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 ...


37

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 ...


36

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 ...


31

@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 ...


31

At 5 years old a child's brain is still very immature. The good news is that it is also developing very fast. The easiest and most effective solution is just to wait. Within a year or two the problem will have solved itself as your child's brain develops enough to satisfy your expectations.


29

The point system in chess gives a rough indication of how strong each piece is. So the short answer to your question is, yes, a rook is more valuable than a knight, and so in the vast majority of cases, if you can trade a rook for a knight, you should do it. This does beg the question, however, about why a rook is considered more valuable. At its best, a ...


23

"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 ...


22

I agree with you, more than your coach. Just analyzing a GM game, even with a computer, is not helpful just by itself if you have no idea what is going on. For example, just earlier today, I answered a question here, where the person gave a computer line that made no sense as far as the plans for the position were concerned, so the computer was really no ...


21

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 ...


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 ...


18

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 ""]


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

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 ...


14

First the board must be correct. Put the white square in the right hand corner nearest to you. Then put the queens on their color in the center of the board on the row closest to you. White queen on white. Black queen on Black. Finally put the kings next to the queens in the center of the board. That link you gave is not that useful. For the rest of ...


14

My advice would be to use the adult site. I've had several students but never recommended a kid-friendly site to anyone older than 8 years old. It would be good to know why exactly you want that membership for further advice: If what you are looking for is a site where your daughter can play and get experience, then make an analysis of those games (no ...


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 ...


13

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 ...


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

Your first task should be to get better at tactics. It's one thing to understand what a pin is and why it works, for example, but it's quite another to be able to spot the circumstances under which it's advantageous for you to use it. So my first advice to you would be to work out solutions to tactical puzzles found in books or software. There's a series of ...


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

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

On a screen, the pawns are always moving "up". You know her better, so you could pick on of the following things as an example, and let her compare them to the pawns on a screen. airplane. balloon. elevator. escalator. helicopter. ladder. rocket. stairs. Or, if you are religious, well there is that "up" too. When then playing on a board, she would need ...


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 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 ...


10

First, cheer up, this is not an easy endgame and you should not kick yourself for missing a winning move. That said, it is possible to see that 34...Kf5 is your best bet. I'm not a particularly strong player, but: The queenside is locked. You can't make progress based solely on the pawn structure. If White plays a5 you'll never get through. Given enough ...


10

So forget about Stockfish, forget about Kasparov, forget about GMs. You are 1850. You understand something about the game. Not everything will be correct, some of it will be. Start analyzing. It can be your own games, it can be any old game, it can be a random diagram you saw in the newspaper. Set up the position, and try to figure out what is going on. ...


9

Frankly, the biggest con is that today's correspondence game has turned into computer vs. computer contests. So yes, you learn how to use the computer well, but you may as well play your own computer daily since there is very little difference.


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