Only Chess Forum

1.  Ian709
In the learning
11 Jul '07 17:08
Is it more beneficial to (for example) do 300 different tactics problems or do 50 over and over until they're mastered?
2. 11 Jul '07 18:08
Is repeating tactics helpful at all?
3. 11 Jul '07 18:30
Originally posted by pwnguin
Is repeating tactics helpful at all?
Have yo uever used flash cards in school to help learn something?
4. 11 Jul '07 18:30 / 1 edit
Originally posted by Ian709
Is it more beneficial to (for example) do 300 different tactics problems or do 50 over and over until they're mastered?
Definitely 50 over and over until you master them is better (for me). What's the point of doing 300 if you keep forgetting the solutions? Keep it simple, for now, though. Like learning the two and three piece attacks first rather than messing with the 5 and six piece attacking combos. Those can be very complicated and are probably rarer to find in games; it's better to wait until you've mastered all the 2 and 3 piece attacking combo.'s first. (for example, queen, rook, knight attacks/ queen, rook, bishop attacks, etc.) But this is only my opinion. Maybe some will disagree.
Best wishes.

-- Paul
5.  Ian709
In the learning
11 Jul '07 19:08
Originally posted by Pavlo87
Definitely 50 over and over until you master them is better (for me). What's the point of doing 300 if you keep forgetting the solutions? Keep it simple, for now, though. Like learning the two and three piece attacks first rather than messing with the 5 and six piece attacking combos. Those can be very complicated and are probably rarer to find in games; it ...[text shortened]... cks, etc.) But this is only my opinion. Maybe some will disagree.
Best wishes.

-- Paul
actually, I'm just cycling through the first 50 in 1001 Winning Chess Sacrifices and Combinations. It's funny though how Fritz sometimes gives a subtle move as better than the given solution
6. 11 Jul '07 21:46
Why don't you cycle through all the pins with white to move instead? 50 seems like a kind of arbitrary number and doing things by theme is probably better.
7. 11 Jul '07 22:35
Yeah, but isn't the point of a tactics problem to test your solving skills?

To use your flashcard analogy, is it better to teach kids how to do long division or to make up flashcards with random things like "546 divided by 3" and hope they figure it out in time so when the test comes up they can do 56337 divided by 3?
King of all Hills
11 Jul '07 22:38
touche
9. 11 Jul '07 22:53
And before you say anything about pattern recognition, I want something more than quoting the de la Maza guy. Yes, he did do very well, but because there was no control subject we don't know if he would have done better or worse with 7000 different problems, rather than 1000 repeated 7 times.

Also, in his case, after 1000 problems it would be quite hard to remember the first problem, whereas after 50 I think after a few times repeated you would have most solutions memorized.

The question is not "Will repeating 50 problems I have already done increase my tactical abilities?", it is "Will repeating 50 problems I have already done increase my tactical abilities more than doing 50 new problems of the same difficulty as the first set?"
10.  Ian709
In the learning
11 Jul '07 23:56
sometimes going through problems I've done before, I don't remember the position that well, or know the answer immediately, but do have a better idea of what's going on in the position than I did the first time. I think that this is more helpful than just doing a problem, failing, and ignoring it again forever.

and suddenly I find myself wanting to play a game with pwnguin, meh.
11.  Ian709
In the learning
12 Jul '07 00:07
Originally posted by pwnguin
Yeah, but isn't the point of a tactics problem to test your solving skills?

To use your flashcard analogy, is it better to teach kids how to do long division or to make up flashcards with random things like "546 divided by 3" and hope they figure it out in time so when the test comes up they can do 56337 divided by 3?
and I'm not doing it with "random flashcards" The first 108 problems in the book (ok I'm cheap so I just downloaded it but still) are all based around the theme of pinning. I'm just cycling the first 50 for now, going over them 2-3 times before moving on to the next theme.
12.  anthias
ambitious player
12 Jul '07 00:22 / 1 edit
This repetitive habit seems to me as if you are afraid of forgetting what you learn. You should solve a tactic problem only once, and finish the book first. When I say solve, I mean slowly and completely, including main and side variations. It is really hard at first, but after a book or two it becomes second nature.

Only return to a book after a certain time period. Solving 50 problems 3 times only wastes your time. If you really solve a puzzle, it means that you understood the position shown and acted accordingly to it. Always try to prove that your solution wrong, and if you fail then you have your answer. No need to solve it again. Chess may be mostly tactics at our level, but it is not all tactics.
13.  Ian709
In the learning
12 Jul '07 00:24 / 1 edit
Originally posted by anthias
This repetitive habit seems to me as if you are afraid of forgetting what you learn. You should solve a tactic problem only once, and finish the book first. When I say solve, I mean slowly and completely, including main and side variations. It is really hard at first, but after a book or two it becomes second nature.

Only return to a book after a certain ...[text shortened]... No need to solve it again. Chess may be mostly tactics at our level, but it is not all tactics.
Ahh, now that makes perfect sense to me. Except for that last sentence.

EDIT: nvm it was edited