Email 14: And so it begins ... down to business!

Date: May 7, 2011

First Name: Graham
Last Name: Wadden
Country: England
Subject: And so it begins ... down to business!

Hi Ken,

I go for the "better education" route any day ... the games will come and will be better from having learnt how to plan and adapt, for any given position.

After all, in the army, new recruits aren't sent into battle straight away, not until they've gone through some form of basic training ... that's precisely what I've been looking to study, which is why I've not sat down and had a proper game of chess, despite having put up all those chess focussed pages on my website.

Okay, down to business!

With regards to my COA program, without some of the efficient features of modern programs (e.g. pasting in FEN notation, etc.), I wonder whether it'd be more efficient, for the time being, just to focus on learning from Point Count Chess and using a program to easily handle the swifter processing of the PGN files and commentary?

Despite the extra analysis my COA program provides, I realize the current limitations and regularly turn to Fritz 12 for quickly setting up positions and playing through games from pgn files (e.g. from

Once I understand all of the aspects of the Point Count Chess system, and once you've refreshed your memory with the system, it'll be easier and quicker to determine which elements would be suited to adding to the COA and which, if any, would probably be impossible to program.

I'll go by whatever you recommend, since you've had way more experience of chess than myself. I know I can add comments into Fritz 12 and the pgn file copied takes the notes as well. It would just be case of identifying who makes the comments, if we're going to be updating the same file (that would be as easy as putting our initials before each entry: GW, or KW, respectively).

Also, when it comes to keeping track of games, commentary, notes, etc., if we use the same file structure then it'll make sharing and joint analysis more efficient. Again, I'll take your lead in the formatting of that.

And, not trying to land everything on your plate, but sure I'll accept your volunteering to find the games on the internet - you'll know what you're looking for more than me, at this stage!

So, first things first ... how do you propose we set about the analysis of Point Count Chess (formats for commenting; filenames; etc.) and, shall we begin with Chapter 1? May as well take it right from the very start, as we'll get the opportunity to discuss and record our thoughts on matters such as the "Material Point Count" (book page 11; pdf page 10) and the list elements covered by the Point Count system ("Positional Point Count Table", book page 8; pdf page 9).

Best wishes,