor human chess players are poor in really odd ways that are hard for computers to get right and it gets more unpredictable as ratings go down, so often computers end up playing like a GM for 20 moves and then dropping a piece when they try to play like a 1600.
gzthompson hits the nail on the head. The problem with weak engines is that what makes a human being weak nad what makes a computer weak are very different things.
I find that fritz elo is way harder than actual elo.
The problem stems from the nature of handicapping a strong chess program. In order to emulate weak play, it must make egregious errors, but it does not overlook simple two move tactics unless that's the method of handicapping, and then more often or less often than a human at the same level.
Programmers put their efforts into strengthen programs. There's not much incentive to handicap in a more realistic manner.
Even so, in my experience, Fritz is far more realistic as a handicapped player than any of the multitudinous Chessmaster personalities.
Agreed. In fact, I think Fritz's "Sparring Mode" (in which it makes instructive mistakes that effectively create tactics puzzles for you) is about as human a computer as I've ever played!
(But if memory serves, that mode doesn't allow for ratings-based handicapping; I think it's just Easy, Medium, or Hard - or something like that.)
There are 5 sparring levels, this is what the instructions say:
"You can select the grade of difficulty of the tactics that will be offered. Very easy is for players with an Elo of around 1400 and usually involves finding forks and two move combinations. Normal is meant for players between 1700 and 1900, and very hard is for players from 1900 all the way up to GMs."
It's a mode I've never tried, going to give that a go.
I think Shredder does the best job at limiting strength. The games feel a bit more natural at the lower levels.
Shredderclassic (not the shredder that comes with the chessbase gui) is the most human-like computer opponent I've seen. It's much better than chessmaster, and better than fritz in that respect.
I have played a couple programs.
Fritz talking is the good part but I never enjoyed playing him.
Rybka it is just no fun playing him.
Shredder I liked. A beautiful program very very good!
I fell in LOVE with HIARCS. Its playing style is amazing.
Maybe it is not the strongest of all, but it is the most fun to play with!
Of course there are more programs but my search had ended I found my love.
When I speak of Fritz in the way that I have in this thread, I'm referring to the GUI (the interface). This interface supports quite a few different engines, among which HIARCS is the most human-like. The method of setting a rating-specific playing strength within Fritz is the same no matter which engine you are using--Fritz, HIARCS, Shredder, Rybka, or Crafty (one of many free UCI engines that the interface supports, including Stockfish).I have played against many of the 64 different engines that I have, but use HIARCS most often.
how do you play someone easy here?
Go to live chess and set up a seek limiting the rating range <1000. Or do the same for on-line.
thanks ... it is great ,the new web link is
Ziryab! A really good player such as yourself should know better! What expert would make these kinds of mistakes at a 25 minute per side (or any) time control:
Yes, you could tell that the computer has a plus score against me as I'm lower than it, but mostly because it's more adept at sifting through Sicilians and open games more efficiently or when I play based off principles when calculation is called for.