The game of chess is a game of strategy and anticipating the next move of your opponent. But what if your opponent is not a person, but a machine? You can't read your monitor's face to try to figure out what it's thinking, so here are some basic tips on beating computer chess at its own game.
Once you get it down you may find that playing chess against a computer is slightly easier than playing against a real live opponent. This is because computers are programmed to make certain moves and typically have a pattern in which they make those moves. The computer "knows" all possible moves and will "think" about all possible moves and outcomes before deciding on a final move. It will often settle for a move that does not result in a capture in order to give a sense of subtlety to the person playing it.
One basic tip that may be overlooked by most players is to also make subtle moves. Do not go for the big captures because this essentially puts up a red flag on the computer's end and prompts it to make a big move as well. Instead, try "tempting" your computer with a piece such as a pawn if it would potentially endanger one of its other pieces. Since your computer is incapable of thinking strategically like a human being, short term moves are to your advantage.
Another great strategy, once again involving a bit of subtlety, is to try to avoid direct contact with the opposing chess pieces. This gives your computer the opportunity to put itself in a bad position because it is unable to see a direct threat. This approach gives you the ability to plan more of a sneak attack. Here is where your cognitive abilities also come into play. Your computer chess may calculate many possible moves as well as their outcomes, but it lacks the ability to decipher which moves are more important than others. This puts you at an advantage since you are able to decide which pieces you can live without when deciding your next move.
Your computer also lacks the advantage of long-term planning. While it may spend a great deal of time calculating one specific move, it does not plan ahead like a human does. Beating your computer chess program may seem like an impossible task, but all it really takes is some basic knowledge of how your machine works.