Saturday 20 November 2010

About the Author

I currently live in Yorkshire, England.  I am 61 years old and have played chess on and off throughout my life.  My best performances were about FIDE 2,000, but I have not played for 15 years now.  Goodness knows what my current playing strength is - but FIDE 2,000 (or its English equivalent) would be a very good achievement.

I injured my foot rock climbing earlier this year, and had to spend a lot of time lying on my back with my foot on a pile of cushions, and started to look at chess again.  Since I could not sit up at a board, I solved a lot of problems.  I did not do quite as well as I did 15 years ago, but what was most striking was that, for the most part, I got the same problems right and the same problems wrong!

I became interested in finding a more effective way to do tactics training, and this became a project in its own right.  If I could find a method that worked on me, it should work on anyone!

Aside from chess, I studied physics at university (Imperial College and Cambridge) and have retired from a career designing and developing computer systems.


  1. I dont know, if your method works on anyONE ( it should, i think ), but i am more fascinated that it should work on anyTHING, meaning : Strategy, Opening, Engame, Thought Method and so on.

  2. I'm a new chess player and I've really enjoyed your blog. Like you, I plan to work through the tactics books Dan Heisman recommends. Based on your experience, how do you recommend that I--someone who can dedicate 1 hour to chess drills per day--space my repetitions? Further, are there any books I should read before I begin spaced repetitions of tactics exercises?

    Alexander C.

  3. I would suggest repeating at intervals of one week to one month. More closely spaced repetitions contribute little to long term memory. I would suggest you tackle one or more of the single volume introductions. A World Champion's Guide to Chess, and The Right Way to Play Chess both have good reputations. Look at the reviews of these and similar books, and buy a few and see which one suits you best.

  4. I just stumbled across this blog whilst searching for a review of Chessimo; this looks very interesting especially as you have previously reached a level I will probably never get to; I have been playing chess 'properly' for just over a year! I enjoy my chess learning but want to make it more effective...

  5. Very nice blog !!!
    I'm looking for chessimo tactics, do you think it will be useful for a 2100 ELO player or its only waste of time ??

  6. I have only at the first Chessimo tactics module, but I get the impression that it is a good collection of problems at a good price. I suggest going through them once, recording the problems that you found instructive.

  7. I really enjoyed your experiments and I modeled my own tactic study after your system.

    I got around to posting results today. it would be interesting to see how the results compared- since we did the same book (Polgar) and roughly the same way.

    I'd be interested in chatting about how your dealt with inaccuracy, as well as any comparisons you might draw between your experiments and my own.

    I've published my results here: