Hi Mike and all:
I wanted to suggest a feature in COW to make it better. I have used Chess Position Trainer (CPT) in the past and find COW and CPT to be almost identical in what they are supposed to accomplish, which is to train or remember the openings. I made a long forum post on the CPT website for the same issue and I'm not sure if the author is interested in programming something that is different since it may make the program a bit more complicated to use.
To give you a short version of the problem I see with COW, I wanted to discuss the issue with spaced repetition training, which COW solely focuses on. The issue I see is that spaced repetition in chess doesn't work because chess is a dynamic game. Spaced repetition may work when learning vocabulary for a new language, because you do not need to rule in our out certain words to memorize. When playing chess openings you have to rule out certain variations to play in a game before choosing a candidate move. If you try to memorize the openings, you will not understand any of the key ideas or why a certain move you play is wrong. This will make it even harder to remember the opening you are trying to remember because COW does not have any way of incorporating understanding into chess openings. To incorporate understanding in chess you really need to rule out incorrect moves, which are defined as blunder, inaccuracy, and mistakes.
I wanted to give an analogy for all of this. When somebody trains you for a job they are supposed to show you all the correct things to do on the job. However, what if you start forgetting the right things and accidentally do the wrong habits on the job. Aren't you supposed to also be trained to not to do the wrong habits on the job when this occurs? You could always practice doing the right things on the job over and over to reinforce, but for some reason your brain considers other incorrect alternatives or habits since they look appealing. So wouldn't reminding yourself on why not to do something be a good idea?
When preparing/inputting your openings when you use COW do you personally look at why you can't play move X?. Aren't you also supposed to remember/train why you can't play move x? How are you supposed to enter that into COW with comments? Because if you do that in COW, the training mode will test you on those lines as well but count that as correct, since COW considers everything you enter into your repertoire as correct. Unfortunately, this method of preparing/inputting incorrect moves conflicts with the current trainer.
I think that having a computer analysis during training mode would not completely solve the problem either when you make an incorrect move but would partially solve the problem when you make a blunder move. The reason why having a computer tell you your move is incorrect would not work is because it only helps to distinguish your move as a blunder from a mistake or inaccuracy. The computer would do a good job spotting a blunder because that usually involves only tactics and you would then understand why your move is incorrect during training mode. When playing an inaccurate or mistake move there is no way of understanding why your move is considered incorrect unless you understand the resulting positional ideas after the variations have been played. The computer does not explain any of this to you. Therefore, it would make some sense to incorporate some kind of blunder alert into COW and you can also see the subsequent variations on the board after the blunder alert.
You would need to enter comments about the position of why your move is considered incorrect when you make a mistake or inaccuracy, which you currently cannot do in COW. Every move you make in COW that is not in your repertoire is considered incorrect, which is really annoying. The only way to solve this is to somehow incorporate a comments section when you play an incorrect move which we can further define as a mistake or inaccuracy.
Like I mentioned previously, I already posted on the Chess Position Trainer website these ideas but I don't know if the author is going to implement any features to help incorporate understanding into his program. I have not purchased COW since the overall purpose of the program is the same as CPT and CPT is of course quite cheaper than COW. Basically, I want a different kind of trainer that explains why your moves are incorrect.
Any thoughts on this topic would be helpful.
Questions and answers for COW Macintosh and Windows
2 posts • Page 1 of 1
GoodChessMind wrote:When preparing/inputting your openings when you use COW do you personally look at why you can't play move X?.
Aren't you also supposed to remember/train why you can't play move x? How are you supposed to enter that into COW with comments?
Just enter it as an alternative move, add a question mark or other move symbols after the move. Add comment in the comment box.
Because if you do that in COW, the training mode will test you on those lines as well but count that as correct, since COW considers everything you enter into your repertoire as correct.
That is not exactly right, in COW there is an option in training where the trainee has the option to select only the top candidate. So the blunder??/mistake?/dubious?! will be considered as incorrect.
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