Happy New Year to my readers!!! (Sorry for being a month late, I have been occupied by other issues lately.)
I have written a review on Chess Openings Wizard, an advanced piece of software predominantly used for learning openings and managing repertoires.
Here’s a response to a visitor’s question:
Hi GP: I learned to play chess many years ago. I want to improve my game. What do you recommend as the best method to study, board and pieces with books or use a computer. I ask because I see a lot of strong players online, but OTB play is where the proficiency level is determined. When I use a physical board and pieces it becomes a drag to constantly change to the many variations explained from the books and computer monitors. Your input will be greatly appreciated. Tevans2737.
I was never a fan of using OTB pieces to study books. I preferred watching video lectures such as those on the software Chessmaster (latest edition is known as Grandmaster Edition). Nowadays, you will find a lot of younger players watching DVDs (such as those from ChessBase) rather than reading books. When I did read books, I liked to play over the variations on the computer (using software such as Fritz) rather than using a physical board. This way, you can check the annotator’s tactical accuracy against a chess engine.
That being said, I am sure some of my very highly-rated chess friends from the same era love to read books and would use a physical board to do so. I am just meticulous about this kind of thing because I really despise tactical errors (you will find quite a few in older books), so I much prefer to ‘read’ a book by entering it into Fritz. However, the way you study really depends on the amount of time you can devote to chess. Chess DVDs are relatively efficient if you do not have too much time to commit. If you do decide to watch some DVDs, be sure to take a look at some endgame and middlegame ones and not just opening DVDs (a common trap for improving players)!