Friday, November 23, 2007


PCT and Circles Update

I have finished Module 1 Tactics (after having previously completed all of Module 2) so I now have two completed Personal Chess Trainer Tactics Modules and I am now on Unit 4 of Tactics Module 3. There are 51 Units in each Module (with 60 to 720 positions per Unit) so that is 105+ completed tactics units since getting the software in August or about one per day. Some days I do none or part of one and other days I complete several. This software is just fantastic for studying tactics. Which is all I bought it for and I consider it worth the price just for the Tactics Module.

What about the other modules? In addition to Tactics, the software includes Endgames, Commented Endgames, Strategy and Openings. I have spent some time in each of these modules. As I go through these I try to view them not only through the lens of my level and experience but also from the perspective of someone relatively new to the game.

I do not see the value of this software for studying openings, except that a database of games is included that can be accessed via the Openings Module and playing over good games is always useful but there are much better tools for that. The Commented Endgames Module is a useful introduction to some endgames and the Endgames Module has good exercises that work well but there are ideas that are hard to convey in this format. To be fair, I have not spent much time on Commented Endgame or Endgame Modules but it seems a newer player would need help understanding the "why" behind many of the endgame moves.

But the Strategy Module. Wow! I have completed 9 of the Strategy Modules and am very impressed. These are fantastic. Explanations are given that are simple and clear. There is an occasional translation problem to English but even then the ideas come through.

So, if you have this software or are thinking of getting it I strongly recommend the exercises in the Tactics Modules and the Strategy Modules. The Commented Endgames and Endgames Modules are also very useful but don't quite stand alone (other material or instruction will be required to get the best value from them). I don't see much value in the Openings Module.

For others that have used this software, what are your thoughts?

If you have Questions for World Champion Anand record them in the comments to that post.

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I'm busy with strategy module 3. Well, now you mention it I remember I was busy with it:) For some reason this is the second time I stopped with the strategy module s without even noticing it. Distracted by other subjects. The tactics modules are good although obsolete after so many tactical exercises as I did.

The endgame modules contain the same crazy complex endgame compositions like every other endgame book of silly authors out there. That stuff simply isn't suited for beginners who need to learn the basics.

The strategy modules are a must for every overly tactical focussed warrior who tend to run into time trouble because of looking for forcing tactics when there aren't any. Like me.
Useful summary. I'm in the middle of unit 4 in tactics module 1. It seems like a nice way to stay sharp.

Now I'll do some strategy too...
I can't say anything about the strategy or endgame modules as I'm still doing tactics module one. Your post makes me look forward to all the other good stuff though :)
I just got some birthday cash and was looking at books and software. After actually trying the demos CT-Art and PCT, I decided to go with PCT.

CT-Art kicked my butt hard, and PCT looks like it covers everything from Chess Tactics for Beginners up through CT-Art level stuff.

I also thought the strategy stuff looked good in the demo. I swear I've been in some of those positions before and botched the game.
Glenn: I missed the Anand interview, did you have a chance to listen to it?
The Anand interview has not yet happened. I'll update the original post and put up a new post with the date when it is settled.
I like the tactics module. I also liked the brief commented endgame module as a quick review.

The opening module is terrible. For the Scandinavian all it shows is a "refutation" where Black plays poor non-book moves and gets crushed.

The endgame module is terrible. I found too many cases where it told me I was wrong but tablebases proved my continuation was better.

I wasn't sure how good the strategy module was. I'm glad to hear both you and tempo feel it's useful. I will have to check it out! :)
I was thinking of Maintaining a page with Chess Blogger information, that way if we play on FICS etc. or visit a Blogger's city we can meet up
[if we want to :) ]

The first step is to decide what to include:

Blog Name:
Real name: (optional)
Blogger Country:
Blogger City:

Handles :

what else?

Rating : (optional)


Please email response to : iwijetunge[at]yahoo[dot]com

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