Sunday, June 19, 2005

The pieces of the puzzle fall together?

The pieces.

Piece 1.
As you can see here the ratings of most Knights are steadily improving.
If we compare this with the pace of rating improvement of DLM, our results look a little measly.
We still seem to do something wrong.

Piece 2.
Last tourney I had paltry results.
Analysis of the games revealed the following facts:
  • I fell victim to a lot of oversights. Especially when the board was crowded.
  • These oversights consisted always of VERY SIMPLE tactics.
  • These oversights ruined my plans everytime, so I had to start to make new plans. Which lead to time trouble.
  • Often I managed to control the damage by creativity and pure luck. Reason why I never saw these oversights as blunders. Which they actually were.
To solve my problems I looked in two directions.
First I tried to experiment with what I called "extended microdrills". This lead to nothing.
Second I thought I needed a database with special problems, like the ones I came across OTB.
But this is totally useless.
Because I fell prone to VERY SIMPLE tactics, often 1 - 3 ply deep, these patterns are already in my system.
I have to find a way to use them!!

Piece 3.
During the study of pawn endings I realized the importance of the INVISIBLE patterns.
You have to learn to look at the patterns of the squares and not at the pieces.
This is equally important in the middlegame as in the endgame.

Piece 4.
Quite a few Knights were busy to design their own "thoughtprocess".
I was inclined to think that this was useless, mainly because of the associations that the word "thoughtprocess" triggered.
The instruction of DLM to wiggle with my toes put me on the wrong foot.
Untill I realized that the importance of DLM's thoughtprocess lay in his initial words:
"I soon discovered that transferring my tactical ability to OTB was quite difficult."
That was the light in which his thinking rules had to be seen.

Piece 5.
To design a working thoughtproces, I played against the computer (G/15).
When the computer is set to 5 ply deep I score even.
When it is set to 6 ply deep, I got pounded everytime, because I fall prone to VERY SIMPLE tactics. So you can actually say I blunder all the time.
Here again, the patterns of these VERY SIMPLE tactics are already in my system.
But I don't use them when I actually play!!

The pieces of the puzzle fall together.
The first 15 games at 6 ply deep I lost to the computer.
I tried different thoughtprocesses, but nothing helped.
Untill I started to implement Mousetrappers board vision.
From the next 5 games all of a sudden I won 4 games!
I used it at my club and I felt terribly strong!
Alas my 200 -/- opponent blunderd a piece away, so the test couldn't be completed, but still.
Do we have a panacee here? An egg of Columbus?

The test is very limited, hence the questionmark in the title of this post.
But I feel pretty confident I'm on the right track now.
I am going to experiment further of course with this Board Vision.
It requires a great disciplin during a game. Often I simply forget it.
But that is a matter of time, I hope.
I look forward to the results of Mousetrapper.
And maybe one of the Knights is inclined to give it a try.
I truly belief it is worth it.


  1. I look forward to the results of Mousetrapper. - You will have to be patient, Tempo: The real test will be in october when I want to use my new secret x-ray weapon in a big tournament.

  2. Interesting post. I remember reading that chess player has 3 stage of development. First thinking of the game in terms of pieces. Second thinking of the game in terms of pawn structure. Finally thinking of the game in terms of squares.

  3. I've discovered something that should have been common sense to me all along with regard to thought process. THE ABSOLUTE, ALWAYS APPLICABLE FIRST STEP IN ANY THOUGHT PROCESS IS TO UNDERSTAND THE REASON BEHIND YOUR OPPONENT'S LAST MOVE. This is naturally followed by NEVER MAKE YOUR MOVE UNTIL YOU DETERMINE WHAT YOUR OPPONENT WOULD DO IF YOUR MOVE WAS SKIPPED. These are vitally important to avoid making blunders. I followed these through most of my last game (I suffered a moment of laziness towards the end and almost lost my advantage and the game) in the T27 Round 1 and won. If I had followed those, dare I say, LAWS of chess thought process, I would have won cleaner and more handily.

  4. just fyi, my rating is 186 on FICS. Interesting post. I am going to try Mousetrapper's x-ray vision myself.


  5. GK,
    You made a typo.
    Do you mean 1486?

    Thx, I adjusted it.

    That's the idea. You Knights keep me informed about ratingchanges.

  6. Tempo-
    I read your blog, and mousetrapper's, and still cant understand what you two are talking about..

    x-ray vision, queen scan? Im confused.. how is taht different from searching for tactics?

  7. Queen Scan: Look at all squares that are under control of the Queen, in a way that the squares pop out as a whole pattern. X-Ray scan: Do this scan as if the Queen could move through other pieces and pawns (like X-rays). The difference is that this is not yet looking for tactics, but an important element of it.

  8. Tempo,

    I'm embarrased to say this, but my rating on SlowChess is 2106. You can update your table with my score.

    There is no possible way I am that good - as I mentioned before, the ratings on this site are very inflated.

  9. Jim, thx, I adjusted it.
    Your rating will be stable when you have played at least 25 games in most ratingsystems. Is that already the case?