Few more exciting websites

 

http://en.lichess.org/  A place that you can challenge others; practice tactics where you can customize the background; or do a challenge where you find the square.

http://brainking.com/  Register and get many variants.  Including Xiangqi, Atomic chess, Dark chess, and much more.

http://cft.muttsoft.com/CftMain.html  This is a ‘Chess Fork Trainer’. For the 1st exercise you place a Queen where it will safely fork the King and other black piece.  Sometimes there is only one, sometimes a bunch.

Classic.Chessity.com  You can practice the Castle Assault puzzles against others. Do not use www. as it sends you to the main site.  Chrome on phones defaults to the www. .  This may not function..I want to acqure this and do it well.

I shouldn’t put this one up, but it is fun and chessy– http://en.lichess.org/training/13434.  It goes to a arcade style chess game.

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Knight Moves. An exercise to improve knight vision.

***Top scorers, only <4 minutes qualifies:  Tyler 3:38, Ryan 3:56

Training method

Place a white knight on a1.  Place pawns on the b2, d2, e2, g2, c3, and f3 squares. as such:

N game basic pawn structure

The pawns do not move and you cannot land on one of them. Now your exercise is to move the knight from a1 to b1 with knight moves.  Ex: Nc2, Na3, Nb2.

N game basic pawn structure b

Next go to c1 with knight moves, this one is challenging as it takes at least 5 moves.  Then you continue going to c1, then d1, until you get to h1.  Next go to h2, then f2, and continue until you get to a2.  Then go to a3, then a4, across to h3.

Advanced method

Place 4 black pawns on the board at c3, f3, c5 and f5.

N game adv pawn structure

You do not capture the pawns or land on a spot where they are attacking.  Now do the same exercise as above but continue going up to the 4th rank and do not stop until you have reached a8.

 

 

 

Software for PCs GUIs (Graphics User Interfaces) and engines

Here are some links to free chess programs.

Kvetka– http://kvetka.org/en/  This is the easiest to set up and get going. You can drag and drop your pieces to establish a game to be saved.  It comes with a strong engine (Stockfish 6) so your moves can be analysed as you are putting things in or afterwards.

Arena– http://www.playwitharena.com/?Download:Arena_3.5.1  This is more advanced and has more features but must be tweaked before use.  I’ll add another post for guidance.  It is better to get the setup version.  Even though it comes with a number of engines you can add another top engine for free, see below.  There are also a few addins you can consider like an Opening Book.

Winboard– http://www.open-aurec.com/wbforum/viewtopic.php?t=51528  This is one of the oldest interfaces but still a lot of fun.  You can play variants such as Fischer Random Chess, Xiangqi (Chinese Chess), or about 20 other variants.  You can download engines for the variants  with links for this site.

Tarrasch– http://www.triplehappy.com  This is another simple GUI that is easy to set up puzzles that you have found and want to analyze.

Stockfish engine– https://stockfishchess.org/ Off and on the strongest engine available.  Message me is you need to know how to install.

Gull engine–  https://sourceforge.net/projects/gullchess/files/ a top engine that does not require 4 CPUs for best performance.

Fire engine (lol)– http://chesslogik.wix.com/fire#!download/ck0q  about equal to Gull.

If you like these programs please donate $5.  I gave $20 to Kvetka because I like it so much.

 

How to use the Arena GUI (Graphics User Interface)

Here is a neat little GUI to analyze your chess games– Arena.
but if you like a blue, try Arena 3.0 http://www.playwitharena.com/?Download:Arena_3.0
It is best to get the setup version and not the zipped version.
After setting this up there are a few steps to make this operational for putting in your games.
1) right-click on the clock and uncheck ‘show clocks and logos’
2) at the top click on Levels and click infinite. If you don’t it will time you out while trying to put in your game.
3) click on Engines, then Management, you can add or take away engines here.  I take off the ‘SOS for Arena’ and add Rybka.
     Later, if you are interested, you can add a stronger free engine called Stockfish.
4) change the values in Options/Appearance/Other settings/chess/ values always from white’s POV
5) before you start making your moves click the word ‘edit’ that is in a field to the right of the chessboard.
6) drag and drop your pieces according to your scoresheet.
7) after a couple or a few moves, click edit again, then click analyze.
8) right-click on the numbers generated in the bottom area and move our mouse to multi PV Mode. By default it is off, click on something like 4. This will generate calculations for the four best lines.  If you have a super-powerful PC you can click on a higher number.