Doing the Tactics Homework - (how I try anyways)

Sep 23, 2013, 2:07 PM |

so we all know Tactics are one of the most important (if not THE most important) things a person can do to improve their game - we all LOVE openings - which is why openings books come out so much, and of course, they can always be re-written to incorporate new theory, and we're also told that endings are important, but let's face it - tactics are where it's at - in his book "the Wisest Things ever said about chess" Andy Soltis says until you hit 1800, your first name is tactics, your middle name is tactics, and your last name is tactics....good advice

Dan Heisman recommends doing easy tactics until you've got the patterns memorized - he also recommends using one book in particular - Bain's "Chess Tactics for Students" as a repetitive motif until you can recognize most of them in 15 seconds or less

in the past, I had flashcards - (and yes, I cut up my Bain book to make the first 400) - I'm going thru some other books now, but I've come upon a new approach using Chessbase - I can set up a Training database and review each problem individiually - I can cut or paste in new problems or sets as I find them, or patterns I didn't recognize before, and just start blasting thru them.

I have done a video for where I show how this is set up in chessbase and I have moved my Bain Tactics set over to that - you can watch that video at

My other thing that I'm going to try the next two weeks is 20 minutes of unrated tactics training -(problems set up from 900-1250) followed by 10 rated problems - I tend to stagnate at at 1600 rating but I want to see if I can get a new high after exercising my brain on the easy stuff and then ramping up

will report back in 10 days to see how we've done