Sunday, December 27, 2009

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".

Friday, December 25, 2009

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!)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

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".

Thursday, December 17, 2009

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".

Monday, December 14, 2009

Free Chess Programs

This article leads on somewhat from my previous article about the free version of Rybka. It discusses a whole range of chess freebies in relation to online chess, playing software and engines, databases software, free databases and free ebooks.

Click here to see the article "Free Chess Programs".

Friday, December 11, 2009

World's Strongest Chess Program for Free

An earlier version of the world's strongest chess program Rybka is available for free (version 2.2n2). Although this is not the latest version, it still packs a punch with ratings of 2961 on 2 CPUs and 2929 on 1 CPU (CEGT rating list), making it one of the strongest free engines available.

Click here for the full article "World's Strongest Chess Program for Free".

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Daily Chess Puzzle

A daily chess puzzle (regenerates every day) is now available on GeniusProphecy Chess. There are three sets of puzzles of varying difficulty available each day. Try it out today.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Amount of Traffic on GeniusProphecy Chess

Have you ever wondered how much traffic reaches the GeniusProphecy Chess website? Here is a recent screen capture of the statistics (done December 2). I assume the many times I go to my own website to check for errors is also counted.