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Here is an example https://chess-tst.000webhostapp.com/chess.html

The task is to rearrange the diagrams in order (use drag&drop).

Do you think this activity could be useful for exploring and revision of chess tabias at the beginner\pre-intermediate level? As a part of opening preparation.

  • Glorfindel, thank you for correcting my spelling errors! – asm0000 Dec 24 '17 at 11:18
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Nice fresh idea! I would not use it exclusively for opening training, but whatever works for your target group. Could be fun for younger players I guess. A few problems I see with this approach:

  1. When doing the exercise I was basically only looking for small changes from the previous diagram. I mean, for me it did not matter at all that I was looking at a chess board. It could as well have been a series of paintings (with incremental changes) or anything else. If people solve it the same way as I did, I doubt that they get much out of the puzzle for chess.
  2. I found looking through nine diagrams already quite time consuming, so I guess getting very deep (say 20 moves) is not very pracical.
  3. Including side lines seems impossible unless you create a puzzle for each side line, however in that case you would lose the connection between them (i.e. that at move x you have options a, b and c...).
  4. IMO, beginner players should focus on learning general opening principles, the reason behind making those moves and typical plans in certain pawn structures. Your approach seems to train learning lines by heart, which I don't find useful, because they'd be lost immediately once they are out of book.

Perhaps puzzles like these could be more useful for tactics or for basic endgames!?

Or perhaps, for slightly advanced players, it could be useful to have something like this, not move-by-move, but only showing relevant positions (tabiyas) skipping over intermediate moves.

  • Hi! Thank you! I am thinking about creating puzzle sets grouped by opening line sidelines. And I agree that this won't work for long lines (10+ moves). My idea is to use these kind of puzzles for drilling when one sometimes has just to learn by heart (of course not for substitution of learning general priniciples and studying classic games in an opening). – asm0000 Dec 24 '17 at 10:36
  • There are many ways to avoid sidelines in an opening, one of them is making unsound moves (so called hope chess moves) when player hopes that uprepared opponent... I've run out of characters, will reply in the following comment – asm0000 Dec 24 '17 at 10:54
  • There are many ways to avoid sidelines in an opening, one of them is making unsound moves (so called hope chess moves) when player hopes that unprepared opponent will get into a trap after making natural looking development move for example. So these puzzles might be useful an addition activity when learning an opening. Learn main line and general ideas from books with annotated games, and drill tricky moves through puzzles. – asm0000 Dec 24 '17 at 11:04
  • And I like your idea about making it more challenging by skipping intermediate moves and giving only critical and important positions randomly shuffled. I am also thinking about using this stuff for chess miniatures. – asm0000 Dec 24 '17 at 11:10
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I like it! I think this is a good way to study an opening line through active learning. It's too easy for me sometimes to just skim through a line in a book and then forget it when I can use it in an actual game.

  • Hi! Thank you! Yep, that's what I am trying to implement - more active learning. When studying an opening, even with real chess pieces placed on wooden board and paper book, one often becomes to make moves mechanically and gets "an illusion of learning ". So this may help avoid "passive learning" trap. – asm0000 Dec 24 '17 at 11:16

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