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Creative training session with Lucas Chess.

Lucas Chess Training - Breaking new ground

Lucas Chess Training – Breaking new ground. This was what I thought when I saw the new training feature of Lucas Chess. “Be the change”. Life is a journey. Every thing in life is transitory and yet important to be crossed. Each incident and every person teaches us something. Some experiences can be difficult and demanding and some can be happy and rewarding. You will learn many lessons in life if you believe in doing good and improvising everyday both morally and practically. In case you think I am going off-topic – don’t worry. I am jumping back on track (pun intended)!

The latest version of Lucas Chess involves a train journey. I have a feeling that this feature will be a trendsetter in changing the way we train in chess.



In case you did not know about Lucas Chess program it is the brain child of Lucas Monge – a very humble and good-natured person who likes to try out interesting features and who has been driving the Lucas Chess software for years. He listens to all his users and all you need to do is to comment in his blog to get in touch with him.

Lucas Chess Training - Breaking new ground


The idea is that Chess is 99% tactics and chess training is like a Train which stops at different stations (some important and some necessary for a break). Trans-Siberian Chess train is the name given to a long running train journey which involves solving thematic Chess positions and playing Chess as an excuse to pass time.

After installing Lucas Chess from here – you can access this training option as seen in the pic below.

Lucas Chess Training - Breaking new ground
How to access the Trans-Siberian Chess Train

For the train to advance, it is necessary to solve tactics. Each tactic solved correctly, leads you forward in your journey. This is an innovative idea to stretch your chess training and mind you, the tactics are interesting! They will sometimes be easy for you and sometimes will make you sit and calculate. I found that some tactics are very difficult for an amateur and that is where the fun begins – you get hooked. You will be rewarded for a correctly solved tactic and if you fail to solve any position you will not be able to progress. This way you can say that you Train has had a breakdown delay and you need to work on it.

Lucas Chess Training - Breaking new ground 

To arrive to stations one needs to solve basic endings. As in real chess games you need to master basic chess endings here too. Without a grasp of some of these your game results will stumble.

To pass the railway stations one needs to play against an internal very basic engine. A unique concept wherein your journey is made interesting with mock sparring sessions.

The overall scheme and direction of Lucas Chess Trans-Siberian Train is very creative and if I am right this is the first time we are seeing this sort of an innovation in Chess software training 

It engages the player in a fun way and motivates him to work hard. Don’t worry if the positions are too hard. You will eventually understand them and your chess games will see new insights while you move ahead in the journey. Very innovative and original approach.

It reaffirms what I already wrote – that anyone can learn chess!

Wishing you

Lucas Chess Training - Breaking new ground

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Tarrasch Chess GUI

Try Tarrasch Chess GUI and be amazed! For those Chess aficionados who are also tech savvy, I will suggest a new Chess program that is very simple to use. It is simple and robust and can be setup in minutes. That is the beauty of it. It is a complete package and what’s more – it is FREE !!!

Tarrasch is an extremely easy to use free chess program for Windows. Tarrasch comes bundled with some free chess engines, which also includes the latest Stockfish and the demo version of Houdini which is not a weakling at all, so as a lay user one would get all the requisite tools in one package.

No need to run around installing the engines one-by-one or even searching for one.

The download link is here – Click here to download Tarrasch for Windows.

Tarrasch is designed to to make it as easy as possible to perform some basic chess activities –

  • You can play a chess game against a chess engine, with either color, from any position, with even a time handicap if you want some quality training.
  • Setup any position that is needing analysis and get the engine to analyze that position. What’s more you can play through the engine-analysis.
  • Create and edit .pgn* files (standard chess documents).
  • Enter variations easily (just make moves anywhere).
  • Enter and edit comments easily (just click anywhere and start typing).
  • Promote and demote variations and even comments (so comments can change to moves and vice-versa – great for picking text off a website).

*PGN stands for Portable Game Notation.

About the Author:

The author Bill Forster, regularly updates the program and only in extreme cases there may be a big gap in the update. As I am a Email subscriber of the author I come to know when he releases an update and many a times when one thinks he has stopped the development I get a comeback message from him. The reason I write this post is because he appears to me as a sincere and humble person who like most of us has chess as a underlying passion that propels us. I would like to take this opportunity to wish him the best of health and wealth and see him doing his favorite hobby of his for a long time to come.
Feature requests are always welcome by the author. You can contact the author to build a special version of Tarrasch if you have any special feature. Also feature requests are welcome. This is one good program not to miss.

Installation:

The installation was a bressze and the program was literally ready to play in a few seconds. The menus are pretty much self explanatory and if at any time you mess up with the program you can return to the defaults by clicking on >Options – Reset to factory defaults<

Tarrasch Chess

Tarrasch has some unique functions that deal with the way you can import and use comments and variations as you can see form the screen shot below – Change text of commands from ‘promote comments to variation’ to ‘promote comments to moves’

Tarrasch Chess GUI

 

I am eagerly awaiting his Tarrasch V3 as he has promised even more functionality and options for the users but before that comes around I am happy fiddling with the Tarrasch v2.03a.
The author’s blog is here – https://triplehappy.wordpress.com/

Look at his video explaining some of the salient features of Tarrasch Chess GUI. Also be sure to check out the help file for all the descriptions about the different menu functions. The most important one is regarding the Kibitzers – that is something you must read before you can understand the full potential of the Tarrasch chess GUI.

 

Source: Expert Chess

 

how to conduct online chess class

How to conduct an online chess class

(Part 1)

That is the question that I get asked often when I talk with my friends who are coaches but not tech savvy. And the most surprising thing is that I did not find any solution when I ‘googled’ this topic! So here is (hopefully) a exhaustive discussion on the tools and methods that coaches may use to conduct online classes. Some are free while some are partially free depending on the level of the student.

Difficulty – 4/5

(which means you must either be tech-savvy or hire a friend/technical engineer to get the know-how. No one is born an expert. I learnt many
things by trial and error so there is no escape from this…)

I will be re-touching this article in due course as and when I get updated on anything specific. Most of the suggestions are from my personal experience and therefore I will be able to solve any pertinent questions you may have. 

In this first article I will be discussing the most important technical requirements that are essential before starting an online class (also known as a ‘net session’).

IntroPart 1 – How to conduct an online chess class – Checklist before beginning an online chess class.

1. Stable Internet connection either by Optical Fibre cable or fixed line broadband or 3G/4G dongles. (For coaches it must be fast)

2. Decent performance PC or Laptop (preferably newer ones).

3. Webcam.

4. Microphone (Coaches must have a professional one, while students can do with decent headphone+mic).

5. Decent quality Keyboard and mouse.

6. Decent sized single (for students) or Dual monitor setup (for coaches) to increase the productivity.

Software Requirements
legal-software

1. Skype + membership (free).

2. Teamviewer for both student and coach.

3. Membership in online chess sites like Chesscube (VIP for coaches is a must), Playchess (some issues to get sorted but great overall), Chess.com, ICC and FICS.

4. [For Coaches] Chess Programs like Fritz, Chessbase, Chess King, SCID and some more which are based on specific requirements.

5. [For Students] Firefox or chrome (updated),

Personal/expertise requirements – Coaches 

require1. Room free from noise or distractions.

2. Patience to deal with technical irritants (have a pain balm in hand or have a green tea)

3. Healthy body and a healthy mind.

4. All relevant topics (that will be discussed and asked) must be noted in advance.

5. Any database that needs to be accessed must be kept ready.

6. Be prepared for relevant chess homework assignments to students.

7. Having a good command of the language of instruction is essential.

8. Focus on one or two topics, and let the student absorb at his pace.

9. Don’t restrict your class by time controls. Instead focus on completing something tangible.

10. Never do it solely for money. That is a sure shot way to demoralize and move someone away from chess.

Personal Requirements – Students studentrequirements

Register for online classes only if you are free and completely focused.

Ask questions when you do not understand anything, else it will be a waste of time and money.

Make a note of the points covered in a session and if you have time review them before the session is over.

Always try to finish your homework in time. Homework must be done with proper attitude.

Part 2 will continue next week. As usual comments and suggestions are welcome!

Visit Goldenchess.in for dedicated online classes.

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