If you can’t beat them, learn from them.
Computer engines have become so strong that, realistically, not even the best players in the world can beat them.
But let’s not allow the killing-power of computers engines to hurt our love for chess. Instead, lets rather be happy that we aren’t computers and rather focus on what we can learn from them.
I have noted 4 things in particular that computers do very well (and we can learn from it):
1) Avoiding mistakes can be an important strategy in itself
I find it interesting that a computer engine will give its evaluation of a certain position and often suggest a large number of playable candidate moves.
The Analytical Thinking System
Some of the top candidate moves would make sense but then the computer will also suggest a whole bunch of moves which make no sense at all. Yet those moves still get a good evaluation-score from the computer.
It’s because those moves aren’t mistakes! Yes, even a pointless move can be quite playable if it isn’t a mistake.
Avoiding mistakes also adds pressure on your opponent. They must now show how they will improve their position. Am I suggesting that you should regularly make pointless moves and wait for a mistake from your opponent? Of course not, we should always strive to find moves that serve a purpose. However, at the same time you should understand that a pointless move is still much better than a blunder.
2) Objectivity is vital if you want consistent results
A computer is not intimidated by any psychological factors which so easily affect humans. The computer simply goes to work finding the best move according to its programmed algorithm.
We can learn from this. We should try to do the same – just try to find the best move and focus on the quality of your game instead of the result. In the words of Bobby Fischer: “I don’t believe in psychology, I believe in good moves.”
It is a useful skill to have when we can train ourselves to not be overwhelmed by our concern for the outcome of the game. Rather, play to the best of your ability, regardless of the outcome. That is objectivity.
3) Knowing your tactics is indeed very important
Anyone who have played against a strong computer engine can vouch for the incredibly annoying tactical ability of the computer. The computer will find a seemingly small weakness in your position and attack it with relentless accuracy. Any attempt you make to try defend the weakness is usually refuted by a totally unexpected tactical blow.
It is important to know how to get into good positions, but if we miss the tactical opportunity in a position, it might very well mean that our advantage start to slip.
Developing strong tactical and visualization skill is very important if you want to be able to take advantage of your opponent’s mistake.
4) There can be more than 1 right move in a position
There are many ways to skin a catfish. This idiom is quite valid in the world of chess engines.
Have you ever noticed that various chess engines don’t always agree on the best move in the position? Stockfish’s first choice may not even be a viable option to Komodo. Or Houdini will suggest a certain move, whereas Rybka might not like that move. In most cases all the suggested moves aren’t only playable, but even good.
The computer era has shown us that there is indeed room for different playing styles in the game.
Here's a list of the effective chess training materials you will find on this website.
- The Analytical Chess Thinking System
- The "7-Skills" Chess Training Model
- Try the 10-day Chess challenge
- Free Chess Course
- The 7 Skills Training Room
- Chess Improvement Study Plan
- VISUALWIZE | Train your brain to see 8 moves ahead so you can wipe the board with your competition!
- 2 Problems Chess Players Face (And How To Solve It)
- How to find candidate moves in a chess position
- Positional Tactics: Using tactical ideas to improve your position!
- Most important words in the language of chess tactics
- Unusual and instructive chess tactics #1
- The Pawns: Their strengths and weaknesses
- Why pawns are so important in chess
- An example of prophylactic thinking in chess
- 3 examples of obstruction tactics
- How to checkmate with a King + Bishop + Knight vs. King
- The most important moment in your development as a chess player
- A great visualization exercise from a game by Kasparov
- Interactive master game with instructive comments
- 4 Important chess lessons that computer-engines teach us
- A useful endgame tactic you should know
- 2 Easy tactics that are hard to solve if you don’t know the motif
- Visualization skill test
- Amazing sequence of forced tactical moves
- Pin Tactics Part 1 Easy
- 2 reasons why your openings fail (and how to fix it)
- Sometimes you get lucky (nice tactic from a blitz game)
- Positional tactics
- 4 Important Elements of an Effective Chess Calculation Technique
- Chess tactics quiz: Test your skill
- How To Get Better At Chess Tactics
- Why You Shouldn’t Worry Too Much About Chess Openings
- The Psychology of Becoming a Better Chess Player
- The Importance of Structured Training In Chess
- Chess Analysis Videos by Chessfox
- Tactics Training Room
- Visualization Training Room
- Calculation Training Room
- Evaluation Training Room
- Strategy Training Room
- Openings Training Room
- Endgame Training Room
- 4 Steps That Will Help You Find a Good Move in Almost Any Chess Position!
- VISUALWIZE Customer Reviews (15)
- The Difference Between Strategy and Tactics in Chess
- There Is No Single "Best Opening" In Chess
- What Is A Positional Player In Chess?
- Why It is Important To Study Endgames In Chess
- 5 Free Visualization Exercises!
- The 2 Most Important Questions In Chess
- Have you fallen into the chess training trap?
- Bobby Fischer’s demonstrates tactical brilliance!
- The power of threats: How to find dominating moves in chess!
- Magnus Carlsen Demonstrates The Power Of Forcing Chess Moves
- 6 elements of a good move in chess
- The most important training technique in chess
- The 2 most important factors in determining the needs of any chess position
- Tactical combinations: The ladder trick
- Tactical combinations: The discovered pin
- Tactical combinations | How to use threat to create new target
- Over-protecting a piece or square (And why it's actually a useful idea)
- How to find advanced tactical ideas in your chess games