One of the problems with studying via nothing but a computer screen is that nothing tends to stick. I think there’s a clear reason for this in that the mind is not fully engaged when just looking at an image of a chess board.
On the other hand the act of moving chess pieces around a board activates more areas of the brain so as to make the experience far more vivid. I think this equates to the act of writing things down during the revision process which is known to massively help retention. And during my trading days Victor Niederhoffer also advised me that writing down the prices greatly enhanced one’s ability to see patterns.
I think the process can be improved further still by using a quality chess set. With our aesthetic sense stimulated I think we conduct chess study with heightened attention. And this in turn improves our ability to learn.
Which chess sets are the best? For my money there’s nothing better than a good quality wooden Staunton set with weighted and felted pieces. Where can you get one from?
One great source is the Regency Chess Company based in Frome in Somerset. The company was founded in 2008 by Julian Deverell who spent much of 2007 travelling around Europe and Asia and establishing relations with high quality suppliers. I recently acquired a beautiful set from them which was delivered by Fedex the following day. And I figure it’s going to become a big part of my life!