Archive for the ‘Announcements’ Category

A New Training Game

January 5th, 2011

I’m always looking for fun ways to train. Especially when it comes to going over master games I find myself just nodding my head and saying “yep, yep, yep.” ┬áSolitaire chess is pretty cool, but I knew there had to be a better way.

Now there is. I’ve invented what I call “three move solitaire.” Here’s how it works:

  1. Select a decisive game (a victory) that you want to study.
  2. Play through the first ten moves.
  3. Cover the score sheet so you can only see the opponent’s move.
  4. Make the opponents move.
  5. Think about the three moves you think are the best candidates. Give yourself 3 minutes or so (use a timer if you like).
  6. Rank your three choices from highest to lowest, so choice #1, choice #2 and choice #3.
  7. Uncover your player’s move.
  8. If the actual move in the game is your first choice, give yourself 3 points. If it’s the second, give yourself 2 points. And if it’s the third, give yourself 1 point.
  9. Repeat until you run out of moves.

Now you can calculate your percentage by dividing your points by three times the total number of moves your player made minus ten (because we played out the first ten moves). If the game is annotated, go over the annotations now. You’ll get a whole new appreciation for the games you study and improve your play rather dramatically.

You might also play this game in competition with friends. I’d love to hear if this technique works for you.


Chess Trainer 1.5.1 Released

January 22nd, 2010

Two bits of news. First, I’m releasing the Chess Trainer 1.5.1. (Also launchable here). It has a new concept for training blindfold that divides the board into sectors. The basic idea is that the board is easier to remember and visualize if divided into small chunks.

The test asks you questions on bishop and knight moves from squares into the sectors.

Also, I’ve moved the file (and soon source) hosting over to Google Code. I was just tired of all of the sourceforge girations to release a file.


Released Version 1.4

June 12th, 2009

I’ve released version 1.4. It adds the aforementioned blindfold test where you can enter a PGN file and step through it being quizzed on the current position.

The download is here.


New version 1.3.1

June 4th, 2009

Two announcements: first, I’ve added a blindfold game quiz to the trainer. You cut and paste a PGN game and the trainer steps you through the moves and asks you questions about which pieces are on what square, what the checking moves are, etc. It’s not quite fully baked, but you can check out the new version in the “Launch…” item in the right sidebar of this blog.

Second, I’ve updated the Java Web Start file to reflect that this app needs Java 6 to run (it’s compiled with Java 6, thus all those annoying class file format errors). If anyone is still having issues with the app on using Java 6, please respond with a comment to this post.

I’ll have a windows installer and a Mac/Linux installer available for download at sourceforge and will update the freshmeat page at that time. As always, enjoy.


Chess Training Tools 1.3.0 Released

March 13th, 2009

cvtAfter a long break, I’ve started up on the Chess Trainer again. The latest release adds a larger board, a new test for improving your chess vision (where can a queen attack King and Rook and safely take the rook on the next move?), and fixed a few typos. I also removed the Opening Trainer, as there are other free and commercial tools out there that do a better job.

Drop me a comment if you find the tool useful.


Welcome to Chess Training Tools

March 12th, 2009

I’ve decided to start posting some of my chess doing, book reviews, games, etc., under this project. For anyone interested, I used to publish Chess Space, sort of a Yahoo directory for chess resources and software, back in the early 90’s, so my connection with the web and chess goes back a ways.