Computer vs OTB: a solution?

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Computer vs OTB: a solution?

Post by Victorian Gent on November 8th 2012, 11:24 am

Hi. I have seen loads of correspondence on this site concerned with using a computer vs a "real board" for the coursework. I have sort of disciovered a halfway house solution which I think works for me. Firstly let me say that I really do think it is important to study the real board situation. I certainly recognise the issue that studying on a 2-Dimensional diagram is much different to real board and I actually think it sticks the wrong images into your brain. I know strong players can work from the diagrams, and even that some prefer to analyse from the demonstration boards when they play OTB, but through their extensive experience they have acquired the skill to instantly translate 2-D to 3-D images in their mind.
So...my idea was to try using Chessbase for game replay, but using the 3-D board option. I had never tried it before, but I was astonished how good the image is. You can customise it yourself and even change the orientation so that it looks like how you see your own board on your table at home. I havn't tried it with any of the ICS material yet, but have used it to study a tactics book which I have in e-book format. i think it works!
Does anyone else have experience of doing this?
VG

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Re: Computer vs OTB: a solution?

Post by Leavenfish on November 8th 2012, 9:59 pm

I've tried this (though I haven't taken the course (yet?))...just doesn't feel the same and I've got a nice big secondary monitor hooked up to my laptop. Still, it is what I do.

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Re: Computer vs OTB: a solution?

Post by BorgQueen on November 14th 2012, 5:33 pm

I'd try it more if I could figure out how to change the pieces on the 3d board!

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Re: Computer vs OTB: a solution?

Post by Victorian Gent on November 14th 2012, 5:57 pm

Hi BorgQueen. In Chessbase 10, if you click "settings"at the bottom left of the screen you can choose from differnt piece styles. I like the Staunton option because it is most like the pieces we use at the club and in tournaments in UK. Also has a clear, non-fussy background. If you click "pieces" in your chosen option, you can use the sliders to get the knights facing how you want. Then, once you have the board oriented how you like, if you click "General" you can turn off the gold ball thing at the bottom left, which I find annoying.
By the way. I am quite new to this forum, but it seems to have past its hay day. There seem to be only a few folk contributing. Good to see that you stick with it. Where have you got to with the course?
VG

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Re: Computer vs OTB: a solution?

Post by BorgQueen on November 14th 2012, 6:13 pm

Thanks VG. I actually tried that and was using APPLY to try to change things, but nothing happened. I didn't realise I had to click OK LOL!

I want to use the Staunton ones too, but when I do, I don't see squares... I see the pieces, but they are all sitting on a white surface, no black squares at all. Pity. I'll try classic wood for a while.

I finished the primary course and stopped there. I refuse to pay another $500 for each "add on" year. It was hard enough for me to justify paying for the first year!

The biggest disappointment for me with ICS was the critical lack of ICS staff here, in the forums.... I was under the impression that they cared!

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Blue Devil Knight wrote:The danger of studying positional chess at the expense of tactics is that you will spend a half hour thinking about where a Knight belongs, and then proceed to put it on a beautiful square where it is en prise. Smile
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Re: Computer vs OTB: a solution?

Post by Victorian Gent on November 14th 2012, 6:28 pm

I think at the moment you can get both extra courses for the price of 1, and it is quite a bit cheaper than $500 I think (because you are already a subscriber)

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Re: Computer vs OTB: a solution?

Post by BorgQueen on November 14th 2012, 10:06 pm

Yup, you're right. I'll do some content revision and some thinking... might be worth it... but it's still a lot of money to front up with!


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Re: Computer vs OTB: a solution?

Post by PawnCustodian on November 16th 2012, 1:44 pm

BorgQueen wrote:The biggest disappointment for me with ICS was the critical lack of ICS staff here, in the forums.... I was under the impression that they cared!

They claim now that they will answer questions from students on the new splash page, so I sent in a question just to see. I'm still waiting.........

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Re: Computer vs OTB: a solution?

Post by PawnCustodian on November 17th 2012, 7:32 am

I take that back! Just took a couple of days!

Specifically, I asked about the topic above. The recommendation was to use the 3-D board if you are going to use the computer as a playing interface. Limit blitz, and play 30min or less, no more than 3 sessions per week.

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Re: Computer vs OTB: a solution?

Post by Leavenfish on November 18th 2012, 12:51 pm

BorgQueen wrote:

The biggest disappointment for me with ICS was the critical lack of ICS staff here, in the forums.... I was under the impression that they cared!

Might that lack of ICS staff here simply be because it is not a place run by them...I think it was just started by someone taking the course. Still...I do think it would have been a good business decision by them to check in every week or two. Since there are so few postings more recently, it may not be worth their time (?). It's the lack of presence anywhere that makes me always balk at actually taking the course. I DO get timely email responses from their web person. Helpful. But I'm still not conviced I need to be spending that kind of money when my OTB rating for the past 20 yrs has hovered between 2000 - 2160 USCF. I'm afraid it may not be worth it for me. I don't see how it can be 'all things to all people'...ie, worth if for both 1400 and expert alike.

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Re: Computer vs OTB: a solution?

Post by BorgQueen on November 18th 2012, 5:45 pm

Being so high rated, it perhaps isn't. There's probably quite a bit of content that you'd most likely already know.

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Re: Computer vs OTB: a solution?

Post by Victorian Gent on November 19th 2012, 10:01 am

It's an interesting point. Once one gets above a certain level (I would say USCF 1900) is there really new stuff to learn? Isn't it more like you need to go through the same stuff, but at deeper and deeper levels? There are no "secrets of grandmaster chess" it is just phenomenal hard work with the material we all know and love.
Regarding the value for money aspect of the course, it is a moot point. I think I will have paid a total of just over UK £200 for the course. That's about £17 per month which is about the cost of a chess book here in UK. I would estimate that the monthly course content that you receive is about equivalent to half a chess book's worth of material, so it is an expensive way of acquiring the information, but I like the structure of the material and there are definately some unique thoughts here. If you add in the video lessons, though, the value equation is more favourable (although the media quality of the videos is not great!). I certainly have more than £200 worth of unread chess books gathering dust on my shelves...are they value for money?
Finally, on value for money, the openings module is just fantastic!!!! I like the approach with the clear explanation of ToDo lists at key points. And the repertoire vs the Dutch defense is worth the first months money alone..I have several senior scalps already with the line.
VG

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Re: Computer vs OTB: a solution?

Post by PawnCustodian on November 19th 2012, 11:24 am

Victorian Gent wrote:It's an interesting point. Once one gets above a certain level (I would say USCF 1900) is there really new stuff to learn? Isn't it more like you need to go through the same stuff, but at deeper and deeper levels? There are no "secrets of grandmaster chess" it is just phenomenal hard work with the material we all know and love.
VG

Dan Heisman's "The Improving Chess Thinker" concludes with his experiments with USCF experts and masters that the difference between them lies with the superior judgement and planning skills of th master - there is not much difference in their analytical capabilities abilities (they see the same stuff but evaluate it differently). Interestingly, Magnus Carlsen made a similiar comment when discussing his experience training with Kasparov in describing his (Carsen's) edge over other elite GMs.

Having studied almost all of the ICS lessons I can attest that the lessons all focus almost exclusively on judgement and planning aspects of chess. The instructional content far exceeds any of books (or collection of books) in my personal library.

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