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How do you all feel about a good ol' chessboard vs. a computerized board - not one that plays the games, just a computerized version of a board where I can move the pieces as instructed and follow along. I'm wondering if the ability to quickly go backward and try different moves is a worthwhile learning aid.

I have mixed feelings on that subject. There is both a convenience and a mental exercise tradeoff. The computer program will make it easier to go back moves to the position where you started looking at variations; but using a physical board forces you to exercise your memory for the position where you branched off. You get reminded when you can't reconstruct it from memory, so you have play through the game to that point to get it back.

Then there's the scenario of playing from a position given in a book rather than playing through a whole game. While you will be able to set up the position on the computerized board, it will be clumsier than setting up the position on a physical board. If you'll actually do it, no big deal; but if it means you go through 3 positions from a book in the time you have to spend instead of 10, it's making your chess study time less efficient.

I suppose the real determining factor is, which will you actually use? Using the computer board is superior to not doing anything because the physical board doesn't fit easily on your desk!

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