Saturday, May 03, 2014

Great news for Mac users: Stockfish

Stockfish is available in the App store for free.

I’ve used it for a few minutes. Here is what I know:

It’s not nearly as good as the iPhone/iPad version. But if they can make it do exactly what the iPhone app can do, it will be incredibly useful. And I’m sure they will reach iPhone/iPad level, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they have more useful features.

Right now you can enter in moves and use infinite analysis. This is way too advanced for most people.

You can’t play against it (honestly, no one good at chess needs a computer to play against). 

It’s great for entering your notated games and emailing the moves to to someone. 

You can open up PGN files with it. This isn’t incredibly user friendly, and recommended only if someone sends you a PGN file. I like the iPhone and iPad app because one can email you a PGN file (see below) and it automatically imports from your clipboard. 

Or you can copy and paste the following, and save it as a .pgn file (use TextEdit on Mac or Notepad for Windows). 

[Event "USSR vs. Rest of the World"]
[Site "Belgrade SRB"]
[Date "1970.03.31"]
[EventDate "1970.03.29"]
[Round "2.1"]
[Result "0-1"]
[White "Bent Larsen"]
[Black "Boris Spassky"]
[ECO "A01"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[PlyCount "34"]

1. b3 e5 2. Bb2 Nc6 3. c4 Nf6 4. Nf3 e4 5. Nd4 Bc5 6. Nxc6
dxc6 7. e3 Bf5 8. Qc2 Qe7 9. Be2 O-O-O 10. f4 Ng4 11. g3 h5
12. h3 h4 13. hxg4 hxg3 14. Rg1 Rh1 15. Rxh1 g2 16. Rf1 Qh4+
17. Kd1 gxf1=Q+ 0-1

No Excuses! Stockfish -> Email

One thing I know for sure about technology: There is NO excuse not to send a game to a chess coach, assuming the coach wants to see your games.

1) Enter the moves into Stockfish. Use analysis mode or “enter game” mode.

2) Save it. Email it to your Coach and maybe copy a parent or something. If you are using gmail, you will always have a backup copy.

Coaches:

Open the game in your gmail. Copy and paste the moves (the whole pgn) into ChessBase.

 

Stockfish is free (for now). There are other apps that let you use this workflow.

ChessBase and Fritz both allow you to copy and paste an emailed PGN file (see below). 

There is one downside, but I don’t actually think it’s a downside. An incorrect notation sheet won’t work. So write down your moves correctly. And if you enter the game 12 hours or less after playing it (I made up this 12 hour rule just because it sounds smart) then the player can usually use his or her memory to figure out what happened. If you can only send 12 moves or so, that’s a LOT better than sending nothing. 

[Event "USSR vs. Rest of the World"]
[Site "Belgrade SRB"]
[Date "1970.03.31"]
[EventDate "1970.03.29"]
[Round "2.1"]
[Result "0-1"]
[White "Bent Larsen"]
[Black "Boris Spassky"]
[ECO "A01"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[PlyCount "34"]

1. b3 e5 2. Bb2 Nc6 3. c4 Nf6 4. Nf3 e4 5. Nd4 Bc5 6. Nxc6
dxc6 7. e3 Bf5 8. Qc2 Qe7 9. Be2 O-O-O 10. f4 Ng4 11. g3 h5
12. h3 h4 13. hxg4 hxg3 14. Rg1 Rh1 15. Rxh1 g2 16. Rf1 Qh4+
17. Kd1 gxf1=Q+ 0-1