where can i get the beginner chess course? what is it exactly?

On 22 Jan 2011, at 22:17, Charles Rivard wrote:

> I posted a query to this list, asking if anyone has had experience with this 
> chess computer, then listed info from the web site.  I received the computer 
> last night, and here are my initial findings.  I'll list the info from the 
> site again, with my comments after each one:
> 
> This luxury state-of-the-art chess computer will give you the feeling of 
> being royalty.
> The cabinet, and dark squares are walnut, and the white squares are maple.
> The chess pieces are boxwood.
> The Novag Citrine MODEL #1032 chess computer has the most recent state of the 
> art technology using a H8/300H RISC Processor.
> 
> A comment:  On low skill levels, this computer plays an excellent game, and 
> the processor is very quick at coming up with surprising moves.
> 
> It has been specifically designed for the truly elite chess player.
> The Novag Citrine is the most powerful, quickest thinking, highest rated, and 
> most elegant chess computer available in the world.
> 
> Comment:  It is a very impressive looking chess board.  It has a very nice 
> finish to the squares, and the Staunton pieces are just a touch smaller than 
> the chess set you got if you took the beginner's chess course from Hadley.  
> The bishops aren't as conically shaped as I would like, although they are 
> distinct, and it is a personal preference.
> 
> . Estimated rating of 2330 Elo
> 
> Comment:  Well, after a bit of play, I now know what that indicates.  It will 
> beat the snot out of you!  Heh heh heh.
> 
> . 81 LED's - four in each corner of the squares on the chessboard
> 
> Comment:  You can feel these LEDs, so you know where the squares are, and a 
> light probe will detect them.  More on this in a bit.
> 
> . Wood chess board
> . Chessboard chassis, and dark squares are walnut, and the white squares are 
> maple 
> . Chess pieces are boxwood 
> 
> Comment:  This is a nice chess set to leave sitting on a coffee table for 
> display.  When a friend came over and saw it on my desk, he said, "Wow!  
> That's a beautiful set!  Really looks nice and classy!
> 
> . Chess board size is 11 3/4 inches x 11 3/4 inches
> . Hand carved wooden chess pieces with 2.5" King 
> . The King measures 2 1/2 inches tall 
> . RISC Processor H8/300H
> . Program Size 56K Byte ROM (Read-Only-Memory)
> . RAM: 3K Byte RAM (Random-Access- Memory)
> . System Clock Speed 20 MHz
> . Power Consumption 450 mW max.
> 
> Comment:  This computer does not operate on batteries, so you could not play 
> chess while traveling.  Nor is it noisy enough to be heard in a car, bus, or 
> plane.  It is for home use only, unfortunately.
> 
> . Opening Book appr. 24,000 halfmoves
> 
> Comment:  It does have a very wide selection of book openings that it selects 
> at random, based on your first move if you are playing White, or it will 
> select one at random if it is playing White.  It's first move is not always 
> the same.
> 
> . Separate detachable LCD screen has a six character alphanumeric display 
> with a chess clock, shows moves and a full range of game information, also 
> allows insight into the computer's thinking process and verifies positions 
> . Separate detachable LCD screen chassis measures 3 1/2 inches x 2 1/4 
> inches, and the screen measures 1 3/4 inch x 3/4 inch 
> 
> Comment:  The computer works the same whether this LCD unit is plugged in or 
> not, so I play without it.  But it does have a very clear and sharp display 
> according to what the friend said about it.
> 
> . PC interface cable (included) allows the game to be followed on a computer 
> screen
> . Save and print games or connect to www.playwitharena.com which will allow 
> you to play UCI programs and convert games to pgn. 
> 
> Comment:  This is a serial port cable, not a USB.  All of the information on 
> the LCD display will show up on the computer screen, along with a board 
> layout so that other people can see the game in progress if you have a big 
> screen.  I haven't tried playing other chess engines through this machine, 
> and I'm not really into that sort of thing, so don't know how often I will be 
> using this capability of the machine.
> 
> . Files for download:
> 1. Novag Chess Computer to PC Protocol with Microsoft Hyoerterninal program.
> 2. Citrine PC communication Protocol 
> 3. Citrine to PC with Arena 
> 4. Citrine play a third-party chess engine on the Citrine via Arena. 
> 
> . Auto-sensing of moves on sensory board detects the location of chess pieces
> 
> Comments:  The way it works is this:  There is a magnet in the base of each 
> chess piece that will attract a switch that is positioned under each of the 
> board's squares.  Pick up a piece, and the switch is released.  Place a piece 
> on a square, and the switch is lifted.  This is how the computer keeps track 
> of the board position.  However, the magnets are not strong enough to hold 
> the pieces in place if you are scoping out your move on the board.  I solved 
> this by placing strip magnet material with adhesive backing, cut to the size 
> of the squares, on each square of the board.  It was easy to center them 
> using the 4 LEDs in each corner of the squares as a guide.  The men now stick 
> to these strip magnets, and the switches are still able to be activated or 
> deactivated by placing or removing pieces on the board as the game 
> progresses.  Playing against this machine is just like playing over-the-board 
> chess as far as piece movement is concerned.
> 
> . Super strong chess programs capable of beating over 99% of all chess players
> 
> Comment:  I don't know about beating that percentage of players, but I do 
> know that it hasn't lost yet, and it was set to think about it's next move 
> for 5 seconds at the level we have been using.  This is one of the levels of 
> casual play.
> 
> . 64 Levels for every type of player - 
> 8 Tournament Levels: All moves are pre-set which have to be played within a 
> fixed time, i.e. 40 moves in 120 min.
> 8 Average Time Levels: Enter the average response time per move for the 
> computer.
> 8 Sudden Death Levels: If you or the computer exceed the specified time 
> control, the game will be declared lost.
> 8 Fixed Depth Levels: The computer will only compute up to the depth selected.
> 8 Analytical Levels: These levels provide deeper searches for more difficult 
> problems. 
> 8 Novice Levels: 1 ply search with limited capture search. 
> 8 Beginner Levels: 2 ply search with limited capture search. 
> 8 Fixed Mate Levels: The computer will find the shortest mate up to the 
> stipulated depth.
> . Solves problems up to Mate-in-8
> . Mate Announcement up to Mate-in-8 
> . Depth search up to 18 half moves 
> 
> Comment:  As you can see, it has a very wide range of skill levels and types 
> of time controls.  I did beat it on the first novice skill level, and could 
> see a marked difference between that one and the next novice level, so you 
> certainly can use this computer to sharpen your play by selecting the right 
> skill level for your ability.
> 
> 
> . Setup mode allows you to enter a special sequence of moves, i.e. a 
> particular chess opening or moves you found in a chess book
> 
> I haven't tried this using a light probe as of yet, but plan to, mainly out 
> of curiosity.
> 
> . Switch sides with computer before or during a game 
> . Take back move function - take back up to 112 half moves
> . Trace forward move function - use this function if you wish to trace your 
> moves forward again after having taken them back
> 
> Comment:  This can be done using a light probe, and is not that hard to keep 
> track of as you take back or retrace moves.
> 
> . Force the computer to immediately make the best move it has found so far
> 
> Comment:  You should let it think for at least 5 seconds to come up with a 
> good move.  Using a timer, I allowed it to think for 30 seconds, and it 
> played very strong chess.
> 
> . 2 player mode will referee 2 human players
> 
> Comment:  It was fun playing against another human, using the computer as a 
> referee.  We made a few illegal moves, and it showed our errors.  The timer 
> also ran out when we played a sudden death game set to give each of us 5 
> minutes to complete our game.  I'm just not that fast of a player.
> 
> 
> . Saves game in memory for future use
> 
> Comment:  It will save a board position if you turn the power switch off but 
> leave the machine plugged in.  It also saves the style of play you set, as 
> well as the skill level.  However, if you unplug the machine, all is 
> forgotten.
> 
> 
> . Autoplay will make the computer play itself 
> 
> Comment:  I doubt if I will use this feature much, although it was fun to see 
> it play for both sides for a while on a high skill level, while we tried to 
> figure out what it's next move would be.
> 
> . Sound on/off 
> 
> Comment:  You can turn the beeps off for silent play, but, of course, as I am 
> blind, I rely on the beeps to play.
> 
> . Requires A/C adapter, included 
> . Includes Free 3 Year Classic Chess And Games .com Warranty 
> 
> 
> More comments on the men and board:  To start a new game, just set the pieces 
> on their initial position, and the machine know that you are starting a new 
> game.  You must use the pieces that came with the machine on the sensory 
> board in order for the computer to determine it's next move.  Right out of 
> the box, a blind person cannot play this machine without difficulty, as the 
> pieces will move easily.  The magnets I placed onto the board solved this 
> problem, though, as previously mentioned.  Part of the reason they move so 
> easily is that they have felt bottoms.  Overall though, once modified 
> slightly, and with a light probe handy just in case you run into problems, 
> this machine is very usable by a totally blind person, and I think I'm going 
> to be using it for a long time in the future.  One more note on the men is 
> that, at least for now, I have wrapped a trash bag twisty around each Black 
> piece for tactile identification.
> 
> You can get one from
> 
> www.classicchessandgames.com
> 
> 
> 
> ---
> Laughter is the best medicine, so look around, find a dose and take it to 
> heart.
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