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Put Away your Chess Engine

  • #1

    To all the newbies out there, think for yourself. The answers to all chess questions are NOT found by the computer. They are a tool, but unfortunately they have become a crutch for far too many players. It will eventually make you a weaker player, not stronger. 

     

    Here is an excerpt from a new book coming out called "Chess Training for Candidate Masters". 

    Today's young players have benefited greatly from working with chess computers. There is little doubt that advanced software and electronic training programs have significantly contributed to the rise of the overall standard of play.

    But there is a downside as well. Many young chess players see the computer as the ultimate answer to nearly everything. They think that computer analysis is the best and fastest way to find the truth in any position on the board. Inevitably, those players have gradually stopped thinking and analysing for themselves.
    The prominent Russian chess trainer Alexander Kalinin argues that what you need to make real progress is not more computer input, but increased understanding. To fully digest all available data and to discover the ultimate secrets of chess you must dislodge your decision making from your addiction to the computer and (re)develop the habit of using your own brain.

    Kalinin helps players seeking the master title by showing how concrete knowledge leads to improved decisions at the board. He stresses the essence of the classics and the importance of human interaction in reaching analytical mastery.
    Kalinin provides a wealth of training material. The vast majority of his examples has never been published before. He reveals the mistakes he himself made as a candidate master and mostly uses games of players who themselves are on the road to chess mastery.

  • #2

    another gorilla 

  • #3

    Nah, those are just old guys that don't like computers, or they are mad that they didn't have computers when they were younger.

    Chess players now are better than ever before because of the help of computers. There is no downside to using them

     

  • #4

    quite right OP, thanks, no surprises to see 2 ridiculous replies above.

  • #5
    Darylprater wrote:

    Nah, those are just old guys that don't like computers, or they are mad that they didn't have computers when they were younger.

    Chess players now are better than ever before because of the help of computers. There is no downside to using them

     

    There actually is a downside to chess engines.  It causes some to become lazy in there studies.  

  • #6
    GodsPawn2016 wrote:
    Darylprater wrote:

    Nah, those are just old guys that don't like computers, or they are mad that they didn't have computers when they were younger.

    Chess players now are better than ever before because of the help of computers. There is no downside to using them

     

    There actually is a downside to chess engines.  It causes some to become lazy in there studies.  

     

    Is it lazy, or is it a faster way to learn? I can spend a hour reading a chess book to learn what a computer can teach me in 10 minutes. You should study chess the smart way, not the hard way. A long time ago all they had is books, that's why old GMs have such low ratings.

     

    I think computers will be even better in a few years, right now maybe a GM can explain a position better than a computer, but maybe some programmer will develop a chess mentor computer that will beat every real player. The chess book authors can cry and scream all they want but I think it will happen.

  • #7

    The reason old GMs had such low ratings was rating deflation - ratings are relative, and if old GMs had higher ratings than those today, it would say nothing about their skill level. 

    But I know what you're talking about - engines have helped us a lot, specifically with making us better tacticians and giving us strong opening prep. 

    Most importantly, engines allow talented chess players who don't live in a chess community to learn chess effectively by themselves - checking their ideas with a strong "mentor", if they use it right.

  • #8

    Computers are beneficial, however, they can never completely replace books and hard work studying and practicing.

  • #9

    darylprater

     

    what is your rating?

  • #10
    Morphysrevenges wrote:

    darylprater

     

    what is your rating?

    you're just a sad old man who's past his prime and misses his glory days. 

  • #11

    Look who's making the arguments for computers : low rated nitwits who have no results to speak of, yet are very sure of how YOU should learn and study chess. It's always that way.

    On the other side, we have players rated 1800+ who say: "computers are nice, but..."

    Who are you going to believe?

  • #12

    I agree that computers are not the solution to great understanding. I've said previously on these boards that better than Stockfish 8 telling me the best moves would be stockfish telling me: "Attacking up the Kingside was not a good idea because you had no material superiority. You should have posted your Knight on the impregnable outpost at c5 and attacked up the middle with a Pawn Storm."

    The toughest thing for me to do in chess - outside of stupid blunders in fast time controls - is figure out what to do in the middle game: when do I attack my opponent's pawn chain at it's base as is normally best and when do I attack it at it's top?  How do I take advantage of the half-open file where my rook affects seven squares? Etc.  I have no doubt we'll begin to see such chess engine training within the next decade. Will it be as good as human teachers? I doubt it: they've had great piano teaching software available but the virtuosa who taught me would look disgustingly at a "masterwork" Chopin sheetmusic edition and say, "That's not how to play it - here's how it Chopin did it."  As a major student of a major student of a major student's of Chopin himself, it was like hearing it from the horse's mouth and I progressed far quicker than any self-learning software could do for me.

    I came back to chess this year after last seriously studying the game in 2000. It was like the episode of Star Trek where an Air Force pilot from the 20th Century gets beamed aboard the Starship Enterprise.  The evolution of computer chess, chess engines, Tactics Trainers, better books - I have Silman's 1st Edition of How to Reassess Your Chess and it's around 200 pages.  I just got the 4th ed. and the workbook and they are 658 and 423 pages!

    All that said, computers work if your exploring an opening and want to explore variations on, say, move five.

  • #13

    yeah, I'm an exceptional old guy that proves the rule, I like computers, have been building and repairing them as a side line since the 1980s...they have their place as a training tool....only problem I see is that they could become a crutch....can't bring them with you to an OTB tournament.

  • #14
    fuzzbug wrote:

    Look who's making the arguments for computers : low rated nitwits who have no results to speak of, yet are very sure of how YOU should learn and study chess. It's always that way.

    On the other side, we have players rated 1800+ who say: "computers are nice, but..."

    Who are you going to believe?

    nice rating dude!

  • #15
    Mick I came back to chess after about 18 years away, and I feel exactly like you said! Only I couldn't have thought up so great of an analogy.
  • #16
    Darylprater wrote:
    GodsPawn2016 wrote:
    Darylprater wrote:

    Nah, those are just old guys that don't like computers, or they are mad that they didn't have computers when they were younger.

    Chess players now are better than ever before because of the help of computers. There is no downside to using them

     

    There actually is a downside to chess engines.  It causes some to become lazy in there studies.  

     

    Is it lazy, or is it a faster way to learn? I can spend a hour reading a chess book to learn what a computer can teach me in 10 minutes. You should study chess the smart way, not the hard way. A long time ago all they had is books, that's why old GMs have such low ratings.

     

    I think computers will be even better in a few years, right now maybe a GM can explain a position better than a computer, but maybe some programmer will develop a chess mentor computer that will beat every real player. The chess book authors can cry and scream all they want but I think it will happen.

    I believe it depends.  If youre just playing what the engine tells you without understanding the "why" behind each move, then its lazy studying.  If you analyze your own games first, and then run them through an engine to find a pattern of where youre going wrong, then that is actually learning something.  

    I hear kids all the time at tournaments talking about how they are +.4, but when you ask then what that means, all you get is a blank stare.  

  • #17
    StupidGM wrote:
    2Q1C wrote:

    I disagree. That's like saying calculators have ruined maths. 

    They make people sloppy, just like spellcheck took a lot out of English.

    Spellcheck took a lot of misspellings out of English.

  • #18
    iKeemstar wrote:
    Morphysrevenges wrote:

    darylprater

     

    what is your rating?

    you're just a sad old man who's past his prime and misses his glory days. 

    not sad, and not past anything. I am playing better chess now than I ever have in the past. I play chess as a fun hobby. no more, no less.

     

    oh, and I love computers and technology so don't blame it on that. I currently have a Surface Pro 3, an ipad, a pc, and an iphone. 

     

    I use stockfish, chessbase, chesstempo, and chessgames.com. 

     

    All I am saying is that most young people have the attention span of a gnat and lack disciplined thinking skills.

     

    I coached scholastic chess for many years (pre-engines thank goodness).

    I can easily see today a tournament hall full of kids staring at a computer saying alright I am up .6! and having absolutely no idea why or what to do about it. 

  • #19
    Morphysrevenges wrote:
    iKeemstar wrote:
    Morphysrevenges wrote:

    darylprater

     

    what is your rating?

    you're just a sad old man who's past his prime and misses his glory days. 

    not sad, and not past anything. I am playing better chess now than I ever have in the past. I play chess as a fun hobby. no more, no less.

     

    oh, and I love computers and technology so don't blame it on that. I currently have a Surface Pro 3, an ipad, a pc, and an iphone. 

     

    I use stockfish, chessbase, chesstempo, and chessgames.com. 

     

    All I am saying is that most young people have the attention span of a gnat and lack disciplined thinking skills.

     

    I coached scholastic chess for many years (pre-engines thank goodness).

    I can easily see today a tournament hall full of kids staring at a computer saying alright I am up .6! and having absolutely no idea why or what to do about it. 

    Amen!

  • #20
    StupidGM wrote:

    Those who can't learn directly from examples (machine moves) are not going to thrive in the future.  In Washington Square Park, the strongest players would have lots of people watching their games, with no explanation from the players, rather than to hear the thought processes of the B players who freely share their ideas.

    Knowing which moves are best has fundamentally changed chess into a videogame.  Videogames rarely have books, though I did get my 9th-key pattern for Pac-Man out of one.

     

    chess hustlers have been around before engines, and will be around long after engines are gone.  

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