Wednesday, February 23, 2005

There is something strange with thoughtprocesses

During the last six year, I felt from time to time the urge to tie up my thoughtprocesses in a conscious system. To get more grip on things.
But unvariably the same thing happened:

I made a clear and good sytem with usefull points to do during a move.
When I brought this in practice during a few weeks I forgot about the system.
Thinking it over after a month or two I noticed that I followed the system in a subconscious way, "automatic".

This seems to correspond with my findings in my post a few days ago about "understanding and ability".
First I use the new developed system "with understanding", later on, it is etched into my brain and it becomes an ability, hence subconscious.
When it is subconscious you have the feeling that there has been no progress at all, but in fact you improved.
For example, when I started with tactical exercises, I had never heard about a double attack.
I decided to look during every move if there were unprotected pieces.
After some time I seemed to have forgotten about double attacks. But I almost never missed one anymore.

So all you systembuilders out there, be prepared for some disillusions. You will improve, but you will never have the feeling to have grip on matters, nor will it be conscious.

In theory are theory and practice the same, but in practice they are not.


  1. I played a kid last night who is 10 years old and is rated 1583. My guess is that he will reach master level and maybe even grandmaster level before he's through with his chess career. He had won every game, rounds 1 - 5, and then he faced me.

    I took an early advantage against him and had him on the ropes for just over half of the game. Then, I could see it coming...a weakness in my thought process that is contributing to my recently developed drawing mentality.

    My problem was this. I had the advantage. It was a temporary, but solid development advantage with a strong initiative. However, I wasn't able to figure out how to properly convert my temporary advantage into a permanent one. So, I tried a few things that were fairly obvious that allowed him to defend sufficiently and equalize. Then the pieces got traded down and was a draw. I think I need to take extra time in the future at those junctures, because it is apparent to me that those situations are critical points in the game. They mark the difference between a win and a draw.

  2. It seems to me that you just didn't see the tactics on that moment. What is a different cause then a drawish mentality. This happens often when your opponent is equally strong/a little stronger. Developing a feeling when to draw is an important skill. I make a lot of draws, in spite of the fact that I would learn more when I played through.
    It inspires me to train harder because I think: when I throw him of the board the next time I haven't to worry about being drawish.

  3. Hey Temposchlucker

    I was wondering what your thought process was. I was also wondering if it was difficult to internalize the process.


  4. GK,

    I don't know anymore which systems I used, but any system made with common sense will do.
    The internalizing was so simple and automatic that it was kind of disappointing. But the things I learned this way bcame part of myself. About 3-6 times during a game there is an irresistable urge to scan around the whole board for LPDO (loose pieces drop off), forks, DA's, attackable squares etc.. Or the mnemonic DAUT (don't analyze unnecessary tactics)comes to mind. You can't steer those things, but they come always exact on time. Because of this your level rises, your opponents become better, and you will have other troubles. So much of this happens unnoticed.

  5. Interesting post, very thought provoking. I never heard of DAUT before.

    One "thought process shift" I have been partially successful in incorporating is a last moment blunder-check before moving. I still need to be more disciplined in doing it, as once in awhile it does help.

    CelticDeath, did you annotate it? Sounds like a close one.