An unexamined life is not worth living.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

History of Chess on The Internet

Just for fun, I decided to compile the record of how I experienced Internet chess, your mileage will of course vary!

1998 – free internet chess club (FICS)allows to play games on the internet any time
1999 – chess databases like on sites TWIC get updated on a regular basis and people can get access to them on a regular basis
2000 – major tournaments are broadcast on ICC with thousands of people following and commenting on games
2000 – chess portals like Kasparov Chess begin to publish regular articles
2001 – online 4 and 5 piece Endgame TableBases such as Nalimov are accessible
2001 – online chess lessons become as popular as the ones in person
2004 – instructional chess videos begin to get published by companies like ChessBase on a large scale
2005 – even non-major tournaments like Canadian Open get broadcast over the internet via DGT
2006 – YouTube allows regular chess amateurs like myself to share their analysis with others
2009 – commentators like Sergei Shipov switch to video format for sharing their analysis
2010 – playing online chess on a mobile device such as IPhone becomes a viable option
2010 – live chess ratings get updated on the nearly daily basis
2011 – websites like broadcast major chess events with live engine analysis
2011 – Live, multi hour HD full game broadcasts of events like World Cup are streamed live with up to date commentary
2011 – Fritz 13 is released, allowing users to upload and share chess analysis via their online database
2012 – What is coming ahead??

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Vladimir Kramnik’s Advice on Analysing Chess Positions

As I was listening to Kramnik discussing the current positions from current Wejk An Zee Tournament on the Russian site, something caught my attention. Kramnik was only using computer engine to evaluate the position and he was hiding the (dockable?) portion of the UI that shows best move for each side. I tried analysing my game in this mode, and I realized that I think much harder on the position, and I actually know I am not making any gross mistakes in my calculation. Thank you, Mr. former World Champion!

image There was a time when Kramnik did not use computer to analyse a chess position …

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Taking a Break from Chess

In November/December - I stopped any studying of chess for about a month, and now resumed it. While that wasted a month of chess learning, this kind of temporary hiatus can have positive effects on your chess improvement and even overall well being (!):

  1. You free up time for non-chess activities during the break
  2. A break gives time to reflect on your studying methods
  3. You can assess the improvements made during the previous study period
  4. You get to plan on what your next goal in chess is, and what are the steps to achieve it
  5. You get to reflect on the importance and role of chess (if any) in your life
  6. You regain appetite for studying chess – when you feel like you are ready for it again
  7. If you play a lot online, you also regain appetite for playing chess
  8. Your new efforts will have some new, better focus
  9. Your brush off bad habits, such as looking at games too quickly, or spending too much time surfing chess news websites
  10. The openings that you felt were getting too boring, may not appear so when you look at them after a break – that can save you time for changing repertoire!

It is very easy to get into a rut in chess, like in anything in life, so taking a break is likely a good thing for any passion you may have!

Happy Chess Learning in 2012!


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