Friday, January 24, 2014

Chess Hero, where have you been all my life?

In a previous blog post about John Bain's Chess Tactics for students, I mentioned I was making a secondary set for diagrams I had the most trouble with.  I loaded a PGN file with just those diagrams into Chess Hero to see how it would compare to Anki.

Overall, I think this will be much faster than using Anki.

1)  I can very easily see my completion times for each problem.  Just gathering the data at the end of a big set usually takes up enough time to annoy me.
2) I don't have to worry about using Windows snipping tool to create diagrams to load into Anki.
3) The solutions are automatically computer checked.  You load an engine into Chess Hero and each problem automatically has the solution built in.  No need to go through and add the solutions to the backs of my flashcards then worry about errata.

1) I have to have a pgn of whatever tactic book I'm working with, and I'll likely need to make a profile for each set that I create out of that master pgn so I can control exactly what problems I get. That's probably still faster overall if the pgn exists on the internet somewhere.  I wasn't able to find an electronic copy of the Woolum book or a pgn file, so I had to make my own pgn file to load into chessbase to have diagrams to snip into Anki.  Don't ask me how much time that took; it was a lot.  Electronic copies and pgn copies of Bain exist, so that was very little inconvenience.

If this software were modified slightly to account for spaced repetitions, it would be perfect.  I know I could just go with something like CT-Art or Chess Tempo and not have to worry about that, but I guess I'm being stubborn about doing tactical problems from specific books and working my way up through those.

Anyway, it's certainly software that any chess improver should look into to see if it fits into their study plan.


  1. It is possible to use chesshero for spaced repetition training if you can do some programming. Chess hero generate a logfile with all necessary informations. Its "just" necessary to generate trainingsfiles by a program that reads the logfile.

    If you have some dollars the author might implement spaced repetition for you?

    An easy alternative:
    There are puzzletrainer with spaced repetition already build in:

    And there is the possibility to use the spaced repetition of customer sets at chesstempo

  2. I have also switched from Chess Hero to YATT because of the spaced repetition.