As beginner chess player I need an advice from more expert players.

After one month I will partecipate to an OTB tournament and I want to improve my skills doing tactic exercises.

Is it useful to do the tactics on a real chess board or it really doesnt't matter and I can do the tactics visualizing a chessboard on a computer screen?

I don't have too much time to dedicate to the preparation, every tactic exercise takes some time to prepare the real board, so, if the benefit is not evident, maybe in the same amount of time I can do more tactics in front of a computer.

What do you think about?

  • 3
    It could be nice when people vote -1 to motivate why
    – g3k0
    Sep 2, 2021 at 16:40
  • Personally I find that OTB I miss things that I might see online when I have been playing a lot of online. This could partially be just the difference between casually playing online at home and in a tournament setting 😅
    – vanblart
    Sep 2, 2021 at 17:51
  • 1
    My tip for the poster: try to visualize it completely in your head. Begin slowly: what color is f3? Imagine the Shepherd's Mate. And so on. Sep 3, 2021 at 9:02

2 Answers 2


When working on tactics I like to make a distinction between working on improving visualization and improving pattern recognition. For me, when I'm working on pattern recognition I work on problems that are simple (combinations that are 1, 2 or 3 moves - mostly forced lines) and I use the computer or a tactics app. I expect to be able to solve these problems in less than a minute. Trying to solve as many problems as possible in the given time.

I've found however that using a physical board helps me with visualization training. I use much harder problems here: Problems that would take me 5 minutes or more to solve.


Yusupov is very clear in his books that all the positions should be set up on a board. I often find that problems I'm unable to solve in a book/on a screen are solvable once I've set them up on a board. Also, many trainers/coaches state you should replay games on a board, rather than clicking through them on a site.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.