Bringing chess books to life: introducing the new features that make it possible.

By David Kramaley / On / In Chessable news, Features

Today is a special day that marks a massive milestone for Chessable. We have taken a remarkable print chess book on openings and made it available on Chessable as a fully interactive online course. This has been part of our vision since day one, and it is now a reality. Our first release is Vincent Moret’s “My First Chess Opening Repertoire for White“, and there will be more to come.

So many great chess books written are often only found in print form. Sometimes they have an electronic copy, PDF or PGN. However, nothing quite compares to having them on Chessable. Here they are imported and curated into an interactive lesson that allows you to dig in and start studying at your maximum potential straight away.

On Chessable, beyond reading, not only do you get to drill the recommendations of highly regarded trainers such as Moret, but you also get to quiz yourself on the material. With the help of spaced review, you maximise the chances you will retain what you have learned. Confused? You can also askĀ the in-house chess master, or the community, questions about any position in the book. You are not alone.

We aim for this to be the start of a series of exciting Chessable releases, where we take classic and acclaimed print books and release them here to help you maximise your learning potential. What’s your favourite opening book? What would it mean if you could have a second copy here on Chessable so that you could drill the things that matter most? Let us know!

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We are so excited about the possibilities, and of course, to make it happen, we have had to address some challenges and come up with a few new things.

Here are some new things you will notice around the site that will benefit every book on the platform:

Soft error/alternative moves calculated by an engine.
Even though 4. Nc3 is the text move, you are now free to try other engine approved moves.

Previously, we had this working for endgame books. For endgames, we checked the tablebases and allowed you to play any of the winning continuations. Now, every book can tap into one of the world’s strongest chess engines and check every single opening and middle game position for equivalent moves (eval difference up to 0.20). Therefore, if you play something other than the text move, you will not be penalised with a mistake. Instead, you get to try again. In this manner, you will not only learn the main line recommended by the book, but easily start to recognise and remember viable alternatives. We are testing this out with a few books on the site, before rolling it out to every single book.

Interactive tactics/puzzles can now be included in Chessable books
An example of some puzzles in Vincent Moret’s “My First Chess Opening Repertoire”

For instance, the Moret book offers 64 puzzles that test the knowledge you have acquired. These mini quizzes fit in perfectly with the Chessable format. Moreover, now you do not have to turn a book’s page to find out if you have answered correctly, you can simply get solving! We will soon port this new addition to the 100 Endgames You Must Know book, which has some problems suited to this new format.

Fully explore a position by clicking on the sub-variations where necessary
An example of how the new in-chapter navigation looks

This not-so-new, but now refined feature, allows you to click on a move and change the board position during learning, review and view modes. This has been a long overdue feature that became essential when converting variation heavy print books into Chessable format.

Informational lines (read-only) learning flow changed

Most of us like to learn a book on Chessable simply by clicking the Learn Next button. Previously this would skip all the informational lines, which sometimes are very important. With this new change, the informational lines will be presented to you as part of your normal learning flow. If you do not feel like going through them, you can click Skip and move on.

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As always, there have been many other changes around the site, big and small. We have fixed bugs, written new features, simplified parts of the site and more. We’d bore you if we wrote about it all. So to summarise, taking a book from print to fully interactive online course has been a great challenge! It has helped us shape Chessable for the better. As we continue to bring you more of these books, we are sure Chessable will keep getting better and better. We cannot wait for the next one. Stay tuned šŸ™‚

Making all of our interactive chess books better than awesome.

By David Kramaley / On / In Chessable news, Start-up life

In his best-selling book Zero to One, billionaire entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel said that:

Itā€™s easier to copy a model than to make something new: doing what we already know how to do takes the world from 1 toĀ n, adding more of something familiar. Every new creation goes from 0 to 1.

Boy is he right! Many of the things we have done at Chessable have been taking us from 0 to 1. When we started, we had some idea of what we wanted to make, but we could not foresee everything. The more we listened to our community and used the product ourselves, the closer we got from 0 to 1.

These inherent difficulties of creating a new product, combined with bootstrapping and a lean approach, meant that some of our first chess books were lacking just a tad of love. Some features were developed months after the release of these books. While many of these features get automatically rolled out when we write them, some require a bit more human touch.

Because we want every single book to feel like the best chess learning experience you have ever had, today we are announcing our plans to revamp many of Chessable’s oldies. We have begun by completing a new quality assuranceĀ of John Bartholomew’s Scandinavian, the classic #teamscandi book.

With John’s book, we have checked all comments for accuracy, added missing comments in some locations, got John to clarify certain positions, improved annotations, re-ordered variations for better study order and more. We have added informational and alternative lines where appropriate, and all in all made sure that the learning experience is up to today’s higher standards.

We plan to work on Chessexplained’s books and GM Alex Colovic’s books next, to allow for the same awesome experience in all of these excellent books. This is not to say they are not great as they are, as the many 5-star reviews will attest. These books are already awesome, but we want to go beyond that!

If you have already bought the book, as always, you will receive all the updates for FREE. However, to reflect the extra work that goes into making exceptional interactive eBooks, some of them may have to have a slight price increase. John Bartholomew’s book was a steal at $9.99 and from today on it will cost $14.99.

However, to give you a chance to jump on board #teamscandi we’ll run a 5-day sale at $7.49. Half price. How’s that? Enjoy (and don’t miss out!).

You can grab John’s book here:Ā https://www.chessable.com/opening-book/im-john-bartholomews-scandinavian/79/