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How can I tell what the approx Elo for the Computer is?

by Larry Wallace
(Monticello, FL, USA)

I live rural and have limited chess players in the area. I play the computer (6 months) and am not sure what the ELO for the various programs are.

I do not believe the IQ test or the ELO tests given online. Guess I am skeptic by nature. However I get thrashed hard by some and have some success by playing others.

For example on Chess Sparks I push Chad around pretty good but have limited success with Claire. That is just one example.

What is the deal with the online games and their skill settings. Or do some of the online chess programs have different styles ?….I am puzzled by them. What say you ?…Larry Wallace, Monticello, FL

Hi Larry,

I offer various online chess programs on my site. These are Flash Chess Programs, Java Chess Programs or Javascript Chess Programs. All these programs are programmed by different programmers and in different programming languages and this is the reason why they display different playing styles.

Chess Sparks is weak and plays chess openings incorrectly. It has different characters playing different styles. The programmer has adjusted the parameters in the code accordingly and has given different values to certain evaluation criteria.
This is the reason why it plays different styles. A style can be changed by a programmer to be more or less aggressive if he changes some values in the code, that’s all.

The playing strength of online chess programs cannot properly be estimated because they don’t play in serious tournaments or versus humans and nobody cares about them anyway as every chess player knows that commercially available PC programs are much better for learning chess and much stronger. So why bother about weak online chess programs.

A real chess player uses Fritz or any other Top PC chess program and does not fiddle around with online chess programs embedded in websites as these programs offer no features to learn chess, they don’t play correct opening lines by the book and are too weak to show you the “truth” in a specific chess position. As they don’t play by the book they are useless to learn important chess openings like the Spanish, the Italian or the Scotch opening and others.

It can be said that all online chess programs that can be embedded in websites play much weaker than commercially available PC Chess Programs like Fritz, Shredder and Rybka. The Elo-rating of these PC Programs is estimated fairly correctly as they are tested extensively since many years. They do play matches against grandmasters occasionally and it became clear that they are stronger than most grandmasters.

They offer a lot of features too, for example: Opening book, Adjustable chess playing strength, Coach functions, move explanation, Automatic game analysis and comments, (“Fritz” offers a database of 1.5 million chess games which you can update yourself loading games from the internet) and they are used by chess grandmasters worldwide.

So you enter a new world here as you can’t compare these Top PC Chess Programs above with online chess programs on my site or on other sites at all.

I hope this helps.

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