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Know when to trust the output of the chess engine

Mats Bengtsson mib over the years

Know when to trust the output of the chess engine

A chess engine works well in some situations, and worse in some other. The method I will describe is using the chess engine as a coach and help. That means it should only be used where it provides a good advice. So first thing to do is to figure out where the chess engine gives good advice:

  • The chess engine gives good advice in situations where a reasonably limited number of possible moves lead to (or avoids) a forced result/advantage
  • The chess engine gives good advice on what not to do. It is very good at spotting blunders, which by definition is a low number of moves which lead to a forced result/disadvantage
  • The chess engine only gives good results when it has gone so far in the analysis that it has penetrated the effects. If the chess engine analysis too short in a complicated situation, it possibly gives bad advice. I have found what often works for me as enough time and sensitivity for the analysis.

Do not use the chess engine to analyze the first couple of opening moves.

For good end-game results, the engine may need help from endgame tables


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