COW: your workflow

Questions and answers for COW Macintosh and Windows
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reivax
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:22 am

COW: your workflow

Post by reivax »

Hi,

I am totally new both here and with COW .

I am not sure I am doing things right. I am tryinq to toilet my repertoire. I have 2 books (one per color). Then, what ? The documentation is totally inexsitent and videos are more or less ads to purchase the tool... Does not help much

Here are a few questions I have sent to the support:

-> would you recommend this tool to keep track of my own games (like CB would do)? I mean keep my games with analysis. Currently, I have 2 "ebooks" named "black service" and "white service" (my repertoire), would that make sense to keep on adding my games in these "databases"?
-> What are the color usages exactly (green, red, yellow)?
-> what is the "certainty" slider?
-> I have also paid for the iOS version but it looks disastrous on my iphone, do you have plans to adapt it on that platform?
-> How does the dropbox sync work? Is it automatic or do I need to do something each time I am modifying my repertoire?
-> It would be quite nice to have the possibility to use another sync option (owncloud, onedrive, etc.)

Thanks for your help
musiclife
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2020 12:23 pm

Re: COW: your workflow

Post by musiclife »

Hey,

I have used COW to keep track of certain books recommendations too. A book often do not lay out their ideas in a move by move fashion, and COW can help organize these. I find it a bit easier to sort through a database in the move tree format than the single game format used in chessbase. They're both good just for different things it seems.

I also recently got the iOS version and I have used it for training. I uploaded a book to dropbox, and downloaded it to the phone through there. Works fine.

I don't use the certainty meter, and I note the evaluation aspect is mostly used for backsolving and keeping track of which 'lines' are actually good. I'm not quite that far in my study as folks go off the opening rails at 2k way more often than they stay on them.
I don't use the colors. That seems to be when importing games, say from TWIC, and then you can keep track of where the novelties are.

Enjoy.
reivax
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:22 am

Re: COW: your workflow

Post by reivax »

Thank you.

You do not explain though how you use COW to track your games.

When importing a new game, do you keep it all in your book, risking to train with inferior material or do you get rid of it altogether for example ?
musiclife
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2020 12:23 pm

Re: COW: your workflow

Post by musiclife »

Sorry, that seemed pretty straightforward but I am happy to explain a bit of what I do. Once I have a COW book of recommended moves, I look over the book to see where my opponent or I deviated from 'book' first. I don't usually import my games at all (but you could import and then mark the novelties with a color.) I prefer to leave my books more 'pristine' and then I can use the training function, ala chessable and other software, to help with practicing moves.

At 2k uscf, I don't find memorizing opening moves very critical, as I believe the planning/understanding the middlegame motifs, and positional motifs is more critical to my improvement.

I just love how cow shows at a very quick glance whether a move is considered at all in a book, and that transpositions to other lines is so easily tracked with this software. I do wish there was a way to toggle through individual lines. Sometimes there is a model game in a book, and it gets very challenging to keep track of a model game within a book on the same subject, because sometimes the model game doesn't follow the modern recommended line. Perhaps I could use coloring to denote such a thing and to leave it colored. Still learning how to maximize the software!

Best,
reivax
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:22 am

Re: COW: your workflow

Post by reivax »

Thaks for your feedback. I will try to see how it fits with my own thinking
ferdy
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2021 7:06 am

Re: COW: your workflow

Post by ferdy »

reivax wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:33 am Hi,

I am totally new both here and with COW .

I am not sure I am doing things right. I am tryinq to toilet my repertoire. I have 2 books (one per color). Then, what ? The documentation is totally inexsitent and videos are more or less ads to purchase the tool... Does not help much

Here are a few questions I have sent to the support:

-> would you recommend this tool to keep track of my own games (like CB would do)? I mean keep my games with analysis. Currently, I have 2 "ebooks" named "black service" and "white service" (my repertoire), would that make sense to keep on adding my games in these "databases"?

You can save your games by importing it to COW.
You can input alternative moves or analysis with color, ?, ! etc.

-> What are the color usages exactly (green, red, yellow)?
You can use it to mark a move that is good for blitz or bullet for example.
-> what is the "certainty" slider?
I don't know, hope mike will reply.
FreeRepublic
Posts: 67
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2019 12:31 am

Re: COW: your workflow

Post by FreeRepublic »

This is a very good topic for discussion. I suspect many of us are not taking full advantage of COW. Also a tutorial on all menus and menu items would be a good thing.

-> would you recommend this tool to keep track of my own games (like CB would do)? I mean keep my games with analysis. Currently, I have 2 "ebooks" named "black service" and "white service" (my repertoire), would that make sense to keep on adding my games in these "databases"?

Yes, I think so. The first thing one would do with a games database, such as CB, would be to sort or filter based on opening. Well that has already been done with COW. COW is a good place to store your analysis of your games. It is almost too easy, as sometimes it is easy to lose the distinction between a game and the analysis of the game. I try to use some discipline here. The first move of analysis could take a note, for example "analysis" or your initials. Or the first move of analysis could be designated with a color. Subsequent moves of your analysis do not inherit the color code - a feature request that I've made. Sometimes my analysis is junk. At this point I have to delete it move by move. Perhaps some kind of "delete recent" command might be a good idea.

-> What are the color usages exactly (green, red, yellow)?

They are whatever you want. As others have indicated, this works well when you import from another source. I created a COW eBook using the PGN from a book on the Vienna variation of the Queen's Gambit Declined (QGD). Then I imported the PGN from a book on the Ragozin variation of the QGD. All new candidate moves (non-duplicating material) from the second book were designated with a yellow dot.

-> what is the "certainty" slider?

I have never used this feature. Your question made me curious.

One could use it to designate a main line. I started a "Test" file and used the certainty slider. As I played out moves for the first time, the slider position was inherited. I played 1e4 and put the slider to the right. As I played out the moves of the Open Ruy Lopez the slider remained to the right. However, going back to my regular file on the Open Ruy, this did not work. I had to manually move the slider to the right for every move.

I went to the File - Add Ebook and added the Test file to my Open Ruy file and all the slider settings imported.

If one were starting from scratch, one could play 1e4, move the slider to the right, then import core analysis for an opening, assuming you could find this core analysis someplace. Could Mike's idea of "Pedigree moves" be put to use here? This file could then be added to an existing data base and the slider would then indicate main lines.

While we are on this sector of the window, I have never used the "Move" field. I just played around with it a little today. Has anyone put this to use? And if so, how? Please enlighten me.

What is the difference between "Add Ebook" and "Import Ebook" ?
FreeRepublic
Posts: 67
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2019 12:31 am

Re: COW: your workflow

Post by FreeRepublic »

P.S.
I make my windows narrow. There is no space to the right of the pop-up menu for the candidate moves. As a result, I see the word "Certainty" but not the slider. I completely miss the "Move" field. There is room to move the "Certainty" and "Move" to the left.

I make my windows narrow so that I can see two COW files side by side, or see some other chess file and also an open COW Ebook.
FreeRepublic
Posts: 67
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2019 12:31 am

Re: COW: your workflow

Post by FreeRepublic »

musiclife wrote: Sat Apr 10, 2021 9:11 pm Sometimes there is a model game in a book, and it gets very challenging to keep track of a model game within a book on the same subject, because sometimes the model game doesn't follow the modern recommended line.
I agree. Back in the BookUp days, you could go to "Game" and "Load..." and select a saved game (or jump to a tabiya position). I miss that feature. I think that provided a good integration of the position data base of BookUp/COW with a secondary game data base. I would like to see that feature re-implemented.

I tried to do the same thing in COW by way of "Go" "Jump to Board Name." However that has been implemented to serve another purpose. Some books have test positions. These load with separate Board Names. You can jump to a test position and try to solve it to test your understanding.
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