The chess engines are too strong and always beat me. How can I adjust the difficulty level to make them weaker?
The simplest way to get that effect is to make sure the XBoard/WinBoard Auto Flag option is off, set a very fast time control so that the chess engine can’t think for long, but take as much time over your own moves as you want. Also feel free to use Retract Move if you make a blunder. Many chess coaches will let you switch sides after they get a stronger position so that you can get experience playing positions where you are winning. You can try this with XBoard/WinBoard by using the Machine White or Machine Black menu command to make the machine take over your position. The -depth command-line option to XBoard/WinBoard can also be used to weaken the engine (see the man page or Help file). It’s a bit of a nuisance to set command line options in Windows, but see topic [C.7] for instructions. Other ways of weakening engines are engine-specific. Many of them let you adjust various parameters, and if you choose bad settings, the engine will play more poorly. Consult whatever documentation
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