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Creating flashcards

Without having to go into a summary of a memory course, one of the most important ways to learn is repetition. It's very easy to view courses once or twice, and then go on to something else and a couple of months later to have forgotten most of it that you've not used in games. One of the problems of revising is keeping things convenient that it's quick and easy to review when you need it. The other thing is managing what you need to review (things you forgot should be look at more than ones you remember). Again this is spaced repetition and other tricks to help here.

One system to do this is the flashcard system. It's described in the book 'Chess Master At Any Age' which has some neat ideas in it (although the flashcards are the best), but the main point is a symbol system (he trademarked it) that makes it easy to draw positions. Alternatively it's possible to get stamps of the pieces which correspondence players would have used, but symbols are way quicker.

Here is a link to an image showing the symbols:

Note you don't have to use filled / unfilled, I use red pen and blue (felt-tip) pen which stands out over a printed board (you could also hand draw a board as in the image, but printing looks neater).

The cards themselves, should have a title, the position and who is to move, and some comment, possibly some analysis or the line (but too much and it defeats the purpose of a quick review). You can make them small to carry in a deck, but I prefer large and in a folder (although maybe I'll print some smaller ones for things I need to review often0. I used to use this as a method to review things long ago before I moved to a database (PGNs), but I feel databases aren't so useful for learning from and are hard to review and you need your computer..

I've attached a pdf of the paper I'm printing to make flashcards from the chessmood openings. It has a main board, and 3 smaller boards. I use the main board for the main position of the (sub) line and the 3 boards for further moves or analysis. This works well so far, but the real proof [of the pudding] will come when I start trying to revise from the format - so how good it is to help remember chessmood openings I am yet to see. However feel free to try it and see if it works for you.

Also you can use the same thing to take notes from the other courses for review later rather than having to find them again in the videos.

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Mistakes in the 1600-1800 range (from 1900 perspective)

This was part of a question I wrote to on chess.com (a waste of time posting it). Posting here is in response to how to study for 1600-1800 players question, though I'm going to ask my original question in a separate post.

When playing people in this range (plenty of league games have players in this category) I noticed a number of common themes that if the players worked on, they would be on their way to 1900:

It's clear that (aside from playing 'underrated' junior players), most players a good step below my rating fail to win games (or let me draw games when I mess up) for usually the reasons I've listed below.

I'm ~160 ECF and commenting on players somewhere in the range 130-150 [my FIDE is lower at ~1850 and in that rating pool, so perhaps commenting on players 1600-1750]:

Opponent plays something 'safe' such as an exchange variation or London system. Not that there is a problem with those in a repertoire to avoid lots of learning, but it's often clear the opponent also doesn't know it as well as they should (especially what plans to adopt, what their and my objective are), plays stock moves and comes unstuck later. As that's their White opening they should know it better than I do.

Draws are when I mess up and save the game, not when the opponent is outplaying me. The opponent doesn't know how to build on or consolidate an advantage I've given them through poor positional play or not understanding the requirements of the position.

Their tactics are weak and they play often to avoid them in the earlier stages of the game. Often just by keeping going a tactical blunder may appear.

Their endgame knowledge is poor and is often why I save losing games or end up winning.

They don't sometimes consider what I'm trying to do. I remember a game where my opponent fell into a basic trap: a 160+ player is unlikely to leave a piece en-prise [long play that is] unless in time trouble. Lack of tactics training or being able to calculate or visualise may be the cause.

Lack of trying to win (or hunger for a win) - see opening play. Perhaps the grade difference is scary. I make mistakes too, but unless I'm being set problems I'm not going to make many. This may be why 'underrated' juniors seem to play better than their grade

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