If you want to train for pattern recognition, your best resources are an iPhone 5 with Chessimo, ChessQuest, and Tactic Trainer, and Chess.com. Work tactics daily, and you will improve your pattern recognition with a resulting improvement in chess skill.If you want a thorough understanding of chess, and the ability to raise your OTB rating over 1600, books and/or a coach are necessary. Books cost less.
“Thanks guys - I guess I am more of a visual/auditory learner so yes videos would work! I asked the question because I was wondering about the role of natural ability (pattern recognition) - it helps to know that most of you are up for formal learning to compensate for any issues with natural ability. So that's pretty cool."
Ah, so there is where the problem lies. I don't believe our OP has problem with books only on the medium of learning chess that he can effectively assimilate the ideas and or pattern recognition among others... Well if you accept my unsolicited advice you might want to read a book aloud and have it audio recorded. Then you can listen to the playback anytime and anywhere you wish to study with a chessboard in tow. Maybe some chess books have audio recordings, you can always try, and in this way you may loosen up a bit and may absorb more ideas easily. I hope this helps.
Cool ideas all. Wala.. It's a learning style thing. Not like I have ADHD or something, but yeah a/v plus real board feel would make it a more kinesthetic experience and make pattern recognition easier. Cheers!
My usual tecnique is to have my friend who is better play me, beat me and then explain how that system works and I sort of learn a little, enough to be interested to read the right book sometimes. I really am lazy.