An Important Tool
Cody, Claire, or Boris. Those that have played Stroud Chess before will be aware that these three names represent increasing levels of skill that said opponents will have when you’re practising against them. This is what Stroud Chess – and indeed being proficient at the game in general – is all about: practice. No matter how much natural talent you may have for the game, there is no substitute for the kind of repetition and valuable practice that Stroud Chess will allow you to engage in.
Whether you’re using it to hone your chess skills for use in a World Chess Federation competition or you’re just a casual fan of the game that doesn’t known a Rook from a Bishop, Stroud Chess is an easy-to-control, well-designed practice tool with opponents of varying difficulty to help you sharpen up your chess skills for use in true competition or simply against your friends.
Stroud Chess keeps things as uncomplicated as possible in terms of its gameplay. At the outset, you choose between the game’s three difficulties and whether you wish to play as the black or white pieces, and then you’re treated to a game immediately. After making your choices, a standard chess board appears on the screen with you and your opponent’s names across the top and information about all the moves played in the game taking up the right side of the screen.
The match itself is played entirely with the mouse. Simply click on the piece which you want to move and the potential locations to which it can move are highlighted in green on the board. This is one of the gems of this game since this green-highlighted move feature allows beginners to visualise the potential positions that they can move their pieces to, and in the long term this can lead to a better and more practical understanding of the functions of each of the pieces on the board. IF you really are a beginner however, it may pay to look at some literature on the game’s basic rules before you go facing off against the medium-difficulty Claire or the extremely difficult opponent known as Boris. A great resource for the rules can be found at The Chess Website.
Save for Later
Arguably one of the most useful tools that Stroud Chess has in its fairly limited arsenal is its ability to record each and every move any particular game for use later on. Each move you and your opponent makes is recorded on the right of the screen in shorthand code. This may not sound useful at first, but this allows for more experienced players to go back through each move of the game, providing potential for match analysis. This is of course only truly useful to the more proficient players out there, but it is a useful feature nonetheless. Even more impressive is the fact that you can save and load move lists, allowing you to look back on your failures and successes. This effectively makes Stroud Chess the great training tool that it is.
Experience chess players shouldn’t be looking to Stroud Chess in order to hone their skills. After all, this is a game that is based on a fairly simple chess engine that cannot be a substitute for professional practice partners. It can act as a great starting point for beginners however – you can even undo moves made in Stroud Chess, which demonstrates it is not a truly professional take on the game - and its simple interface makes it very accessible. You can decide for yourself whether this is a worthwhile chess game to use as a training tool by visiting www.stroud-chess.org.uk and experiencing it for yourself.