The trend today is doing chess exercises or puzzles/tactics on online platform such as LiChess or It is convenient and fast.

There are several reasons why puzzle books curated by humans tend to be superior to automatically generated or selected puzzles and tactics from databases:

Context and relevance: Human curators can carefully select puzzles and tactics that are not only instructive but also relevant to specific themes, strategies, or skill levels. They can provide context and explanations that make the puzzles more meaningful and impactful for learning.

Quality control:
Humans can filter out low-quality or trivial puzzles that may not offer significant learning value. They can ensure that the puzzles are instructive, challenging, and free from errors or redundancies.

Coherent progression:
Skilled authors and curators can organize puzzles in a coherent and progressive manner, gradually increasing in difficulty or focusing on specific themes. This structured approach facilitates more effective learning and skill development.

Instructional value:
In addition to the puzzles themselves, human-curated books often include instructional text, annotations, and strategic explanations that enhance the learning experience and provide deeper insights into the game.

Storytelling and narratives:
Some puzzle books may incorporate narratives, anecdotes, or historical context around the puzzles, making the learning experience more engaging and memorable.

Aesthetic and artistic considerations:
Human curators can select puzzles not only for their instructional value but also for their aesthetic appeal, favoring elegant or creative solutions that showcase the beauty and artistry of the game.

Tailored to specific audiences:
Puzzle books can be tailored to specific audiences, such as beginners, intermediate players, or advanced players, ensuring that the content is appropriate and valuable for the target skill level.

Human expertise:

The process of curating puzzles and tactics involves human expertise, intuition, and a deep understanding of chess principles, which cannot be easily replicated by automated systems.

While automatically generated puzzles and tactics can provide a large volume of practice material, they often lack the nuance, context, and instructional value that human curation can provide. Well-crafted puzzle books, created by experienced authors and curators, offer a more comprehensive and enriching learning experience, combining practical exercises with theoretical insights and strategic guidance.

Of course nothing wrong with combining the best of both worlds and combining books with online or app exercises. That is, if you have the time! 🙂

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