Learning by quick play Einstein forum

6 replies. Last post: 2006-09-13

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Learning by quick play
  • Ingo Althofer at 2006-04-03

    The board game “EinStein wurfelt nicht”

    came to market (in hardware) late in 2004.

    Some people took a rather “scientific” approach

    when getting stones and board: For their very first

    games they took a loooot of time, thinking minutes

    or even hours about each single move.

    My proposal was (and still is): Do it just the

    other way round. Play your first 10 or 20 games

    as quick as possible. Don't count the wins or

    losses in this early phase. Instead, simply

    play, play, play. A beginners game should never last

    longer than 10 minutes. (And even master's games

    seldomly take longer than 3 minutes.)

    For LittleGolem such an advice is problematic.

    Especially, when you are not time-synchronous with

    your opponent, a game will typically take several

    days or even weeks.

    But… there is another website, where EinStein is

    typically played very quickly (online and live, so

    to say). It is


    Registration is necessary, but easy, harmless, and

    without cost. Most people write German there, but simple

    English is understood (and welcome).

    This is not meant as an advertisement for “inetplay”.

    It is not necessary that you play there for the rest of

    your life. But as a beginner, in a few EinStein hours

    on inetplay one learns more about the game than in

    several weeks with LG.

    Especially, on inetplay you always have only one game

    running at the same time. Especially for absolute beginners

    this is much easier than the always changing positional

    snapshots on LG.

    Ingo Althofer.

  • fjb at 2006-08-26

    Sorry, but I have to disagree.

    Fast games never did anything to improve my game wheter it be Go or Einstein.

    Actually, the reason I play here and not on inet is that games here are wonderfully slow. So I have time to consider my moves. I only learn from considering positions. In fast games I have no time to think.

    Go actually is a better example than Einstein. I can replay a slow game where I thought about the moves afterwards but after a fast game that is impossible. That means I didnt understand what I was doing.

    But when there is no thought about the moves it doesnt matter wether they where good or bad. I wont remember anything after the game anyway. I cant learn that way.


  • Robin at 2006-08-26

    I more or less agree with Ingo. Especially, when you are new to a game, you should play a few dozens of quick matches (against somebody who is slightly more experienced). That way you can assimilate some basic strategy and “tricks and traps” very quickly.

  • David Milne ★ at 2006-08-26

    Play your first 100 games as fast as you can. The faster you play, the faster you make your mistakes. In your first 100 games the more mistakes you play the faster you learn :-)

  • Theo van der Storm at 2006-08-27

    1. Lacking publications on EinStein WN strategy and tactical ideas - I should do this some time. - the novice player has to learn from playing and perhaps some expert games, so the first learning phase is about discovering basic concepts like: “stone speed depends on the set you have” and “always play with a sense of urgency”. IMHO Ingo is right here.

    2. The next learning phase should be to get a deeper understanding of the relation between tactics and winning probability. Also adding some advanced concepts: zugzwang, run-or-protect decisions and optimal stone sets, e.g. 1256.

    When you learn about the latter, you run the risk of UNlearning “always play with a sense of urgency”“, in which case you have to RElearn that again!

    3. The third learning phase whould be about understanding strategy (coherent opening play, self-capture, working with sub-optimal stone sets and confront-or-avoid decisions)

    What fjb writes is known to be true in chess. I think it applies to EinStein too and mainly to phases 2 and 3. However the time-scales are not the same. 2 minutes in chess may be comparable to 15 seconds in EinStein.

    Experienced EinStein players from inetplay will have developed an intuitive playing style taking into account the phase 2 and 3 learning targets.

  • fjb at 2006-09-13

    Theo is right in his comment about intuitive play. If you want to play fast, an intuitive understanding is a must. But for me gaining my mediocre understanding took only the games here. Playing fast games would have cost me probably 10-100 times as many games to learn as much. This evens the time scales quite a bit.

    Granted, then I would have an “intuitive” understanding instead of a “theoretical” one. Then I would be able to play a fast decent game, which I cant now. But I doubt it would appel more to me.

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