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Subject: rec.games.chess.compute FAQ [1/3]

This article was archived around: 4 Nov 1995 15:07:04 GMT

All FAQs in Directory: games/chess/computer
All FAQs posted in: rec.games.chess.computer
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Archive-Name: games/chess/computer/part1
Chess FAQ rec.games.chess.computer FAQ part 1/3 CHARTER: The rec.games.chess.computer newsgroup will provide a place to disseminate reports, discussions and analysis of game servers, where chess games can be played in real time, similar to playing games of chess via telephone; information and discussion about databases, games collections, chess-playing software, and other computer programs of a similar nature, either offered for sale, or in the state of development. WELCOME: Welcome to "The r.g.c.c FAQ", a compilation of information about computers, chess and the internet. This FAQ is posted bimonthly in 3 parts, to the newgroups rec.games.chess.computer, rec.answers, and news.answers. Part 1 is about Live Net Chess, FICS, ICC, Software for FICS and ICC Use (Live Net Chess), Bulletin Board Systems (BBS's), Web Sites Supplies, Where to Get Books and Equipment, Material Available via Anonymous FTP, and Self-Improvement. Part 2 consists primarily of the Swedish Rating List of Chess Software and computers. Part 3 reviews chess playing software and databases and miscellaneous information. r.g.c.c is a subdivision of rgc created in June, 1995 to more appropriately divide the voluminous material that was posted to the original rec.games.chess. As time goes on the FAQ will offer enhanced sections on computer software, history of computers and chess, and a discussion of the algorithms used in chess programs. More chess information is contained in the rec.games.chess.misc FAQ. This FAQ list may be obtained via anonymous FTP from rtfm.mit.edu under /pub/usenet/news.answers/games/chesscom/part1. Or, send email to mail-server@rtfm.mit.edu with: 'send usenet/news.answers/games/chess/computer/part1' in the body of the message, leaving the subject line empty. Repeat and substitute for parts 2 and 3. These files are also available at my web site: "http://www.clark.net/pub/pribut/chess.html" TABLE OF CONTENTS of rec.games.chess.computer Faq Parts 1 - 3 Part 1 Playing on the Net [1] Live Net Chess, FICS, ICC, Usenet, Mailing lists [2] Software for FICS and ICC Use (Live Net Chess) [3] Bulletin Board Systems (BBS's) [4] Web Sites [5] Mailing Lists Supplies [6] Where to Get Books and Equipment [7] Material Available via Anonymous FTP Self-Improvement [8] I'm a Novice/Intermediate. How Do I Improve? [9] I'm really good. How do I get better? (Class A/B and Up.) [10] Publications Part 2 [11] Chess-Playing Computers & Software The Swedish Rating Part 3 [12] Chess-Playing Software [13] Database Software Miscellaneous [14] Common Acronyms [15] Biographical Info, Stories, Trivia (under construction) [16] Disclaimer and Copyright Notice --------------------------------------- Subject: [1] E-Mail Games, ICS, Mailing Lists, Gopher, Usenet reader The Internet Chess Servers (formerly ICS) is a true internet chess highlight! ICS was originally developed by Michael Moore (mmoore@dsd.es.com). There are now 2 primary servers in the United States, ICC and FICS. ICC and FICS allow interactive chess games for those with Internet telnet capability. Use telnet (e.g., "telnet chess.lm.com 5000" or telnet ics.onenet.net 5000) to connect. All may log on and play chess, but if you wish to have your games recorded and develop a rating, register on the system you use (see help on the system for more information). There are several IC Servers running: FICS (Free Internet Chess Server) - A new location for FICS appeared at ics.onenet.net 5000 in March of 1995. This was begun in response to the institution of charges at ICC (formerly ICS). The free spirit of the internet lives on here. Contribute in a positive way to that spirit by volunteering to help with code enhancements or in whatever way you can. New features include simultaneous game feature, a new rating system, and has even stimulated the development of more than one FAQ dedicated to a discussion of FICS vs. ICC. Events similar to those seen on ICC (Internet Chess Club) will also be seen here. I suggest visiting both the ICC and FICS to get a feel for the atmosphere, chess played and guests and then deciding whether you want to hang out on one server or the other or visit both. Help files here may also be mailed to your e-mail address once you are registered. If you would like to contribute time and effort to the free server contact an administrator once registered. Much of the description above for ICC also holds true for FICS. Lectures online are starting, but grandmaster events are limited at this time. The software is regularly impoving. The competition between the two main servers has led to the implementation of features such as the glicko rating system and simultaneous matches. At FICS you can: - play chess 24 hours a day. - play games using any time control you and your opponent agree to, ranging from one minute for the whole game to 5 hours. - get ratings for blitz and slow chess. Each game is rated right after it is played. You can play unrated also. - watch a variety of other players playing blitz. - obtain "graphical interfaces", that allow you to make moves with a mouse on a board on your screen. These are available for DOS, Mac, and Unix machines. do "help interface". - talk to people from all over the world, with the many commands for communicating: tell, shout, kibitz, whisper. - participate or observe simultaneous matches, including blitz simuls. - other features and events are expected! ICS-addresses: Euro- Server: anemone.daimi.aau.dk 5000 (130.225.18.58 5000) US- Server: chess.lm.com 5000 (164.58.253.10 5000) U.S. FICS: ics.onenet.net 5000 Dutch-Server: dds.hacktic.nl 5000 (193.78.33.69 5000) Aussie-Server: lux.latrobe.edu.au 5000 (131.172.4.3 5000) ICS-backup servers (unsaved games) telnet iris4.metiu.ucsb.edu 5000 telnet coot.lcs.mit.edu 5000 Ftp server : ftp chess.onenet.net 5000 (164.58.253.10 5000) To see a sample ftp session, do: help ftp ICC (Internet Chess Club) To play on the ICC USA, all you need to do is type: telnet chess.lm.com 5000 You will be asked for a name. Type in any name you want. You will then be logged in as an "unregistered" player. If you want a "registered" account, type "help registration" and follow the directions carefully. The ICS in March of 1995 is changing its name to ICC. A fee will be charged for membership of approximately $49 per year. Students will be half price and unregistered users can play for free. SOME FACTS ABOUT ICC: There are over 7,000 accounts on ICC, from all over the world. There are often over 150 people logged in. Sometimes more than 200. Players range in skill from Grandmaster down to beginner, so you can always find someone at your level. This is "live" chess, not e-mail chess! It only takes a second or two to transmit your move to your opponent (unless there is bad lag on the internet). It's a fun, club-like atmosphere, with people talking about chess, kibitzing during games, shouting greetings to each other, discussing sports, arguing politics, etc. A new program called timestamp became available in the Spring of 1995, which limits or eliminates lag. It is available only to registered members of the ICC. Numerous live events are viewable by all visitors, both registered and non-registered guests. These events inlude live grandmaster vs. grandmaster chess, live grandmaster vs. computer chess, live GM vs. others. Live lectures also take place here. You can: - play chess 24 hours a day. - play games using any time control you and your opponent agree to, ranging from one minute for the whole game to 5 hours. - get ratings for blitz and slow chess. Each game is rated right after it is played. You can play unrated also. - watch Grandmasters and International Masters playing blitz. - play over and sutdy the past 14 games of any ICS player. - obtain "graphical interfaces", that allow you to make moves with a mouse on a board on your screen. These are available for DOS, Mac, and Unix machines. do "help interface". - talk to people from all over the world, with the many commands for communicating: tell, shout, kibitz, whisper. - search a 7000+ game database of GM, IM and Master games. For more information, just log in into ICC, and look around. "help" and "info" give you a list of all the files of information that you can read. You can also talk to an administrator if you have any questions or problems. Administrators can be found by typing "who" and looking for a "*" by their name. - participate or observe simultaneous matches, including blitz simuls. Subject: [2] Software for FICS and ICC Use (Live Net Chess) Graphical Interfaces for Internet Chess Servers ------------------------------------ There are several graphical interfaces available for the ICS. All are available via anonymous ftp from the chess ftp site, in the directory pub/chess. I recommend starting with ZIICS for DOS and SLIC for windows. Many of these programs are available at caissa.onnet.net. NAME Operating System Author -------------------------------------------------------------------- GIICS DOS with modem LLama NGIICS DOS with TCP/IP LLama ZIICS DOS with modem Zek JIICS DOS with modem (requires VGA/mouse) Peluri Monarc DOS with modem Kevster Raja Elephant MS Windows and modem (also known as "WICS") fischer Gilchess MS Windows and modem Azorduldu SLICS MS Windows 3.1 - TCP/IP dfong PMICS OS/2 PM and modem (get pmics091.exe, in pub/chess/DOS/OLD-STUFF) woof XBoard Unix with X windows and TCP/IP (or modem) mann XICS Unix with X windows and TCP/IP observer cics Unix with ordinary terminal (e.g. vt100) observer NeXTICS NeXT with modem or TCP/IP red MacICS Mac douglas MacICS-TCP Mac with TCP/IP eew E-ICS Mac douglas Aics Amiga fischer Programmers: Please do "help programmers" for suggestions about how to parse the output from this server. ------------------------------------ Subject: [3] Bulletin Board Systems (BBS's) CANADA Alberta: Chess Hackers. 403-456-5808. USA CompuServe: 800-848-8990. HoloNet: 800-NET-HOLO (800-638-4656). Prodigy: 800-284-5933. ImagiNation Network: 800-IMAGIN-1 CA: Charles Rostedt's chess BBS: 310-634-8549 (data), 634-8477 (voice). CA: Chess Hotline BBS: 310-634-8549. CA: Strategies and Tactics: 714-458-0818. Berkeley, CA: Berkeley BBS: 510-486-0795. Modesto, CA: Flightline of Dbase: 209-551-2227. Waterbury, CT: Chess Horizons BBS: 203-596-1443. 755-9749 (voice). Rob Roy, 54 Calumet, Waterbury, CT 06710-1201. Free software catalog. Plant City, FL: The ChessBoard: 813-754-6043. Chicago, IL: ChessBoard: 312-784-3019. IL: Free! Board: 312-275-0848. Louisville, KY: The Chess Board: 502-271-5233. Metairie, LA: High Tech BBS: 504-837-7941. New Orleans, LA: Woodpusher BBS: 504-271-5233. Chevy Chase, MD: The Mystery Board BBS: 301-588-9465, 588-8142. Fort Meade, MD: Interstate Express: 301-674-6835. Durham, NC: The Isolated Pawn: 919-471-1440. Brooklyn, NY: Mind Matters BBS: 718-951-6652. Columbus, OH: The Endgame BBS: 614-476-3351. Mansfield, OH: DK Jet-Works: 419-524-3959. Mansfield, OH: Procyon: 419-524-7825. Portland, OR: PDX Chess BBS: 503-232-2282. Erie, PA: The Basement 814-838-7344 & 8237 Austin, TX: Austin Chess Studio: 512-448-4861. Web Sites: Chess Week in Review - Mark Crowther's Web Page - "http://www.brad.ac.uk/~mdcrowth/chess.html" Mark is the editor and originator of the Chess Week in Review, the most significant internet, electronic chess publication. Each week interesting articles, interviews, chess problems and the all of the games of significant tournaments are published and posted to rec.games.chess. This is also mailed directly to members of the chess list. The Chess Connection pages - "http://www.easynet.co.uk/pages/worldchess/home.htm" First internet version May 1995. Great! Plans to provide comprehensive service for chess enthusiasts world-wide. The Chess Connection WWW pages is essentially an electronic chess magazine which will attempt to include all the latest news, features, regular columns and reports of chess events world-wide. It is amazing to see so many different columns here in one place! Currently includes several chess columns that are published weekly and monthly. Diagrams, commentary on games, news, etc. Future plans include: live coverage of the Intel World Chess Championship match between Garry Kasparov and Vishy Anand on the Live Update pages. Not only will the reader be able to see the latest moves, but The Chess Connection will also attempt to have a live Grandmaster Commentary from Cologne with analysis. In addition, there will be an extensive discussion of chess software and hardware not only by the journalists of the Chess Connection but also by the software vendors themselves. Ordering on line via their Shopping Mall is also planned. Chess Works Unlimited: "http://www.hooked.net/users/chesswks/cwu.html" Information regarding their software and publications. Demos are available through their ftp site, but visit here first. Eric Schiller's homepage is linked here also. Products include Deja Vu Database (providing over 350,000 games, soon to be closer to 500,000). Useable in ChessBase, Chess Assistant, Unix and through Foxpro & Visual Basic. Other products and demos include electronic books and products designed to work with BookUp. Chess problems - "http://www.crystaldata.com/scripts/chess_problems" Choose from a variety of problems. Chess Federation of Canada: http://www.globalx.net/cfc/index.html Others: WWW Chess Archives - "http://www.traveller.com/chess/" British Chess links: http://www.chemeng.ed.ac.uk/people/steve/ CHESS: Rudof Steinkellner, Jr. http://www.ub.uit.no/chess/ USCF Selections Page: http://dab.psi.net/uscfbrowser/ I.C.E. The Web Page of I.C.E. is available at: "http://pegasus.grandmaster.bc.ca" ftp sites: Chess Assistant Games: FTP access on site : ldis.cs.msu.su or 158.250.10.196 User : Anonymous MainDir : /PROJECTS/FTP/CA-DATA/OUTGOING Subject: [4] Mailing Lists The Chess List (chess-l) There is a mailing list which is not associated with rec.games.chess called "chess-l." It averages about 4 posts/day, which are sent to subscribers via e-mail. To subscribe to the chess-l news group, send the message "subscribe chess-l Your-Real-Name-Here" to listserv@hearn.bitnet. ------------------------------ Subject: [5] Web Sites Chess Week in Review - Mark Crowther's Web Page - "http://www.brad.ac.uk/~mdcrowth/chess.html" Mark is the editor and originator of the Chess Week in Review, the most significant internet, electronic chess publication. Each week interesting articles, interviews, chess problems and the all of the games of significant tournaments are published and posted to rec.games.chess. This is also mailed directly to members of the chess list. The Chess Connection pages - "http://www.easynet.co.uk/pages/worldchess/home.htm" First internet version May 1995. Great! Plans to provide comprehensive service for chess enthusiasts world-wide. The Chess Connection WWW pages is essentially an electronic chess magazine which will attempt to include all the latest news, features, regular columns and reports of chess events world-wide. It is amazing to see so many different columns here in one place! Currently includes several chess columns that are published weekly and monthly. Diagrams, commentary on games, news, etc. Future plans include: live coverage of the Intel World Chess Championship match between Garry Kasparov and Vishy Anand on the Live Update pages. Not only will the reader be able to see the latest moves, but The Chess Connection will also attempt to have a live Grandmaster Commentary from Cologne with analysis. In addition, there will be an extensive discussion of chess software and hardware not only by the journalists of the Chess Connection but also by the software vendors themselves. Ordering on line via their Shopping Mall is also planned. Chess Works Unlimited: "http://www.hooked.net/users/chesswks/cwu.html" Information regarding their software and publications. Demos are available through their ftp site, but visit here first. Eric Schiller's homepage is linked here also. Products include Deja Vu Database (providing over 350,000 games, soon to be closer to 500,000). Useable in ChessBase, Chess Assistant, Unix and through Foxpro & Visual Basic. Other products and demos include electronic books and products designed to work with BookUp. Chess problems - "http://www.crystaldata.com/scripts/chess_problems" Choose from a variety of problems. Chess Federation of Canada: http://www.globalx.net/cfc/index.html Others: WWW Chess Archives - "http://www.traveller.com/chess/" British Chess links: http://www.chemeng.ed.ac.uk/people/steve/ CHESS: Rudof Steinkellner, Jr. http://www.ub.uit.no/chess/ USCF Selections Page: http://dab.psi.net/uscfbrowser/ I.C.E. The Web Page of I.C.E. is available at: "http://pegasus.grandmaster.bc.ca" Chess Assistant (I.C.E.) I.C.E. The Web Page of I.C.E. is available at: "http://pegasus.grandmaster.bc.ca" ftp sites: Chess Assistant Games: FTP access on site : ldis.cs.msu.su or 158.250.10.196 User : Anonymous MainDir : /PROJECTS/FTP/CA-DATA/OUTGOING Subject: [6] Where to Get Books and Equipment Computer Chess Gazette, Box 2841, Laguna Hills, CA 92654. 714-770-8532. Chess computers and software. Electronic Games, 1678 Mayfield Road, Lapeer, Michigan 48446. 800-227-5603 or 313-664-2133. Computers, software, and clocks. ICD Corp., 21 Walt Whitman Road, Huntington Station, NY 11746. 800-645-4710 or 516-424-3300. Chess computers and software. Associated with _Computer Chess Reports_ (see [15]) Highly recommended on RGC. A video guide and catalog is available for $6 + $3 shipping and handling. Good for credit towards purchase. PBM International Corp. Inc., 11 Church Street, Montclair, NJ 07042. 800-726-4685; fax 201-783-0580. Computers, software, and clocks. Catalog available. USCF - books, boards, sets, clocks, computers, software. United States Chess Federation, 186 Route 9W, New Windsor, NY 12553-7698. Phone 800-388-5464 or 914-562-8350. Subject: [7] Material Available via Anonymous FTP FTP is a way of copying files between networked computers. Information on it is available via anonymous FTP from rtfm.mit.edu in the file /pub/usenet/news.answers/finding-sources. If you do not know how to use anonymous FTP or do not have access to it, you can retrieve the file by sending an e-mail message to mail-server@rtfm.mit.edu with "send usenet/news.answers/finding-sources" as the body of the message. (Send a message containing "help" for general information on the server.) Or, see the posting titled "How to find sources (READ THIS BEFORE POSTING)" in the news groups comp.sources.wanted or news.answers. Information on what the various compression extensions mean (like ".Z") and what utilities are available to deal with them can be found in the comp.compression FAQ list (see the posting in comp.compression or news.answers titled "comp.compression Frequently Asked Questions," or get /pub/usenet/news.answers/compression-faq/* from rtfm.mit.edu). Miscellaneous. A general repository for chess-related material is somewhat associated with the Internet Chess Server (ICS). Currently, the 'ICS FTP host' is caissa.onenet.net. Material is in the pub/chess directory. New material may be placed in pub/chess/uploads. Many freeware chess programs for different platforms, including graphical ICS (see [17]) clients, are available (e.g., for MS-DOS, MacOS, AmigaOS, NeXT, and UNIX vt100 or X Windows interfaces). Scores of various matches and other groups of games as well. Follows is an outline of some of the available directories on ICS: pub/chess: general chess directory pub/chess/PGN: Portable Game Notation directory pub/chess/PGN/Standard: ASCII version of the PGN Standard pub/chess/PGN/Standard.TOC: Table of Contents for above pub/chess/PGN/Events: directory of directories of events by year pub/chess/PGN/Players: directory with many PGN games by player pub/chess/Tests: directory with many chess program test positions pub/chess/Tests/Manifest: description of EPD test files pub/chess/TB: endgame tablebases pub/chess/TB/README-TB: tablebase decyphering documentation pub/chess/TB/tbt.c: ANSI C tablebase test harness pub/chess/PGN/Tools: PGN tools and utilities directory pub/chess/Unix/SAN.tar.gz: Standard Algebraic Notation source kit GNU chess. Gnuchess is a freely available chess-playing software program. Gnuchess 4.0 can be FTP'ed from prep.ai.mit.edu, export.lcs.mit.edu, and probably other sites. It can be compiled for X Windows (with XBoard, below), SunView, curses, IBM PC character set, or ASCII interfaces. Included in the package are the utilities gnuan (analysis program), game (PostScript printout), postprint (prints hashfile), checkgame (checks a game listing for illegal moves), and checkbook (checks the opening book for illegal moves). It has been posted to gnu.chess. Chess Assistant ftp site in Russia: Games in chess assistant format: FTP access on site : ldis.cs.msu.su or 158.250.10.196 User : Anonymous MainDir : /PROJECTS/FTP/CA-DATA/OUTGOING Notation. Notation is a chess game score preprocessor written by Henry Thomas (hthomas@irisa.fr). It reads chess games, either in full algebraic or shortened notation (i.e., Nf1-g3 or f1g3 or Ng3) and is able to output the games and/or the board at any move, in ASCII, PostScript, TeX, or nroff. It also can generate output for the gnuan and XBoard programs. It is multi-lingual for piece identification; understanding French, English, German, Spanish, Dutch, Italian, Polish, etc. The program also handles variations and symbolized comments. It works fine on UNIX (Sun SPARCstation and Sun-3). It uses standard C, and function declarations are done in both K&R-C and ANSI-C. It won't be difficult to compile for MS-DOS with MSC. Sources have been posted to comp.sources.misc. You can also get them from Mr. Thomas by e-mail. They may be FTP'ed from wuarchive.wustl.edu, in /usenet/comp.sources.misc/volume28/notation/*.Z (European users use garbo.uwasa.fi). Chess notation tool kit. The Standard Algebraic Notation (SAN) Kit chess programming C source tool kit is designed to help chess software efforts by providing common routines for move notation I/O, move generation, move execution, and various useful position manipulation services. There are substantial additions to the previous version which include a standard position notation scheme along with some benchmarking tests. A main program is included which gives sample calls for the various routines. Simple I/O functions are also provided. A clever programmer needs only to add a search and an evaluation function to produce a working chessplaying program. A programmer who already has the source to a chessplaying program may improve it further by including tool kit routines as needed for standardization. The author of this package is Steven J. Edwards (sje@mv.mv.com). The SAN Kit may be retrieved from the 'ICS FTP host'as: ftp://ics.onenet.net/pub/chess/Unix/SAN.tar.gz. XBoard. XBoard is an X11/R4-based user interface for GNU Chess or ICS. As an interface to GNU Chess, XBoard lets you play a game against the machine, set up arbitrary positions, force variations, or watch a game between two machines. As an interface to the ICS, XBoard lets you play against other ICS users or observe games they are playing. You can also use XBoard as a chessboard to review or analyze games. It will read a game file or allow you to play through a variation manually. This is useful for keeping track of email postal games, browsing games off the net, or reviewing GNU Chess and ICS games you have saved. Beginning with version 2.0, Tim Mann <mann@src.dec.com> has taken over development of XBoard. The program can be FTP'ed from the 'ICS FTP host.' Slics. Excellent interface for ICS. Currently the most popular for the windows environment. Programmer D. Fong. ------------------------------ Subject: [8] I'm a Novice (or Intermediate). How Do I Improve? There are lots of variations to the methods, but the things most good teachers agree on is to emphasize (1) tactics, (2) endings, and (3) playing with a plan. Most people spend too much time studying openings. Just learn enough about openings to get to a playable middlegame. The books listed below should give you a great start on (1), (2), and (3). Of course, playing experience is important. Review your games (with a much stronger player if possible) or your chess computer to find out what you did right and wrong. Seek out games against stronger players, and learn from them. You should also consider reviewing classical games by the masters: Capablanca, Tal, and others. Read over well annotated games. When playing your chess computer, set it at a level that you can beat it approximately 25% of the time. This will allow you to successfully practice some winning techniques, rather than practice losing. Beginners may benefit from programs such as Bobby Fischer teaches Chess, which also comes with a chess engine (software) that can be set on 10 different novice levels. It was designed by Richard Lang, the programmer of Chess Genius. ChessBase University Software may also be useful. More on this will appear in a future edition of the FAQ. Educational Software: Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess. (Bookup, Inc. 2763 Kensington Place West, Columbus, Ohio 43202 (800-949-5445) for $49 with free shipping) List $59.95, Recently seen at CompUSA for $28.00. CDROM only. 300 Interactive Chess lessons designed by Bobby Fisher, 300 classic chess photos, history of chess, 500 of Fischer's best games. And an excellent chess program to play against! Realistic beginners levels and regular levels also. The Chess Machine included is based on programming by Richard Lang, author of Chess Genius. Jump from practise session to computer chess game at the position you are studying. Free PGN viewer is available with 3D chess board from BFTC at ICS as I believe b8view.exe. This is also available from Bookup for $3.95 shipping charge if you do not have compuserve or ftp access. ChessBase University. (ChessBase) Recommended Openings (and Books) for Novices to Intermediates: Remember your goal is to reach a playable middlegame. Don't worry about what is popular, or what the Masters play. As GM Lombardy once said, all openings offer good winning chances in amateur play. As you become stronger, you can shop around for an opening yourself. At first you should play many openings. Don't learn them too deep at first. Learn the principles of the opening and the reasons behind the moves. It is important early in your chess undertakings to spend more time on tactics. Or as someone else put it "TACTICS, TACTICS, TACTICS!" But of course opening theory or at least the theory of develpment is important so you can last more than 10 moves in a game. Bookup 8.5 is one means of practicing openings. It will allow you to drill yourself on a variety of openings, including ones that you may select and detail yourself. Hundreds of e-books are available as detailed under supplies. These are directed at the ranges from C player level to Master or higher. Eric Schiller and Chuck Schulien are authors of many electronic books suitable for developing players. Subject: [9] I'm really good. How do I get better? (Class A/B and Up.) No one may actually need this section because you may have already figured out what to do at your current elevated status of chess playing. In case you are looking, aimlessly for things to do to improve. I will recommend a few good sources of material. At the higher levels, tactical ability is a given. Opening theory will become increasingly important. So will the occasional surprise, something outside of your usual repertoire. Note Kasparov and his recent Evan's gambits. It is important to develop a sense of both what positional improvements are possible and what dynamics underly a given position. Methods of choosing and analyzing "candidate moves" is increasingly important - and has at no level really not been important. The use of computer database software to study recent games will be useful. At a high level, you will be able to study the games of your opponent. The assistance of high level chess program to analyze lines that either you or your opponent plays can also be helpful and serve as a double check on your own analysis. You should analyze not only the games you lose, but also those you win. Be sure that you know the errors you made in the games that you have won. High level electronic opening books are available for use with bookup. These include complete opening systems by Dragan Barlov aimed at expert and above. When looking at games for ideas, in addition to looking at the Informants and NIC yearbooks you may also consider looking at high level correspondance chess games. These contain themes that have been worked out with considerable time and effort. Subject: [10] Publications (expanding shortly) _Chess Informant_ by Sahovski Informator, P.O. Box 739, Francuska 31, 11001 Beograd, Yugoslavia (Serbia). Published in March, August, and December (semi-annually before 1991). Consists of "good" games (judged by committee) from major tournaments; as well as interesting positions (combinations, endings) given as a quiz, and tournament crosstables. There are about 750 games/issue classified by opening (known as _ECO_ classification). Notation is figurine algebraic; games are annotated (often by the players) with special ideographs (defined for 10 languages). The January & July FIDE rating lists are published in the following edition. _Informant_ games are also available in ChessBase/NICBase formats. _Computer Chess Reports_ published quarterly by ICD Corp., 21 Walt Whitman Road, Huntington Station, NY 11746. Phone 800-645-4710. Subscriptions are $18/year. Focuses on computer chess, and rates dedicated chess-playing computers and software. This is worth looking at. _The Computer Chess Gazette_, Box 2841, Laguna Hills, CA 92654. 714-770-8532. Focuses on computer chess. _International Computer Chess Association (ICCA) Journal_ published quarterly. Membership/subscription is about $30/year. Follows computer chess worldwide. ICCA, c/o Don Beal, Department of Computing Science, Queen Mary and Westfield College, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS, England. ICCA Europe, c/o Prof. Dr. H. J. van den Herik, P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD Maasticht, The Netherlands Email ICCA is icca@cs.rulimburg.nl (Membership/subscription is Hfl. 60).