Too Much Mail, Obsessed with Chess Quiz

Sample question:

2. You are at a party where you don’t know anyone else. Do you…
A. Make a joke with the punchline “I can’t stand chess nuts boasting in an open foyer
B. Try to impress everyone by name-dropping Garry Kasparov and Magnus Carlsen
C. Stand in the corner reviewing the latest developments in Najdorf opening theory in your head


  • I recently got an unsubscribe from my chess tactics newsletter where the person left a message letting me know why they unsubscribed.

I always appreciate when people do this, because it helps me to know why they are leaving, and to help make the newsletter better if possible.  This person wrote:

Too many newsletters, every 2 days is too much, takes too much time to study them. Once a week would be better.

They are excellent, though!

My comments:

Thanks for the feedback, and complement!

I wish that there were a way that people could customize how often they get the newsletters.  Right now, I have it set so that each newsletter is sent automatically every other day.  I don’t actually mail them myself manually, but have an e-mail auto responder set up that does it. 

Personally I think that doing one chess tactics problem every other day is a pretty reasonable goal, especially if you are interested in improving your chess game.  If you really want to improve you should be doing much more than this.  Doing one problem per week, probably isn’t going to help much, but it is better than nothing.

To me doing tactics problems is kind of like going to the gym.  If you go once a week you probably aren’t going to see much of a difference or improvement.  You really need to go regularly, and push yourself.  With tactics study, you also have to do it on a frequent basis, and challenge yourself.

One option might be to set up an e-mail filter.  You can create a folder called “TacticsTime”, and then have any e-mail from me automatically sent to this folder.  Then if you find yourself with more time in the future, you can start to go through the e-mails then.

My guess too is that if the tactics problems are too difficult that you might want to spend more time on really simple chess tactics problems.  The Chess Mentor program offers problems that are really simple – such as making legal moves, capturing a hanging piece, one move checkmates, etc.

Most of my e-mail newsletters are designed for people that are rated at least 1000, and are designed to be a fun and painless way to supplement your tactical study.  Kind of like taking a Flintstones chewable vitamin for chess tactics :-)

Also, even if the problems are too difficult, I try to include fun and useful information related to chess and chess tactics.  These include:

  • Book Reviews
  • Player Bios
  • Tournament Reviews
  • Website Reviews
  • Movie Reviews
  • Ideas taken from the worlds of self improvement and psychology
  • Review of tactical themes
  • Unorthodox and goofy openings
  • Tips for tactical study
  • Review of basic tactical patterns and ideas

 Thanks though for trying my newsletter!  I appreciate it :-)

If YOU haven’t signed up yet for my chess tactics e-mail newsletter yet, use the form on the right hand side, or send me an email at letting me know you would like to join!

If you have signed up, be sure and tell your chess buddies to sign up also (although you might not want them building their tactical muscles!)

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