Some Chess Trainers have a sweet tooth for memorizing games while other view it as a total waste of time. Some argue that the number of games memorized is a good substitut measure for playing strength.
When reading Frisco Del Rosario's excellent book "A First Book on Morphy", I decided to give memorizing a try. What could be a better party trick than replaying a Morphy game from memory?
It was a somewhat strange experience. Memorizing the moves was somewhat easier than I first expected. However, The move order was more or less forgotten in a day or two.
I gave it another try but this time I spent more energy on the "whys" of each move and that was the magic trick! Yeah, the game still didn't get stored properly in my gold fish memory but I was convinced that I got a somewhat deeper understanding of the game itself. My conclusion is that trying to memorize canonical chess games is indeed a nice way to spice up your DIY chess training. I honestly thing that trying the mixture of "whys" and pretending to memorize the moves did give me a deeper understanding of the game studied.
Del Rosario has another book out and it looks very promising. The introduction in "Capablanca: A Primer of Checkmate" should be required reading for all DIY chess improvers. I will get summarize my full impressions of the book as soon as I have worked myself through the text.
This time I will do it more carefully. The clear annotations in the Morphy book ofter lured me into the lazy "Learning by nodding mode". This time I will replay the games from the book in Old Fashioned "Guess the Move Style" before enjoying the notes.