46

You have little chance in your dissertation of surpassing state of the art chess engines. Perhaps you could find a hook which hasn't been explored so much. One idea is to train your program to play amateur chess in a convincing way. Can a program pass a sort of chess Turing Test where a human-player couldn't tell if they were playing an AI or playing a ...


40

Although I agree that chess is 90% tactics when actually playing at the board, it really depends on where you are strenght-wise as to how much time you spend on tactics. By the way, when they use the word "tactics" there, I would say "tactics and calculation". When you are beginning, I firmly believe that spending 90% of your time on tactics will be the ...


37

This is very hard to answer since the question is very broad, but in the opening, always ask yourself "what piece haven't I moved out yet?" If you move pieces twice or three times in the opening, and I am developing each one after only one move, soon you will be fighting with only two or three pieces against me with 5 or 6. You will not win that way. Other ...


36

There are many people who want to play chess with you. You can play chess online! Online sites such as chess.com and lichess.org will match you with opponents of similar rating so you should win about 50 percent of the time. Furthermore, playing online as well as studying chess will immensely improve your chess, and maybe you'll play your friend again and ...


33

There are lots of ways to play with a handicap in chess. One way is to give one player a starting material advantage, where the weaker player starts with an extra queen, or the stronger player replaces their queen with a bishop/rook, or starts with some of their pawns missing - anything that weakens one player's starting position can be used to even the odds....


29

@Arka Mukherjee, I find most players under 2100 weak tactically, so at 1200, you are certainly weaker than you understand you are. I do not say that to be mean, but just as a very logical person, who has been a reasonably strong player for over 30 years. At your level, memorizing theory is mostly a waste of time. In 40 years of playing, I cannot tell you ...


22

I will go back to what Artur Yusupov, three-time World Championship Candidate, former top-10 player, and one of the greatest living trainers recommends in the first book of his 10-volume series. In volume one, "Boost Your Chess - Build Up Your Chess", chapter 9, which is two-move mates, including composed problems: The aim of this lesson is to improve ...


21

It starts with the board being setup correctly, and that means a light square in the right-hand corner. Then, the queens each go on their own color. [FEN ""]


19

"PhishMaster's Complete Guide To Improvement": What to study, and how. Every player has times where they "plateau", and have trouble moving on, but they usually get past it eventually if they are continuing to study. Sometimes, it is a matter of patience. Here is a set of comprehensive answers to questions I previously gave in various chunks, that are now ...


18

There's another famous quote you need to pair with "Chess is 90% tactics." Spielmann was reported to remark, after hearing one too many people exclaiming about an Alekhine combination, "I could find those combinations myself, just as easily, if I had his positions. But I never get those positions!" And that's the rub. The game-winning tactics you see in the ...


17

You might be interested in AlphaZero and its derivatives. AlphaZero is the original neural-network based chess engine; since then there have been various other attempts (Leela Chess Zero, AllieStein, the recent Fat Fritz ...) to replicate AlphaZero's ideas. The key paper to read is this one. The data right now seems to indicate that although these neural ...


16

If you can change your attitude from this being a competition that you are "losing" to this being a tutorial, that should help a lot. Every time you play a game, you get more famailiar with lines and their responses. Consider each move to be a question (what sort of responses are this to this move?) rather than a challenge.


16

Some typical things to look out for in the middle game in order to develop a plan... This assumes that it is a relatively quiet position without any imminent tactics that need to be taken care of first. Are all my pieces developed and on active squares (if not, how can piece activity be improved?) Does my oppenent have any weak pawns (typically isolated ...


14

Well, if your statistics are accurate (and not just based off games you remember), then there are a few possibilities: 1) The 1300-1500 players you play in OTB in your area are overrated. Or 2) The 800-900 players online are underrated. Also, if you think you're good at chess but are beaten by these players online, are they really beginners? Online ...


13

A rating of 1600 shows the progress you made since starting that account, but (no offense) it isn't really that high either. 1600-rated players also blunder and make mistakes, even when playing against 900-rated ones. I expect a 1600-rated player to blunder less. A 1600-rated player that drops a queen, or misses a fork, or whatever will still have a ...


12

The Soviet Union used to dominate chess because it had state-sponsored schools that provided high-quality trainers. After the Soviet Union broke up, funding dried up, and many of these trainers emigrated. Naturally the competitors caught up. Vladimir Kramnik discusses some of this in an interview he gave with chess.com. Chess.com: Much has been written ...


12

Does it make most sense to just start playing with setting up all the pieces, or are there smaller "games" that one can/should start with? It doesn't really matter the age of the person learning to play, there is no point in starting with a full set. There is just far too much to take in and make sense of. The first thing to do is to teach them how to win!...


12

The general rule of thumb is improve the worst placed piece. I would be reluctant to move pawns without any purpose because you are likely to create a weakness. I would rather make a do nothing move, it is often could be a rook move on a back rank, as long as it really doesn't do anything; this move you can always "undo" (unlike the pawn moves!). Wrong ...


12

Advice I give to complete beginners is to place your pieces so that they point at your opponents king. Ignore any pieces and pawns between your pieces and the King. When playing against another beginner who has no plan this is a good strategy. This strategy has the benefit of helping learn about the power pieces exert across the board even when seemingly ...


11

I tend to disagree with the other answers that suggest starting with just a few pieces. Kids absorb so much, so quickly. When my daughter was 4, she used to just watch me so she got some familiarity with the shapes of the pieces, but there was no teaching at this time. When she was 5, I taught her the names of the pieces, and then how they all moved. I did ...


11

According to friends who play correspondence chess they report the following benefits: Variety - you play lots of games all at the same time. Although you might not match Claude Bloodgood, who allegedly had hundreds of games in play at the same time when his postage costs were paid for by the US taxpayer because he was on death row, you will play all your ...


11

First, by far the most popular chess YouTuber is Agadmator. His channel does a nice job of going over famous games, and explaining them. Other good videos are what are called "banter blitz". Banter blitz is when players, and you want to watch Masters, explain what they are thinking aloud as they are playing. You can then get a better idea of what we see, ...


11

Note: This is an analysis of the position at move 34. Obviously, White's play in the beginning of the endgame was poor and he should never have entered such trouble. Black's advantage is clear and long-lived because he has the better minor piece, a knight vs a bad bishop with a locked center. Whether this advantage is enough for a win requires analysis, of ...


10

I'd like to start with this comment of yours: "I fear that without this abusive online playing my abilities OTB will be damaged." I know where you are coming from, because I've been there, too. I used to be ridiculously addicted to chess - and I wasn't even very good lol. Now it's a hobby, which is much more healthy. I also know that fear you speak of - ...


10

One of the most important things we tell players who are a bit above beginner level is to have a checklist they go through before making each move. It looks like this: checks captures threats opponent's threats ... blunder check So, as part of their move selection, they first look to see if they can give a check. If so they calculate the results. Then they ...


10

There are plenty of possible Phd-topics that connect chess and machine learning. The more interesing and feasible ones have nothing to do with building better engines. Here are some ideas: Human players have a particular playing style. Is it possible to learn to extract some metric of style from games that allows to assign games to players with a certain ...


10

I am sorry to say that the answer is "no", there is no "easy way" to apply pressure and win a pawn in the opening, otherwise, at the top level of chess, the game would be won every time. That is what positional chess is about: You gradually improve your position until the opponent can no longer save all of the material. A theorem of chess is that you must ...


10

This is a very complicated subject since there are a lot of other factors that come into play so I will give some examples, but there are no general rules that apply in all circumstances. First, let's take this common opening structure from the Slav. In this equal position, black wanted in imbalance, and traded off the light-squared bishop, so in order to ...


10

I'm very fond of agadmator, but you must understand that his channel aims at entertainment, not education, and you will hardly learn as much as you would with other type of contents. I strongly recommend that you check out the lessons on the Saint Louis Chess Club Youtube channel, it has incredibly lessons and many of them on positional play. For example, ...


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