There are many ways to work on chess, but if you give me 30 minutes to improve my game, I’ll do focused work on difficult exercises. To me, this is the most fundamental form of chess training, apart from playing. And yet, the more players I work with as a coach, the more I find,
Lots of good advice in this post from Nate. A few extra points:
1. After doing an exercise, whether 2D or 3D, flip the board and do it again to see how it looks from the other side. Many people focus on a tactic they want to inflict on an opponent, but it's equally important to see a tactic that's about to be unleashed against you! Defensive tactical vision is a critical skill.
2. Isolate and review any tactics puzzles you got wrong. I use Chess Tempo mostly, because after each puzzle you can download the pgn for it. (Lichess doesn't have this feature.) The individual pgns of each wrong puzzle can then be merged into a composite pgn. That way, you can build up a bank of puzzles you didn't solve the first time and which need reviewing.
3. As Nate says, mixed-theme exercises are better than a lot of exercises on the same theme. They work the brain more skilfully. The first type is called interleaving, the second is called block practice.
Learning research is conclusive that mixing themes (interleaving) is a better, more efficient way to learn.
Here's a video explaining the difference. It's from a Stanford Phd who specialises in learning and cognition. His Youtube channel has some great insights on different learning strategies.
Can I ask where you got that Chess table?
Can you share some thoughts on the chess tactics for champion book as might consider getting it
Nice read, thanks! I'll add “Evaluate Like a Grandmaster” book to the list. 😀
Great stuff as always. It’s hard to do the little things right, but it’s important!
I'm very much against studying tactics via books. I think the option to review the puzzle with an engine (as you can do on Lichess) adds a lot to the experience.