The summer is ending friends (for us in the northern hemisphere anyway) and that means one thing for a lot of people – back to school.
For many that means packing their school bags with the latest gear.
For us chess improvers, it might mean the end of vacation and time to get back to studying.
We’ve compiled a list of back-to-school tips to make your chess training more efficient, which we think will come in useful given everything else going on this busy time of year.
Chessable’s spaced repetition schedule is a good way to train backed by science, but of course everyone is wired slightly differently and may have different goals, so you can customize the way you train based on your preferences.
There are two more scheduling options available in addition to the standard spaced repetition, “Cyclical” and “Custom”. If you enter a course’s chapter page, there is a sidebar on the right-hand side entitled “Course Settings”. Scroll down a bit and find “Schedule” near the bottom. Chessable Spaced Repetition will be enabled by default, but click the drop-down menu and you can choose the other two options.
This option allows you to set a cycle for when your moves are up for review. For example, if you set it for 2 weeks (the Woodpecker time frame), every 2 weeks your moves will come up for review.
It’s particularly useful for cyclical tactics training courses like The Woodpecker Method.
For those who want to tweak their training schedule as much as possible, the Custom option allows you to choose how quickly the gap between reviews increases.
A new feature introduced this year, Priority Lines narrows down the lines you study in an openings course to those you’re most likely to face.
All openings courses have the option to select “Algorithm” priority lines, meaning that the priority lines are selected by an algorithm developed by Chessable that analyzes online openings databases.
However, many authors have selected the lines they deem most pertinent to study, giving you the option to select between “Author Selection” and “Algorithm”.
There are two ways to enable Priority Lines:
Go to “Learn” on your chosen course and enter the MoveTrainer® for a given chapter, a check box will appear on the pull-out menu on the left, allowing you to select “Priority lines only”;
Access the course Chapters page, scroll down to the Course Settings box on the right-hand side. On the Learn drop-down menu, select Priority Only
Read all about how to enable Priority Lines here.
Chessable Classroom may be the best-kept secret on the platform.
This unique interactive platform is ideally suited to teachers, students, and even streamers.
It’s like popular online meeting platforms such as Zoom but made with chess players in mind.
Basically, Chessable Classroom combines a shared chessboard with live video – allowing teachers and students to interact. What does this mean?
- Teachers may for example set a position on the board for students to study.
- Teachers may then give students quizzes on the position.
- The teacher then can then review students’ answers which only the teacher can see – in many ways making teaching more effective than in-person instruction!
Chessable Classroom is probably most known for hosting its Masterclasses from a multitude of authors on various topics.
Another great feature of Classroom is the ability to host live tournaments.
We’re currently working hard to expand the functionalities of Classroom, so keep your eyes peeled for updates coming soon!
What the Chessable Classroom dashboard looks like
Check out the Chessable Classroom homepage.
One great thing about Chessable is you don’t just buy a course and that’s it – courses are interactive and constantly updated with live forums and position notes all learners can comment on and authors can respond to. You sure don’t get that with a traditional chess book.
To comment on a position, enter MoveTrainer® and you will see in the bottom right a speech bubble. Click it and you can make comments on the position and see other comments from the authors/other users.
You can also use the Position Notes to make a private comment for yourself.
Have you ever found a position in a game you wish you could study on a Chessable course? Perhaps you’re preparing for a tournament and know your opponent’s pet opening and would like to prepare against it.
The Search by Position feature makes all this easy as pie.
On the Chessable course homepage, simply scroll down and on your left, you can find this feature. You can enter the moves yourself or enter the FEN if you know it, and voila! You can find a list of courses that feature the position you’re looking for.
Not only can you search all Chessable courses by position, but you can also search for a position within a specific course.
Sometimes you might not want to learn the full depth of a line in a course. This is often the case when you want to get acquainted with the first few moves of an opening variation, rather than studying the full line.
To adjust how deep you’d like to learn a line, simply go to course settings on the right-hand side of a chosen course and click the “Depth” drop-down box. This will allow you to select how many moves deep you wish to study a line.
If you want to make your learning more challenging (or easier), or just prefer a bit of flexibility regarding how many moves you learn at once, then the teach chain option is particularly useful.
What teach chain does is allow you to set the maximum number of moves to teach before the first quiz. Set the number higher to make training more challenging, and lower to make it easier.
To find teach chain, you must be already in the MoveTrainer®. Go to the bottom right and click settings (a small cog).
A window will pop up. Click the “All Settings” tab on the right and under “Learn” you will see the option for adjusting the teach chain.
Directly above the teach chain feature is teach presentation.
There are two options here, “Show” and “Navigate”. “Show” allows you to go through a variation by getting an overview without going into the individual moves straight away, i.e. automatically animating it. “Navigate” allows you to click through the moves at your own pace and to move back and forth.
One of the coolest options Chessable offers is the ability to create your very own Chessable course by uploading a PGN file or entering the moves directly into Chessable.
This can come in handy for several reasons. You can use it privately to prepare against opponents in an upcoming tournament or to create your own custom opening repertoire.
To do so, on the Chessable main page, click the “Tools” drop-down menu and select “Create a Course”.
From here you can select the title of your course, the type of course (openings, tactics, or strategy), and for what color pieces the course is for.
The easiest way to do this is to have everything prepared beforehand by uploading a PGN with annotations, arrows, etc.
To find out more, visit https://www.chessable.com/newcourse.
It’s a feature that’s been a big hit with Chessablers. Long-time Chessable user ZukertortsGhost had the following to say about this unique feature:
“I wonder how many Chessable users realize that they can create their own courses from pgn files. The uploading and sorting process is pretty intuitive, once you have that down, you can create courses literally at will. For individual study, this is a great feature, as you can focus on whatever you need to study. For chess teachers, this is a phenomenal tool. Imagine being able to create personalized opening courses for your own students! I have been doing this for years now, and it is the primary thing I would stress to anyone who does any coaching and wants to get the most out of Chessable.”
We hope these features help you fine-tune your Chessable experience. We recommend going in and trying them out what works best for you. As always, happy learning!