No worries Michael. Thanks for the appreciation!
I should note that I have been more recently writing on:
Thanks Allan. Apart from knowing most of the official rules for chess through my own tournament play, I don't know too much about chess arbitrating or the accreditation process. That being said, I will try to look into it and materialise an article.
Thanks for alerting me to this issue. I will try to either create a new article tying things together or make my existing articles clearer to understand.
So that you can immediately take action, here's a brief overview:
Only two things are required to have a complete chess package:
1. The engine
2. An interface (the interface includes sufficient database capabilities in almost all cases)
There are commercial software packages that provide a complete solution. For example, the 'Fritz' series of programs from chessbase.com and the 'Aquarium' series of programs from chessok.com.
Generally those consumers that purchase an engine alone already have a 'complete solution' and just want to add a new engine to their interface rather than buying an entirely new version of the interface (which is often more expensive).
If you're looking for a free solution, SCID is a good option. It is an interface that includes database capabilities. I discuss this more in my Free Chess Programs article: http://chess.geniusprophecy.com/free-chess-programs.html
While SCID comes bundled with some engines, you may be able to find stronger programs on the internet and then use them in SCID. For example, your friend who bought Rybka without an interface can use SCID as the interface. Another good choice is the free version of Houdini, which I also discuss in my Free Chess Programs article.
On a related note, I have been working on a side website specifically aimed at beginners. One article on there is particularly relevant to this issue: http://chess-game-improvement.com/learning/software/ I should note, however, that you may have trouble 'importing' an engine such as Rybka or Houdini into Chessmaster. But overall, this should not matter since the bundled Chessmaster engine is already astronomically srtong.
Thanks for your kind comments.
Running Houdini and Deep Rybka should not be a problem on a half-decent computer. Judging by your specs, there should be no problems. I run Houdini on a Fritz GUI interface on a laptop with considerably worse specs than yours and it never freezes or has any problems. It sees tactics and positional nuances virtually instantaneously in most situations.
Regarding your choice of chess software, I've got a page dedicated to free chess programs. http://chess.geniusprophecy.com/free-chess-programs.html
Zarkon Fischer also has a great website dedicated to the same purpose, although sadly it is no longer updated. http://freechess.50webs.com/
If you do have some money to spare though, I would recommend purchasing the Fritz GUI from ChessBase. (Any of the programs from chessbase.com such as Rybka, Shredder or Junior automatically come bundled with the Fritz GUI.) In addition, Chessmaster: Grandmaster Edition has an excellent series of lectures from International Master Joshua Waitzkin (among others), which I think is well worth the price.
http://chess.geniusprophecy.com/ImproveYourChess.pdf I recommended a three-pronged curriculum in my ebook Improve Your Chess. Your son is still young, so he should play in club tournaments quite frequently.
I strongly recommend using chess software such as ChessBase or Fritz to analyse one's games. Chessmaster also has a lot of great audio instruction for players around your son's level. http://chess.geniusprophecy.com/chessmaster-grandmaster-edition.html
http://chess.geniusprophecy.com/opening-repertoire.html Here are some opening suggestions. If your son has a lot of time to dedicate to chess, he should play the main lines or consider the second repertoire listed in the article.
Thank you for your kind words!
Sorry, I do not approve of this. I'm sure you can come up with your own material. My English isn't that great anyway
Thanks for your question tevans2737. I don't think there's anything wrong with playing over things on your computer with software such as ChessBase. You should buy a decent endgame book such as Silman's Complete Endgame Course by IM Jeremy Silman and manually enter in the moves onto your computer board. Alternatively, you can obtain one of the great endgame DVDs by Karsten Mueller.
Regarding preparing before a tournament starts, I think playing some 5-minute blitz games on the internet will help adjust your mind for 'battle mode'. Getting some blitz practice will help sharpen your tactical skills and may also uncover leaks in your opening repertoire which you should address. Preparing for specific opponents during a tournament is a much more concrete process. This I discuss in my "Preparing for Opponents" article http://chess.geniusprophecy.com/preparing-for-opponents.html
Thanks. I have certainly seen Go before but I have never tried playing it.
Thanks for your suggestion. I have heard of your site before when Dennis Monokroussos mentioned it.
Cheers, thanks for the comments.