When I blogged about my NED last week, some people suggested that I re-start on some old hobbies, and that it should help. So I have started to try play chess again. I haven’t found (and haven’t tried to find) any human opponents, hence so far i’ve been playing with the comp.

Also, a couple of days back, I stumbled upon this website, which seems to have an excellent collection of great games. And in an excellent format in which I can follow them online. And it’s all available for free. And the best part of the site is that it seems easily searchable, and also that the games are classified by openings. So in the last one day, I have “seen” Spassky trapping Fischer’s queen after he took the “poisoned pawn” (Reykjavik 1972), and the Capablanca-Marshall game in 1918 where Marshall (albeit unsuccessfully) unleashes the powerful Marshall Attack.

Looking at grandmaster games is one way to get back to the game. The other is by actually playing. And i’m looking for opponents. I’m not looking for humans right now – i don’t know when I’ll have time to play and for how long, so I don’t want to pain anyone else. Maybe once I regain my touch with the game, I’ll start really playing.

For now, I need a computer opponent. So can you please suggest some good (preferably free) computer programs? Right now i’m using a system called Arasan which i’d found somewhere long ago. Decently good, but I’m sure there will be better stuff available. Or if you are in Bangalore and have some good programs, I can take it on CD also – it need not be online. The system should have a good display, and I should be able to use the mouse to make moves. Then, it should allow me to specify the opening so that I can practice specifically. And I should be able to adjust time controls, and also the level of difficulty.

Any ideas??

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