Before the invention of super computers or chess engines, many philosophers believed that chess was a game where psychology played a great part. They believed that if a player would be able to properly understand and manipulate another player’s psychology and play accordingly, he or she would easily be able to win games and become a champion. However, when super computers were developed and when they started defeating world champions, it became clear that Bobby Fisher was ultimately right: Chess was not a game based on psychology. Instead it was based on playing good moves. However, even though chess engines and super computers are very powerful and are much more intelligent than any human brain, they lack one important feature: they did not rely on instincts and they were not always the best teachers.
Playing with other people
Many players think that the best way to improve their chess strategy is to play with computers or other engines. Well, let me just tell you that this is a very wrong approach and you should never always focus yourself on playing with computers. The first disadvantage of not playing chess frequently with other people is that the game will eventually become very boring. Also, when you play with computers or engines, you do not get much time t analyze the game very well because the computer engines are often very fast with their moves. Similarly, you will not have anybody who will properly interact with you and give feedbacks on how well you played the game. However, this does not mean that playing chess against chess engines and software will not help improve your gameplay. All I am trying to say is that even though you should frequently play chess with computer programs, you should also try playing with other people.
Another way of having fun while playing chess is to play the game online. There are numerous websites and software that provide you the opportunity to find other people from random parts of the world and play chess with them. I find Chess to be a hundred times more fun online and you also get to meet new people and learn plenty of new stuffs. Some websites that help you play free chess are Chess.com, FICGS.com, chessgames.com and so on. Playing chess online is helpful because:
- It helps you to learn new openings, end games and strategies. For example, you might find your opening move to be very effective with on kind of player but the same strategy might not work for others. This way you will learn how to respond according to the strengths and weaknesses of your opponents.
- Most online chess playing websites are adjusted to your level, so you get to play with a challenger that is neither too easy to defeat nor too difficult. You will be able to play more challenging games online.
Playing with an engine
Playing chess with various chess engines is not a bad idea at all. You will experience the following benefits when you play chess games with a chess engine:
- You get challenged more as most engines are better than the best human player of chess, i.e. Magnus Carlsen.
- You get to adjust the difficulty in which you would like to play. In most online chess websites or even when you play with other humans, you do not have much opportunity to tune in the difficulty you want to play in.
To conclude, among the three ways in which you can play chess, all of them have some benefits or drawbacks. I suggest that you try all three of them to improve your playing style and be a better chess player.