How to study chess: the best learning techniques


We know that we should use deliberate practice to improve in any field, but it doesn’t tell us how to study chess. What are the best techniques for learning using deliberate practice?

how to study chess

The following video is about the best techniques for studying. The context of this lesson is studying for college, but it is applicable to chess or any other field.

This video is an hour long. It is well worth watching, but if you don’t have time, here is a summary of the main tips:

  • Study in 20 to 30 minutes periods. At the end of each session it’s time for a treat: 5 minutes of fun! This is because our attention span is on average 25 minutes. After that our efficiency decreases a lot, but after a break we are back to almost 100%.
  • Have a dedicated space for studying. It doesn’t have to be a room it can be as small as a “study lamp” you switch on only when you study or it can be setting up your chessboard. This prompts your brain for work.
  • If you are learning facts, use mnemonics (for example CCT to remember to calculate all the checks, captures and threats). If you are learning processes, an understanding of the concepts is usually enough to remember them.
  • Use active learning: quiz yourself (solve puzzles or guess the moves of a game), explain the concept to someone else…

These are the main tips on how to study chess. There are other principles in the video (but I didn’t find how to apply them to chess) as well as a lot of examples which will help you remember the learning techniques.

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