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Friday, February 18, 2011

Calculation Training Feature in Fritz 12

A complete explanation of Fritz’ “Calculation Feature” can be found at Chessbase.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
      I only discovered this feature the other day while messing around with the program. This feature allows you to take nearly any position and turn it into a kind of problem. After deciding on a position in which to train, you activate the feature.
      When you move a piece it's not actually moved on the screen's board. What you do is mentally calculate variations by moving the pieces in your mind's eye just like in a real game. Of course the program doesn't know what you're thinking so you have to "move" the pieces on the board but they don't actually move; they are just recorded in the program's memory.

      I tried this out but must be missing something because I took the position from the game below (Fun Blitz Game) after 21… Nc5 and tried calculating some variations.
      Although in the initial position White’s supposed to be about 1.5 P’s ahead, I calculated a variation that resulted in equality and received 5 points. So apparently it’s not measuring the worth of the final position, but rather how many errors you made in calculation and/or how serious any gross blunders were. Actually I’m not sure exactly WHAT it’s measuring because next I tried calculating a line where I deliberately made bad moves and finished with an impossible move. It gave me overall score of +1 point…not sure why. I also noticed when I tried making an impossible move it just evaluated up to the point where the impossible move was played.
      Unless I totally missed something I don’t see any value in this feature. Looks like a bell (or maybe it's a whistle...who knows?) that could have been left out.


  1. Some of the features in Fritz do seem to be "bell and whistlish".

    I feel like I can accomplish more with just plain old chessbase. I like finding interesting endgames in chessbase with the material search and then playing them out against an engine in the Shredder GUI(my preferred GUI for training, playing against an engine and analysis)

    I prefer to train openings in the Shredder GUI as I can truly pick the starting position. Or even make an opening book of Anand's play against an opening and try to play against that.

  2. I haven’t gotten into opening books much, preferring to rely on databases and books. That’s OK, but a few times in CC I’ve gotten burned because I didn’t bother the check the lines with an engine. In fact in a recent game on LSS (engine use allowed), which I’ll post when it’s finished, I followed a Capablanca game where he scored a quick win. My opponent found a computer generated improvement that left me with a shaky position.

    I had Shredder installed on my old computer and liked it a lot but switched to Fritz because I prefer the interface and printouts. One thing I can say for Shredder is their customer support was great! Twice I contacted them with problems (once when I installed Windows service pack 3 and it created a problem and once when I didn’t know what I was doing). Believe it or not, I got an e-mail the next day from the developer answering my questions and giving me clear, easy to follow instructions. Impressive!

  3. The Hiarcs opening book is actually quite good for study, as is the Shredder opening book.

    And I totally agree on the Shredder customer service! The developer is amazing!

    I prefer the Shredder GUI for playing and analyzing but I do agree that the Fritz/Chessbase printouts or best. I also think chessbase is a little more flexible when annotating a game. So I use a combination of the Shredder GUI and Chess base lite premium.

    The Hiarcs people also have very good customer service.

  4. First year in a long time there is not a new version of Fritz. 13 is overdue. Maybe they are going on the open source bandwagon to increase the strength of their program as well.