Calculation on Chessable

The latest Quality Chess book available in the Chessable format is GM Jacob Aagaard’s Calculation. If you are interested in this book in this format then it is best to act within a week, as it is Chessable tradition to offer the course at a reduced price for the first week.

If you have bought any of our books in Chessable format then I am interested to hear what you think about it. This is only the third book we have put on Chessable (after The Woodpecker Method and Small Steps to Giant Improvement) and so far feedback seems highly favourable.

31 thoughts on “Calculation on Chessable”

  1. They are all really good in this format. I’d say The Woodpecker Method provides the most value given the way Chessable trains the user using spaced repetition. I have no idea if memorizing and reviewing the exercises/examples in Small Steps or Calculation will provide significant long term benefit but I certainly hope so!

  2. I got into an argument on the Chessable forum where I felt publishing the Woodpecker Method on Chessable was a bad idea, since the method and the platform are in a method conflict: The point of the Woodpecker method is intensive, even exhausting repetition, while Chessable’s (and SuperMemo’s, Anki’s etc.) spaced repetition is all about economy in learning: Learning lots of stuff with exactly the frequency of repetitions needed, no more.

    In the end it may not matter much, as it’s likely both methods work. And I did end up buying the book on Chessable anyway! There was a tantalizing pledge that “if the course reaches 1,000 students in the first month, we promise to add yet another feature: custom spaced-repetition intervals (Stretch goal!). If we can get there, it means this book can override Chessable’s default recommendation of spaced review intervals and set it to exactly what the authors recommend.” – which would have been fantastic and even useful for comparing the two methods scientifically. But despite good interest the stretch goal wasn’t reached. Anyway I guess both companies are fine with nobody knowing for sure which method is best…

  3. My main reason for getting the Woodpecker anyway was it’s an excellent collection of exercises. What can I say, I’ve come to always expect quality from this publisher! As for the other two QC+Chessable books, I already had both in hardcover (which I reserve for chess books I reckon will be instant classics).

    I feel tactics, opening repertoires and endgame theory are particularly well-suited to the Chessable format, so you may want to consider that if you’re going to put more books on there. Also Rios’ Chess Structures has been heavily requested on their Wishlist, and I would love to see that.

  4. Woodpecker method is really well suited to Chessable. I’m not so sure about the other two titles (I think Chessable is more useful for remembering common short patterns), but I haven’t bought them on Chessable (I have them in book format).

  5. I have several books on Chessable, and I think it is a good service. Of course some books translate better than others. Generally I think it is very worthwhile.

  6. I have some non-QC books on Chessable and was not too thrilled. I see the point for Opening books, but only for a lower level of ppening books. I cannot imagine it is suitable for Negi or Avrukhs books, as you would loose sight.

    For Woodpecker (which i have on Forward Chess) it might be perfect, but for Calculation (good old Hardback) I also donot see the point, but of Course i may be wrong

  7. @boki True, something like the Grandmaster Repertoire series would be a lot of information. However, Chessable has an option for you to learn only the important variations instead of all of them. If QC can select just the main lines as important to study, I think it would be manageable.

  8. I bought The Woodpecker Method on Chessable. It’s OK but the Move Trainer is very basic and does its own thing; it does not use the woodpecker method.
    I bought an openings book (not a Quality Chess book) but I returned it because the Soft-Fail Moves implementation was so unreliable.
    They are aiming to upgrade their Move Trainer around the middle of this year, so I suggest you wait for that.
    If you do wish to release more Chessable books before then, I suggest you try the ones that you sell most copies of.

  9. Soviet School :
    I tried Chessable and maybe I am using it incorrectly but it seems mind crushingly boring

    Could you expand on why? A lot of the content there is based on material also published as paper / ebooks / video lectures. Meaning it has the original content PLUS the training features, ehich you are of course free to not make use of if you don’t like them. So it’s hard to understand logically how the same content could be more boring on Chessable than in other formats. The lowest possible assessment should be “equally boring”?

  10. An Ordinary Chessplayer

    @Stigma – As someone who does not use Chessable, I find both viewpoints valuable. It’s like one of those feature comparison charts. Which boxes does Chessable tick compared to other formats, and for boxes that are *only* ticked by Chessable, how well does it work?

  11. I have just started using Chessable and am working through 100 Endgames you Must Know which seems to be their most popular book. I think it is a very useful program (although whether it is better than Jacob’s suggestion in the Introduction of his Endgame Play to make a ChessBase training file of the positions I do not know!). One thought is that Chessable is expensive, particularly if you already have the physical book. Also, I like having the physical book to refer back to whilst going through the book in Chessable, and still love the physical feel of physical books, particularly of the quality shown by Quality Chess. So I would be interested if it has been considered whether the Chessable book could be purchased for an extra amount (less than current Chessable prices) at the same time as buying the physical book. I suspect many buy the Informator hard copy and disc at the same time for similar reasons.

  12. One other thought – I treasure my copy of the 10 hardback volumes in the Yusupov series and think that this is tailor made for Chessable. I see it is a very popular request on their website too.

  13. @Kinghartattack
    I like the physical book too. I bought a few Qc books on Forward Chess first and then ended up buying the physical copy as well. And as for tidy guru Marie Condo, (who thinks you shouldn’t have more than 30 books total) she’d have a coronary if she saw how many chess books I have. I’m sitting on 89QC books let alone other publishers. When the joists start to warp too much I may think of giving up. ?

  14. One thing I’ve taken up in the Chessable forum a couple of times is a lack of good courses on attacking play so far. There are many on checkmates (and other tactics), but that’s not quite the same thing.

    Coincidentally, Quality Chess have published three of the best and most systematic books ever on attacking chess! One by Gormally and two by Aagaard. Something to think about for Chessable in the future?

  15. @boki

    boki :
    I have some non-QC books on Chessable and was not too thrilled. I see the point for Opening books, but only for a lower level of ppening books. I cannot imagine it is suitable for Negi or Avrukhs books, as you would loose sight.

    I wholeheartedly disagree, Avrukhs d4-books would be fantastic on chessable. Wonder if that is actually going to happen anytime soon, though?

  16. I agree. There are now some high-level opening courses available on Chessable by the likes of Giri, Shankland and So. With 1500+ trainable variations. I’m currently doing two opening courses and I think the move trainer is fantastic. Some might call it boring, but for me it’s the ideal tool to memorize my repertoire. And the are ‘quick starts’ with around 50-100 variations. If you learn these you can already confidently play the opening. It would be very nice if QC opening books would also be available on Chessable.

  17. I’m doing Rios’ Chess Structures on Chessable now, and even though it’s not a great fit nor a great conversion for the format (you go through the games and then try to memorize some fragments of the games and variations) it’s already made me spend far more concentrated time with the moves of the games than I would have if I had the book on paper. You can’t “read and nod” if you get asked to repeat the line every few days, you have to understand the positions.

    I’m a sucker for gamification, I think.

  18. It’s not so much that I like Chessable, but as far as I can see it is the only plattform that currently allows me to conviently train opening repertoires and other stuff. In fact I see a lot of downsides with Chessable. You can’t use their contents offline, the quality of editing is rather poor, I dislike their aggressive marketing strategies, I’m afraid of a possible monopoly on online chess content etc.The fact that they trademarked their movetrainer is laughable to me, as the Chess Position Trainer (and probably others) used the same concept of spaced repetition already a decade ago. I would much rather buy chess content directly from quality publishers such as Quality Chess and others to not cut into their profits. Maybe it would make sense for them to collectively develop an app that offers services similar to Chessable, although I understand it might not be viable from a financial point of view.

  19. @Ben – to a large extent Forward Chess is such a concept, it was started by a few chess publishers trying to pool resources to create an e-reader.

    And yes, we are planning to add spaced repetition to our platform. Maybe in a partnership with Chess Position Trainer, maybe from scratch. It is still early in the process, so it is a good time to make wishes and requests 🙂

  20. Funny, I was about to mention that it would be great if Forward Chess could add that feature. So here comes my wishlist:
    – Allow users to add and edit trainable lines, comment and customize training options.
    – As much statistics about learning progress, repeated lines etc. as possible
    – Inclusion of an opening database
    That said, I can live without all that gamification stuff. But that’s just me. Would love to hear that Mr. Renzewitz picks up his work on CPT again, that was (and is) a nice piece of software. Very much looking forward to your new features, let me know if you need a beta tester at some point…

  21. A few things I think would be useful for a trainer:
    1) Can either select a specific variation or have it presented randomly – play through entire variation and repeat it at spaced intervals as needed.
    2) Can also have random positions within variations presented with spaced repetition for any misses.
    3) Transpositions should smoothly go to the complete line, not just stop at the point where the transposition occurs.
    4) A hierarchy of content presentation – at the highest level only the most important lines (10-15% of the total), next level includes maybe 30%, next has 50% and finally everything.
    5) Statistics (e. g., gamification) will be important for showing progress and motivation.

    1. I generally have little trust in “random” training. In no other field would people do “random” practice. Tell this to a conservatory. This year the teaching will be random :-). I know this is a misrepresentation of what you say, but random means “lack of intent” as far as I am concerned.

  22. I should probably be more explicit in what I mean by “random”. It’s not truly random, of course, but chosen randomly from within your repertoire (assuming you’re training openings, which a lot of this will be).
    If people can always choose exactly what variation to see, then some will be favorites and some will be neglected. Choosing variations randomly from within the repertoire will ensure they all get trained.
    Then you learn a variation by going through it, then a few more, until perhaps you know ten different variations. Then you get presented positions chosen at random from within those ten variations. This will ensure you’ve actually learned the positions, and not just a canned sequence of moves.
    I’ve found all too often when always going through variations what you learn is the sequence (I play Nf3, Nxd4, Nc3, etc.) rather than I play Nxd4 because Black played cd4. Seeing positions chosen randomly forces you to look at the position, rather than just play the next move in the sequence.

  23. Andrew Ronald Brett

    Is there a difference between the QC book and the Chessable Course and what is the difference between this and the earlier non-QC Excelling at chess Calculation.

    Thanks in advance- as I want to buy !

  24. When Chessable offers a QC book, there is no difference in content – it’s just a matter of choosing whether you want it in physical/paper form or on Chessable’s platform.
    The Excelling book has the word “Calculation” in the title but is a totally different work.

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