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I am a person trying to get better using Lucas chess. I am using the competitive mode and starting with the easiest engine. The tutor will suggest moves from time to time and will have a number associated with my move and the suggestion one (see below).

enter image description here

I have lost games taking the hints because I assumed largely positive numbers mean a stronger move. Are these pawn units and how is it calculated?

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  • In fact, LC is a very clever and flexible program. It's really uneasy to say all the advantages there is in the many options of LC. Some options are uniques ! But... in the general setup, you can give time for the tutor. More time seems better evaluation. And there is documentation on the official site to discover lot of the possibilities. In fact, the french documentation is the most extended part but the english doc can also help you. Finally, you can ask details to the author. All the tools are in your hands! Best regards
    – bibifisher
    Feb 17 '17 at 22:24
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These numbers are the score given to the position by the engine. In your particular case (screenshot) these are the scores after the respective move is made. But of course you can also evaluate the current position in the same way.

Positive values mean that white is better, negative values that black is better, a value of zero means equal. So if you are playing black, you should aim for very small numbers (=negative numbers with large absolute value).

The actual numbers are made up based on many factors. The actual factors and the weight given to them will be different between engines, but all (decent) engines would give most weight to the material. And as you guessed right a value of 1 corresponds to one pawn (see your example where black has one pawn less and the evaluation is around +1).

Some other factors and a very simplified view of how they could be implemented on a computer are:

  • piece activity; could evaluate the number of all possible moves
  • king safety; number of defenders around the king
  • control of the center; number of squares under attack in the center
  • pawn structure; minus points for doubled pawns or for isolated pawns...

In my experience positions with evaluation between about -1 and +1 still have a good chance of ending in a draw (assuming best play) while starting from 1.5 or 2 the games have a decisive result (assuming best play).

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  • do you know if i would get an erroneous scoring because the engine is set to beginner? I was using the tutor and I had one score that was +20.00 and I got mated. I am worried i am learning from a bad teacher. Jan 18 '17 at 14:58
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    Perhaps you were playing black then? Jan 18 '17 at 15:36
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The points are given by a chess engine. I believe Lucas uses the Stockfish engine.

In short, the engine scores your position approximately by the number of pawns. If you have 1.00, you would have an extra pawn advantage.

The magnitude indicates how strong or weak your position is. Positive means advantage for White, and negative translates to advantage for Black.

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You probably are losing because you aren't reading the engine indications correctly. If you are playing White, the larger positive number is the better move, while if you are playing Black, then you want a 'large' negative number on the reading.

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