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# Getting the most out fo Stockfish/other engines

• #1

Hi All,

I have recently decided I would like to review my games in order to improve.

I have downloaded many chess apps to my phone, in order to analyse them.

Can anyone recommend the best way to use these kind of tools (be it Stockfish...Komodo, or the The Chess.com computer analysis). Is there a guide anywhere online detailing what everything means/how to get the most from these great tools. ?

Thank you!

• #2

When turned on, these engines will give a numerical value to the position.  A positive number means White is better, negative for Black.  The numbers roughly correspond to material values, so +1 is being up a pawn, +3 being up a piece, etc.  If the score says +0.5, that means White has a small advantage of roughly half a pawn; +0.9 and higher generally means White has an advantage; +1.5 is generally a winning advantage.  The closer the score is to 0, the more even the game is.

For your level, the main advantage of the engine is that it can point out blunders, both yours and your opponent.  Play through a game and notice for where the score jumps suddenly, usually more than 1 point in evaluation.  That means someone blundered something.  Look at what was played in the game, then notice what the engine suggests.  Figure out why the engine line is better (eg, Black allowed White to do a fork, or to do a small combination that leads to a fork, etc).  Sometimes the engine move can be obscure, but most of the time it will simply win material.

Your goal should be to have the engine show you as many blunders in as many games as you can, both your wins and loses.  The more you see this, the more you'll get better pattern recognition; you'll start making fewer blunders yourself and you will see your opponent's blunders faster (and know how to capitalize).  As such, I would suggest ignoring for now and computer suggestion that is less than 1.0 difference in evaluation.

If you go through your games and you just don't understand the computer's suggestion, post it in the game analysis forum and many people will be eager to help.  Try your best to figure it out on your own, though, because that's where real improvement happens.  Good luck.

• #3

Just an FYI: sometimes the engine value is in centipawns, so +1 means up 0.01 pawns for white.

• #4

Engine after he game may help you to reach a better level - But don't forget using a engine in an unfinished game is cheating

• #5

Just want to mention that SF9 is soon ready for public release.

• #6

jemenfoot wrote:

Engine after he game may help you to reach a better level - But don't forget using a engine in an unfinished game is cheating

I totally agree jemenfoot, I would never cheat, primarily because it defeats the object of what I am trying to do!!! I love this game and just want to get better and better👍
• #7

I totally agree jemenfoot, I would never cheat, primarily because it defeats the object of what I am trying to do!!! I love this game and just want to get better and better👍

I have no doubt about you - but perhaps it may reach some other people

• #8
Nordlandia wrote:

Just want to mention that SF9 is soon ready for public release.

I have been waiting it for so long.

Tired of beating SF 8.

• #9
SmithyQ wrote:

When turned on, these engines will give a numerical value to the position.  A positive number means White is better, negative for Black.  The numbers roughly correspond to material values, so +1 is being up a pawn, +3 being up a piece, etc.  If the score says +0.5, that means White has a small advantage of roughly half a pawn; +0.9 and higher generally means White has an advantage; +1.5 is generally a winning advantage.  The closer the score is to 0, the more even the game is.

For your level, the main advantage of the engine is that it can point out blunders, both yours and your opponent.  Play through a game and notice for where the score jumps suddenly, usually more than 1 point in evaluation.  That means someone blundered something.  Look at what was played in the game, then notice what the engine suggests.  Figure out why the engine line is better (eg, Black allowed White to do a fork, or to do a small combination that leads to a fork, etc).  Sometimes the engine move can be obscure, but most of the time it will simply win material.

Your goal should be to have the engine show you as many blunders in as many games as you can, both your wins and loses.  The more you see this, the more you'll get better pattern recognition; you'll start making fewer blunders yourself and you will see your opponent's blunders faster (and know how to capitalize).  As such, I would suggest ignoring for now and computer suggestion that is less than 1.0 difference in evaluation.

If you go through your games and you just don't understand the computer's suggestion, post it in the game analysis forum and many people will be eager to help.  Try your best to figure it out on your own, though, because that's where real improvement happens.  Good luck.

Thanks for the tip SmithyQ!

• #10

You can really easily and quickly analyze with engine on a certain site created by a certain "thibault duplessis" Hands down best way to analyze games by far

• #11

You could even just install an extension for this site on chrome so you wouldnt even have to bother to copy paste the png

• #12
mgx9600 wrote:

Just an FYI: sometimes the engine value is in centipawns, so +1 means up 0.01 pawns for white.

Which engines would these be that report +1.00 to mean +0.01?

• #13

Stockfish API uses centipawns.

• #14

It'll report 100, which mean 1.00

• #15

Any others?  (I've not looked at others)

• #16

All engines report centipawns.

It is impossible to live without centipawns anymore, like it or not.

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