WatchBot can help you improve your chess. It can be used to:
- conduct PV Exercise;
- save notes for the teacher (or for own analysis);
- learn from better players.
PV Exercise is one of the Dan Heisman Exercises (see point 3.2 on that page for details). In short:
After every your move you should record the expected principal variation (a few following moves you expect) and your evaluation of the resulting postion (just some mark who is better and how much, using either standard chess marks +-, +=, =, =+, -+, or engine-like numbers, say +0.5 or -2.0). For example (you start from expected opp reply):d5 exd5 Qxd5 Nc3 +=
Make those notes immediately after making a move (on the opponent's time but without any additional thinking).
Write them after every move, also (especially!) when you do not see anything forced. The only possible exception is early opening.
If possible, play against a friend who is also executing this excercise.
After the game, you should replay it, comparing those expectations to what actually happened in the game and comparing your evaluations to the evaluations of your preferred engine. If your opponent did the excercise, consider also his lines and evaluations.
Note that you should compare evaluations after the variation, not before it. Even if you guessed wrong.
This excercise improves evaluation skills (you train and then verify your ability to evaluate who is better) and teaches to always consider the opponents possible moves (you must write some expected opponent's reply).
(if you use BabasChess, just display the communication pane below the board, select Whisper from drop-down, and write comments there).
WatchBot preserves information how long did you think about every move, this is also valuable information for the teacher.
Learn from better players
Quite a few strong players comments the games they play, or the games of others. You may use Dan Heisman Exercises page).
You may not rely on the high quality of those annotations, there happen comments with mistakes or miscalculations, so it is best to use them sideways the engine analysis. But fairly often they bring something Fritz or Rybka are unable to offer - human plans, evaluations and considerations.