Is it advisable to play chess against computers?

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Is it advisable to play chess against computers?

Post by kingsmasher1 on May 2nd 2012, 1:25 pm

I was recently playing chess with a web-based computer of around 2000+ strength. I doubt, it must be more (or a super-computer), because it was just too tough to resist it, and gave it's move in seconds.
I got discouraged as i kept losing. The worst thing is, the computer gave it's moves in seconds, even though i set the time as 30 10.

And it's natural that, if the opponent makes a quick move, you too tend to play fast.

So, do you think it is advisable to play against computers? The advantage being you are playing against a strong opponent, drawback being you get too defensive and discouraged while losing.

I remember a 2300+ player once advised me, "Don't play against computers, play with real people". How far do you tend to agree or disagree with it?

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Re: Is it advisable to play chess against computers?

Post by PawnCustodian on May 2nd 2012, 1:57 pm

I don't see any reason not to play against computers. It's even suggested in the ICS lesson on Calculation in month three.

Rather than playing against on-line engines, I prefer to work with Fritz on my laptop. The advantage is that I know the Fritz opening book and I can play my repertoire against to test it, and to add relevence to training calculation. Over time you will do better and better against the program.

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Re: Is it advisable to play chess against computers?

Post by kingsmasher1 on May 2nd 2012, 2:46 pm

@PawnCustodian: Sorry for getting off-the-topic but how do you compare Fritz and chessmaster-GM edition (if in case you used it). I mean which you feel more comfortable and better from learning point of view?

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Re: Is it advisable to play chess against computers?

Post by PawnCustodian on May 2nd 2012, 6:34 pm

I don't know anything on Chessmaster-GM.

Features I like and use frequently with Fritz are the opening trainer (I loaded up my repertoire for practice), and defense training (I load a database with games in my opening preference). The idea with defense training is also from the lesson on calculation where it is recommended that we look at all possible captures before looking for candidate moves. I also like the calculation trainer for blindfold exercises, but it's a bit slow at scoring exercises.

For endgames I picked up a copy of John Hall's "Endgame Challenge!" and play out the problems against Fritz, then compare my "games" against the book solutions. I'm about half-way through the book and enjoying every minute. The nice thing with this is that you are given a won/drawn position and if you know your stuff you can actually beat the silicon monster!

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Re: Is it advisable to play chess against computers?

Post by kingsmasher1 on May 3rd 2012, 1:09 am

@Pawncustodian: wow, looks like Fritz has a lot of things to offer. May be i will try it, Fritz 11 is the latest i guess.

Using Chessmaster-GM you can set up personalities of different strengths and play against them (opening repertoire, analysis, and games database is common for all chess software and so does Chessmaster-GM has).

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Re: Is it advisable to play chess against computers?

Post by PawnCustodian on May 3rd 2012, 7:46 am

Fritz 13 is out now. I use Fritz 12, and don't see any compelling reason to upgrade.

Steve Lopez has some about 30 videos online describing in detail the features of Fritz. You can find them by googling Fritz and youtube keywords. In fact, if you do start to work with Fritz you will want to look at the videos - the documentation leaves out some essential information Steve covers, especially around the opening trainer and customizing your own openings.

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Re: Is it advisable to play chess against computers?

Post by kingsmasher1 on May 3rd 2012, 2:24 pm

Thanks PawnCustodian, it's really a good hint to start with. Very Happy

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Re: Is it advisable to play chess against computers?

Post by Chemwong on May 5th 2012, 10:48 pm

2 weeks ago I won Fritz 10 in long game, both white and black at lowest strength (1890elo). In white game Fritz used Mexican Defense with side line that involved early knight hop to e4 or d4. In black game Fritz played Nf3 and than played also such early knight hop against my ...c5 French like response.

I think still helpful for me to play against CPU about few times a week (I am unrated and I think my strength is just close to Class A). It forces me to be patient and careful. Downside is the CPU had poor positional understanding (though Fritz is quite a good brand already).

Ah! One point to remind: after winning both black and white switch to higher strength so the CPU would not "repeat the history". Smile

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Re: Is it advisable to play chess against computers?

Post by kingsmasher1 on May 6th 2012, 2:55 am

Chemwong wrote:
Downside is the CPU had poor positional understanding (though Fritz is quite a good brand already).

Are u saying it's a problem with Fritz? I played with chessmaster-GM and i can see it has quite a good positional evaluation strength.

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Re: Is it advisable to play chess against computers?

Post by BorgQueen on May 6th 2012, 8:31 pm

I bought Deep Fritz 11, but I use many different engines in it, my current favourite being Houdini.

I never play against it these days because I can never win!!

I also believe it is good with positional "understanding", provided you don't 'dumb it down'.

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Re: Is it advisable to play chess against computers?

Post by kingsmasher1 on May 7th 2012, 6:03 am

@BorgQueen: It's advisable to use strong engines for analysis rather than playing, as it can also de-motivate it's opponent(s) strongly Very Happy

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Re: Is it advisable to play chess against computers?

Post by BorgQueen on May 7th 2012, 9:37 am

Yes, indeed, one can be de-motivated badly by playing against strong engines!

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