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Spaced Repetition Explained: Elevate Your Chess Game with This Powerful Technique


14 February 2024

Imagine studying for one of the most critical exams of your life, feeling the weight of each topic you need to master. That was the scenario my girlfriend faced as she prepared for the MSRA exam as a Doctor in the UK. The stakes were high, the material vast, and the usual flash cards weren't cutting it. So we decided to implement spaced repetition with the cards, and it worked so well that it inspired me to integrate it into our chess training site. So what is Spaced Repetition, and how does it work?

What is Spaced Repetition?

Spaced repetition is a learning technique that involves reviewing material over increasing intervals of time. It's not just a study method; it's a scientifically backed approach to enhancing memory retention and recall. At its core, spaced repetition leverages the psychological spacing effect, which suggests that information is more effectively remembered if learning sessions are spaced out over time rather than crammed in a short period.

When you get something right, you don't need to review it as soon as something you don't know. And getting this right repeatedly demonstrates a deeper understanding, allowing you to push that repetition out even further!

Benefits of Spaced Repetition in Learning

The benefits of spaced repetition extend far beyond memorizing chess openings or academic study. It's a versatile tool that can enhance learning in any field. By aligning with the brain's natural learning processes, spaced repetition maximizes memory retention, making it an invaluable method for students, professionals, and, of course, chess enthusiasts looking to improve their game.

Applying Spaced Repetition to Chess Training

Chess, with its intricate strategies and countless opening variations, presents a perfect application for spaced repetition. Recognizing this potential, I integrated this method into our Chess Openings Trainer. This tool not only teaches you the moves but also ensures you remember them through strategically timed repetition. It's like having a personal chess coach who knows exactly when you need to review each move to lock it into your memory.

Couple this with our "Natural Play Learning" and you're off to a winner!

The Spaced Repetition Schedule

Implementing spaced repetition effectively requires a precise schedule. Our Chess Openings Trainer uses the following timetable to optimize learning. Each time you get a line correct, you progress to the next interval ensuring you're always shown the line just at the right time. If you get it wrong however, you reset back to the start!

  • 10 Minutes
  • Four Hours
  • One Day
  • Three Days
  • One Week
  • One Month
  • This schedule is designed to reinforce your learning just as you're about to forget, strengthening your memory and understanding of chess openings over time.


    The journey from discovering spaced repetition as a study aid for a medical exam to implementing it as a cornerstone of chess training has been incredibly rewarding. This learning technique has the power to transform how we approach memory and learning, offering a path to mastery not just in chess, but in any discipline.

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