Sunday, March 14, 2010

Customizing the Openings/Endgames Training Databases in ChessBase’s Rybka Interface: Preliminary Results and Tips

I have just started tweaking the opening and endgame training databases that shipped with my ChessBase version of Rybka 3.  Here’s what I’ve determined so far:

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Customizing Opening and Endgame Training Databases For the ChessBase Interface?

I have Rybka 3 with the ChessBase interface (Fritz11 generation), but its main use for my has been analyzing games.  I haven’t used the training features much, and I do most of my work in ChessBase itself with the Rybka 3 engine running.  However, while digging through the help files I realized that the databases the Openings Trainer and Endgame Trainer use are customizable.

That means, for example, that if I cleaned up my personal openings book in ChessBase I should be able to play against my own repertoire.  Or, I can take the endgames from a book such as 100 Endgames You Must Know and play the positions against the computer (something I’ve done in the past, but manually, endgame by endgame). 

I’m considering playing around with this feature and sharing my results.  If any of my readers have tried this, share your experiences.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Chess Position Trainer 4.0 On The Horizon?

{Edit: funny thing about horizons--as you approach them, they recede. Keep watching for CPT4, but don't hold your breath.}

I’ve never fully utilized Chess Position Trainer 3.3, but I’m excited to hear that the Chess Position Trainer 4.0 beta may be released in the next few days
Apparently they had already released a buggy preview version in early January.
I’ve been making do with ChessBase for openings, but CB is designed around being a game/position database, not an opening variations database.  Yes, you can manage a repertoire in it, but it’s clunky, especially when it comes to transpositions.  The main reason I never used CPT much was that I found it easier to focus on one database program than two. 
I’ve been a very good boy the last 3 months or so, barely looking at opening theory.  I’m feeling the itch, though, so if/when CPT 4 is released I may give it a test run while working on my Sicilian as White repertoire.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

GP Tactics: Unusual Mating Motif

I was surprised to find two examples of the same unusual mating pattern in the tactics subset I created before Christmas.  In the first position, I was losing anyways, but allowed an immediate resolution:

1.Kg3?? Rg1# , a type of epaulette mate.

The second example required a finesse move:

The immediate 1.Rb6?, as played by me, allows the king to escape with 1…Kc5.  However, 1.Rd5! threatens 2.Rb5#.    Black can only avoid mate by giving up a lot of material, e.g. 1…Rxc4.
A king in front of two isolated enemy pawns has its liberties seriously curtailed.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

GP Tactics: Counting/Removal of the Guard Tactic

{ Edit: Whoops, a last-minute picture swap introduced the wrong position.  Fixed now--GP}

Continuing (at long last) with the theme of simple tactics data-mined from my own games, here’s a position that seems straight out of Heisman.  If I can find where the heck I left my copy of his Back to Basics: Tactics, I have a nagging suspicion that he’s covered the same tactic.  Analyze 1.Bg5:
Solution after the fold

Friday, December 25, 2009

GP Tactics: Endgame Oversight

I will be publishing some of the tactical problems, labeled with the “GP Tactics” tag,  that were data-mined from my own games, as described in this previous post
A tactics set generated from your own games not only provides variety in difficulty level, but variety in motifs.  For example, many of the problems involved endgame positions.
For the position below. Black seems to be making progress on the queenside.  Analyze and evaluate 1…Nb4:

Solution after the fold

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Creating Tactics Problem Sets From Your Games Using ChessBase Products

I’ve played a lot of blitz online.  A LOT of blitz.  It seemed to me that if these games could be mined for tactical errors, they would make an ideal set of simple tactics problems for drills.  Manually mining them for gold, however, would take forever.  I routinely store and analyze my blitz games, but have been negligent in saving positions into databases for tactics or blunders (a project I started but didn’t keep up with).

One day I thought: what if I take Rybka and tell it to analyze the games to a depth of 5 ply?  That should roughly correspond to a Chernev and Reinfeld-ish “Seeing Three Moves Ahead” or simpler level of tactics, and should be fairly quick.   I was familiar with the ChessBase interfaces for Rybka and Fritz and new that it could automatically generate “Training Annotations”: when you load the game or position, it jumps to a position and opens a window prompting you for the correct move.  I decided to test this idea with my 800 most recent Blitz games (about 10% of my total games on record).