Fritz calculation training - part four

by ChessBase
3/28/2008 – In our final installment of a series on Fritz11's calculation trainer, our columnist offers suggestions on creating your own "calculation training database", including the option to save your completed training tests. You can discover more about it in the new ChessBase Workshop.

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In this, the final installment of our series on Fritz' Calculation training feature, we're going to take a look at the rest of the buttons on the function's special toolbar:

We've already examined some of these buttons in previous installments of this series. Moving from left to right, here's what the buttons do:

  • Left arrow -- moves backward one move in the notation
  • Curved left arrow -- retracts the move you just input and allows you to enter a different move
  • Right arrow -- moves forward one move in the notation
  • Green check -- checks the moves you've entered for legality
  • Computer chip -- calls Fritz' Infinite analysis mode to analyze the highlighted position
  • Terminal, paper, and pencil -- starts the scoring mode of Calculation training, allowing the software to assign your work a score
  • Folder -- erases all of your work from the Notation pane, allowing you to start over from the present position
  • Red X -- exits Calculation training mode

When you click on the "red x" button to exit Calculation training, you'll see the following dialogue:

This dialogue allows you to save the contents of the Calculation training screen's Notation pane into the database game from which the position was taken. Clicking "Yes" in this dialogue will save your calculated variation (along with any Fritz commentary, such as scoring information) in the gamescore as a replayable variation. If you click "No", the software will just exit the Calculation training mode without saving your work as a replayable variation. (Note that you'll still need to use the File/Replace command in the main chessboard screen to physically save the newly-annotated game into the database).

This saving function gives us some potentially useful additional ideas for the Calculation training feature. You can create a "Calculation training" database and fill it with positions taken from actual games for future training purposes. Let's look at a step-by-step example. Open a fairly lengthy game (forty or more moves) in your Fritz database (or any other large database of games). In the Notation pane, click on a position in the early-middlegame to jump directly to it.

Now right-click on that same move. In the menu which appears, select "Delete previous moves". Move ahead ten moves in the game (that's ten moves for each player), right-click that move, and select "Delete remaining moves" from the popup menu.

What you've done is truncated the game, creating a ten move (twenty position) game fragment. Next you'll save the game into a separate database (DO NOT use "Replace game" here or you will permanently truncate the source game in your large database!!!!). Select the "Save game as" command from the File menu and use the resulting dialogue to select the target database into which you wish to save this truncated game. Now use that same "Save game as" command a second time to save a second copy of the truncated game into that same target database.

Why are we saving the game twice? You're not going to use the first game for your Calculation training; use the second game instead -- we'll explain the reason why shortly. Open that second game, click on the first position to highlight it, then go to the Tools menu, select "Training", and then "Calculation training" from the submenu. Mentally calculate a variation and enter the moves by hand, then have Fritz grade your performance. Then exit "Calculation training" mode, saving your work when prompted to do so.

In the main chessboard screen, move ahead to the next position, then restart Calculation training. Repeat the process for each of the twenty positions in your calculated game. When you've finished, use "Replace game" from the File menu to save your work.

You've just completed a "twenty position calculation test". The next time you want to take this same test, load the first game you saved into the database (which is your untouched "template" game), then save it into the same database using "Save game as". Then load the newly saved game and go through the "twenty position test" again. After you save your work, you can compare your overall score (derived by adding up the scores received for each position) to the one you received the previous time you worked through the same twenty position sequence.

You can thus work through these positions as many times as you like (with as long or short an interval between them as you choose), saving your scores as a record of your progress as you improve your calculation skills. You can save as many "template" positions as you like into the same database, as well as a limitless number of "tests" you've taken, creating your own positional training library.

This is just one potential long-term use for Fritz11's Calculation training feature; there are doubtless many others you can devise on your own.

Until next week, have fun!

You can e-mail me with your comments on ChessBase Workshop. All responses will be read, and sending an e-mail to this address grants us permission to use it in a future column. No tech support questions, please.

© 2008, Steven A. Lopez. All rights reserved.

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