First of course congratulations to Sir Pale Morning Dun, fear of the trouts, who just in a graceful way entered the Hall of Eternal Fame. He will be an example of endurance for youngsters everywhere in the world.
Further I decided to add Bahus to the Hall of Eternal Fame, because he did a DelaMazianlike program and he regretted he didn't join the Knights Errant earlier. We have to be benevolent to late converts.
I have done a lot of thinking and research lately, trying to find out the cause of my debacle last week. It's really an intriguing problem. I have experimented with the microdrills this week, but I'm now pretty sure this will not take the cause away.
Internet provides more good advice than one can handle. . .
For example the advice to manage your time well. Of course it is a good advice, as is the case with most advices.
Though it works against the symptoms, it doesn't take away the cause. And that is what really interest me.
So I have to find out what aspect makes me so slow.
First I thought it were positional patterns which I was lacking. But experimenting with Strategy 2.0 proved that that was not the case. What took me so much time during my games was different.
Then I thought it were the microdrills, or some sort of "extended microdrills" what I needed.
Experimenting with those convinced me that that will not help me either.
Being a former computerprogrammer I always look at a way to put knowledge into an algorithm. I can't help that, it's just second nature. Since a lot of you Knights have an ICT-background, you will know what I mean. With chess-tactics this is an extremely frustrating habit. The fuzzy knowledge of tactics and the complexity of combinations always tend to slip tru your fingers.
"Look to underprotected pieces" is such fuzzy advice that's not gonna help you in practice.
"Look at the characteristics of the position" is another one that drives me mad.
But now I believe I have found something. A starting point where to begin with when evaluating a position. The question you have to ask yourself in any given position, looking for tactics, sounds extreme trivial.
But I assure you, it will help you to focus.
The question is "which enemy piece bears the most responsibilities, has the most important function?"
I tested this question with 63 problems, and in 62 cases it lead me to the solution.
The one where the question did not work was a clearance problem.
Of course this need further testing, but this at least looks promising.
The 63 problems came from Intensive Course Tactics from George Renko and were of mixed themes.
Of course this is not a panacea, but it is a start.
Now I will show you a position, that took me 1,5 hour to solve, in spite of knowing where to look, thanks to the question.
It is a bit embarrassing, especially when you all see the solution within seconds, but what the heck, isn't chess about ego and elo?
It's a clear cut example what sort of problem hamper my play.
To make me humble I have to tell you that I have done this problem already 6 times, the last time was about two months ago. Though I recognized the problem as "this one I have seen before" I couldn't remember the solution at all.
Looking for the piece that bears the most responsibilities is easy, that's the black Queen. Defending f7, Bd6 and Nb6.
White to play.
Can you find it (without cheating)?
After I found the solution I didn't understand why it took me so long.
It's really a very simple problem!
Here you can see why an advice as "work on your timemanagement" is not gonna work for me.
If this simple problems take me so much time I have to work on the cause!
What kind of training is gonna help me to solve this sort of problems faster?
Since I did this problem already 6 times earlier, I am not working in the most efficient way, to say the least. I'm am going to experiment with this.
The approach of CD and King looks promising, so that is what I am gonna try first.
Which means two alternating minicircles of the same problems. One concentrating on understanding of the pattern and the other concentrating at speed.
To be continued. . .
Making a Plan – Setting and Achieving Goals
15 hours ago