Two New Extremely Strong Engines (For Free!)

There are two new chess engines available that have shown to be very strong. Stockfish 1.6.2 JA readily outforms Rybka 2.2n2 (strongest multi-processor version of Rybka available for free) on the CEGT computer rating list. The other engine is RobboLito 0.085g3. This engine is still in preliminary stages of testing, but some say that it is even stronger than the newest version of Rybka (Deep Rybka 3.0).

For more information, I have made the appropriate updates to my “Free Chess Programs” article. Scroll down to the “Playing Software and Engines” section. If you have visited this article recently, you may want to refresh the page.

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Material Odds Tip

To save me having to do a second update, I have added a screenshot of my website statistics for your interest.

Have you ever found playing against your computer boring? Computer are not great at simulating particular playing strengths and of course, they are way too strong to play against at their optimum level.

But, there is a great way to have an interesting game with the computer: simply do a “position setup”, remove say, a rook from the computer’s pieces, and try to convert the advantage against the computer. If you master a rook-up starting position, try playing with knight-odds, pawn-odds, etc.

It is easy to do position setup in Fritz and presumably other software like Chess Assistant, Scid, etc. If you don’t have any of this software, I recommend using the simple and easy-to-use program Tarrasch, which comes with a pre-installed Rybka 2.2n2 engine. Or go to the Tarrasch homepage. I discuss the Rybka engine more in my article World’s Strongest Chess Program for Free.

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World Chess Champions

An overview of the world’s best players including interesting facts about them. This article contains a list of all world champions (including FIDE and Classical World Champions).

Click here for the full article “World Chess Champions”.

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Chess as a Career

Unless your top 10 material, it seems that most professional chess players aren’t particularly wealthy and may even be in financial difficulties at times. The fact is that chess is mainly a one-way road in terms of money. Basically, money goes out, no money comes back in. Of course, some younger lower-rated players do get lucky and strike a major sponsorship deal, but speaking as a 2100 player, I am severely in the red when I play chess, particularly in stronger tournaments when entry fees are often higher and one needs to purchase airtickets, accommodation, etc. It does get better when a player earns his International Master title (or higher), as they are then offered many free services such as free membership on PlayChess and waived entry fees to weaker tournaments…

Click here to read the full article “Chess as a Career”.

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Correspondence Chess

Correspondence chess is a form of long distance chess where moves are delivered by services such as email, traditional post, fax and homing pigeon…

Click here for the full article “Correspondence Chess”.

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Creating Your Own Chess Website/Blog

Would you like to run your own chess website or blog? Today I’m going to run over a basic tutorial on how to do so. I will go through 4 possible options. Note that this guide is universally applicable to subjects other than chess.

Free Blog

A free blog is the simplest to set up. I recommend using Blogger, a service run by Google. I currently run two chess blogs on Blogger, Australian Chess News and GeniusProphecy Chess (note: the latter is used to inform about updates to this website).

Creating a blog on Blogger is extraordinarily easy…

Click here to see the full article “Creating Your Own Chess Website/Blog”.

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How to Read Chess Books

Today, I’m going to pick a rather unusual topic to talk about. At some point when I was rated around 1000, I started to find that reading chess books over a chess set was tiring and boring. I wasn’t sure how other people read so many chess books, so at that time, I somewhat shunned chess books, except those that could be read without a chess set. Eventually I came across the ability to play over moves on the computer, which seemed so much more convenient than throwing physical chess pieces around.

Here is a quote from the Mammoth Book of the World’s Greatest Chess Games by Grandmasters Dr John Nunn, John Emms and FIDE Master Graham Burgess that sheds some light on the topic (the book covers the 100 best games ever as judged by the authors):

“[In reading this book] you may find it convenient to use two chessboards – one to keep track of the position in the main game, and another to play over the variations. Alternatively, and preferably, play over the over using a suitable chess program (for example ChessBase). Keeping a program such as Fritz running in the background will reveal analytical points we had no space to include in the book.”

Click here for the full article “How to Read Chess Books”.

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Karpov’s games from the 12th Linares tournament

The 1994 12th Linares tournament (held in Linares, Spain) is considered one of the strongest tournaments ever. There was an average FIDE Elo rating of 2685, the highest ever at the time, making it the first Category XVIII tournament ever held.

Kasparov had said several days before the event that the winner could rightly be called dubbed the “world champion of tournaments”.

This tournament inspired Karpov to give the greatest performance in his life and one of the greatest chess performances ever.

Karpov’s games from the tournament can be replayed on the Java board on the website.

Click here to access “Karpov’s Games from Linares 1994 (Game Collections)“. (Check out the major blunder in Karpov-Bareev Round 2!)

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Dealing with Surprises in the Opening

This is a slightly more advanced topic than usual. Nevertheless, I feel it is of good practical use. I make use of some quotations from famous grandmasters to support my arguments.

Click here to see the article “Dealing with Surprises in the Opening”.

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How to Make Chess Videos

Welcome! For a couple of months now, I have been posting free chess videos on YouTube. It has been a rewarding process and I am thankful that it has provided plenty of traffic to this website. Many people have asked me about how to make chess videos, so today I want to go through a short tutorial about it. Of course, these techniques can be applied in the making of videos that aren’t to do with chess.

Screen-recording software

The most convenient way to record a chess video is obviously not to use a video recorder but to “record” your screen. It is not complicated at all. When researching screen recording software in preparation for my YouTube videos, I came across the open-source freeware screen recorder CamStudio. I have used this free software for months now without a single hitch. The interface is pretty self-explanatory. You’ll want to record a particular region of your screen so go to Region –> Region (this option sounds a little strange, but it’s just how the interface is). Next, if you want to accompany it with audio (through a microphone), go to Options –> Record audio from microphone. It is very easy from here – just hit the red record button to start recording and the blue stop button to stop recording (after which you are prompted to name and save your file). There is even the added option of turning your video into a .swf (flash) file for your website…

Click here for the full article “How to Make Chess Videos”.

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