I live in a small town where there had been a total of 2 tournaments during last 5 years and 0 chess clubs, hence I have almost nil experience playing OTB chess. But sometimes I set up a board and play with my family. I have noticed that I miss a lot of tactics and obvious mates which I couldn't have missed while playing on Lichess. Also, I can't calculate properly OTB. I am shifting to the national capital this year where hopefully I would get to participate in OTB tournaments.

Is it a normal problem for those who play predominately online chess? How do I go about improving my OTB play?

  • 1
    When playing online, as tempting as it is, don't rely too much on drawing arrows. Try to visualize the board in your head and visualize the moves. This is because OTB you can't draw arrows and are forced to use your brain when it comes to calculating complex positions.
    – ALK003
    Commented Mar 18, 2021 at 18:13

1 Answer 1


One suggestion I have seen for how to improve learning when studying openings and tactics is to involve the other senses. This involves not just using sight, looking at the position on a computer, but also setting up the position on the board and playing through it (touch) and (for openings) saying the moves out loud (hearing) as you play them.

I was a bit sceptical when I read this but your experience backs this up. The obvious way to address this problem is to follow the advice and set up tactics problems on a real board so you practice "over the board".


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