Monday, December 16, 2013

John Bain - Chess Tactics for Students

Book #1 in my speed training plan.  Empirical Rabbit outlined his plan for this book along with his stats.  388 problems with the goal being 85% correct in 15 seconds or less.  Using Anki for timing is a bit inaccurate as it doesn't stop the timer at the point you click "show answer".  Between that and a quick glance at the answer to make sure I was right, I estimate about 1-2s can be added to timer on certain problems.  It's a small price to pay since my historical times per card are saved.  For this problem set, I downloaded a pdf copy of the book and used the Windows snipping tool to add the diagrams to Anki.  Don't freak out, I own a copy of the book that I purchased legally.  If that breaks some kind of copyright, I don't feel bad.  I paid my money and I'm using his book.

My spaced repetitions will follow this pattern.
Repetition 1: Day 0
Repetition 2: Day 1
Repetition 3: Day 3
Repetition 4: Day 7
Repetition 5: Day 14
Repetition 6: Day 27
Repetition 7: Day 52

So I'm adding 1, 2, 4, 7, 13, 25 to the current date.  On day 5, I start repetition 1 for the next set as well. I use Google Calendar to keep track of when I should be revising a set since the scheduling in Anki can get wonky sometimes.  Word of advice, if you are scheduling repetition 4 days away, but you have a choice of 3 or 5 in the software, take 3.  It's easier to just wait until the 4th day when all cards become available.  Otherwise you have to go into the deck and reschedule the ones you need for today.  Not a huge hassle, but something to be aware of.  I have not finished this book yet as I just did repetition 2 for Set E today.  In 4 days I will have done all of the problems in this book at least once.  I am not as fast as Rabbit is with his training, but from what I gather from his posts, I spend a little more time on the problem verifying alternate defenses and I don't give myself partial credit if I got the first couple moves correct but didn't get the entire solution.  OTB you aren't trying to solve the problem in 15 seconds and you have time to catch a small mistake, but I'd rather be hard on myself in practice than have my opponent be harder on me OTB.

I seem to be showing steady improvement in sets I haven't trained yet, much like Rabbit.  My Set 1 Rep 1 times are throwing things off since I hand timed those and my results were much better than any other reps I've done since.  It wasn't until set C that I was able to come close to my results in set A, and set E before I was able to pass it.  But excluding that, things look good.


  1. Hello.
    Can you plz share the pdf version of the book. Thanks!

  2. Or may be you can share your ANki set ? I'd even buy it if possible. Thanks!