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When studying, use a book. Not a computer, and not an engine. NEVER, EVER use an engine when studying, you will learn nothing, no matter how hard you think you are trying.
I fail to see why it is important to use a book instead of a database. It is the same moves, and the database makes it easier to go back and forth and write notes.
At a high level (IM and up), a database might be even better than the book, because some authors go to great pains to pick games and/or lines which fit their narrative. This is especially a problem for books on black repertoire. In one book I had, the author gave a long line and then said "unclear" or "with chances for both sides" - which was total BS. White was just winning. What was especially funny was that the line is actually okay for black, as long as he doesn't do the "exclam" move recommended by the author.
At a lower level (FM and below), all of the book narratives are perfectly okay to go along with, and provide a great deal of knowledge for those players.
just like to thank those who took the time to right this thread
Thank you for creating it!
IMpfren is quite correct, of course. Pretty close to 100% of non-masters who "study openings" spend way too much time on them, to the detriment of their overall game, and then wonder why it is so hard to progress.
But that isn't the question of the topic, really . . .
I tend to play the same range of things in every form of chess, except that in OTB tournaments I don't play some of my more dubious lines very often (but still sometimes!).
I always use casual, blitz, online, and correspondence games to work on new stuff, or refresh myself on stuff I haven't played in a long time. I find it the best way to figure out particular lines, by playing them in all settings.
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