Thursday, September 19, 2013

Flash Cards as Study Book

Dan Heisman has many excellent articles in his Novice Nook series on The one that is pertinent to this post is "Getting The Edge". In this article he gives 14 things we should do to improve.

Number 12 is to create your own personalized study book in which you document mistakes you have made and how you think you can keep from repeating them. I think the flash card format is excellent for this, and it is my major use of flash cards. They compose the deck I review as warm up before tournament games.

As Heisman points out, removing negatives from our play is as important as adding positives (e.g. tactical patterns), and it can be harder.


  1. Newz: Have you taken a crack at opening trainers like
    Chess Opening Wizard?

  2. I have tried Chess Opening Wizard. I bought the basic version. For me, repeated study of lines does not help. I cannot retain it all. The full version of CoW supports spaced repetition, and several other techniques that may be more effective.

    In class tournaments the book lines are rarely played. There are so many good but not the best moves that early book departures or rare lines are the norm. I am focusing now on trying to better understand the basic ideas for the positions and only on memorizing the main lines.

    I played a game last night where my opponent played a rare move 5 in the King's Indian Defense.

  3. Thanks. I may try the $67 version.

    I find retaining lines difficult too, since (A) there are so many, (B) they tend to blur into each other, and (C) some lines are chaotically tactical.

    Interesting that class players still wander out of the book early. I thought perhaps with computers they would be more booked than in my day.