I am currently re-doing a book of tactical exercises. I have not seen some of the exercises for longer than a year, and when I look at the position at first it seems new and I see nothing, until it clicks and I remember the solution. It is not through calculation, I just stumble upon it and remember it. I of course verify my "guess" by calculation, but once one know it works it is not hard.

I was wondering whether it is even worth going through a book if this is how I solve about 95% of the exercises, it feels a little like cheating and I should do new exercises. But then I think: Is this not how it is supposed to work? If a motif appears in my game, I will get the same feeling that something is there, and that is what the point of my training was, and by going through the book again I will reinforce the patterns.

3 Answers 3


I think it is a sign of greater awareness of certain patterns and positions. So my answer is Yes, I do think it is a sign of improvement.

I doubt that there is anything wrong with going back through an old chess book, even if you remember everything -- rather I think it is good; it is something that I have done quite often as well. It will certainly reinforce what you already know. I would advance and get more exercises to work on, but you will find that all the previous exercises that you have done will help a great deal with your new exercises.


I think that's a best case, not having to think about a combination, but 'knowing' it.

It's not a sign of improvement, but it's a definite plank in the platform.

  • How much more do you expect from answers to yes/no questions, dude. Was I unclear about 'no'? Sep 18, 2020 at 0:42
  • Are you the sole judge of sufficient depth, or is there a panel of judges for artistic impression and technical merit? Sep 18, 2020 at 1:12
  • @friscodelrosario Yes, there is a panel of judges, actually. It consists of every member of the site, and they can click the up or down arrow.
    – D M
    Sep 19, 2020 at 23:05

memorize? no!!

intuitively understand and execute without thinking then yes.

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