Thursday, October 28, 2021 16:52

From Off Blog to Off Physically

I’ve been down with a bad cold since Tuesday afternoon. Almost off work yesterday and today (spent an hour both days doing absolutely necessary things then getting out.)

So now I’m lying in bed with my laptop. How does one enjoy one’s chess when sick?

Well, there are things which can be done. For example, I call up Fritz 12 and run it in “Friend Mode.” Fritz has various training capabilities. Among them are “Sparring Mode” and “Friend Mode.”

Training modes in Fritz 12

Training modes in Fritz 12

In Sparring Mode (as I understand it,) Fritz will occasionally make deliberate moves which will allow the human to take tactical shots.

“Friend Mode” adjusts the playing strength of Fritz according to your wins and losses. On choosing the option, a window opens:

The "Friendly Game" Mode of Fritz

The "Friendly Game" Mode of Fritz

What this window tells me is that I have played 37 “Friend Mode” games against Fritz, and my win percentage is 39%. It also shows my current handicap. While I can adjust this up or down, it keeps track for me. If I win, it decreases the handicap and Fritz plays stronger. If I lose, it increases the handicap and Fritz plays weaker. While this can lead to some odd situations (like when I see Fritz has a win on the board I can see, but it intentionally plays a move by which I can draw,) it nevertheless allows me to not have to always experience the futility of playing a computer.

The mode is designed to be a “friend” against whom you both win and lose against. (It also has the side effect of ‘progressive resistance’ training – building up a player’s strength by presenting challenges just above one’s current playing level.)

So, even when down-and-out, I am able to enjoy my chess. Until I return from my sickness, I hope that you’re able to find ways to

Enjoy your Chess!

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