Tuesday, June 21, 2005

So what are the revelations?

After being euphoric in my previous post, I have to temper my enthousiasm somewhat.
Blogging is a kind of thinking out loud.
Which means that you have to have a little patience with me, since my opinions are permanent "under construction".

So what stays upright after a few days experimenting?
There are two important impediments when you are trying to become able at chess. Or trying to become able at anything, for that matter.

The first problem lies in "talking semantics" (I hope I use the expression in a correct way).
Take for instance the word "tactics". One grandmaster says "when you cannot gain wood and you cannot deliver mate, there are no tactics". Another grandmaster says "chess is 99% tactics".
If you take only into account what they say, you have to establish that they disagree.
But there is a big chance they actually don't. They only use a different definition of what tactics are. If they first agree on definitions then they probably are able to find a formulation for what they want to express, where they both agree upon.

The second problem lies in the fact that you have to experience everything yourself, before it has really a meaning to you. Emotions have to be involved so to say.
If you are told that it's better to don't touch a hot oven, you can make a mental picture of how it would be if you touched it. You can warn everybody to don't touch that oven.
After study you can even become an expert at fire blisters. You can entertain a public with interesting anecdotes about guys who had not listen to good advice.
But unless you burnt your fingers yourself, you don't know what you are talking about.
Without experience, it is impossible to say where the accents lie. What is important and what not. You can only tell about assumptions, from "hear say".

This is the sphere where I have had my revelations.
Someone who burns his fingers at a hot oven, will have a "revelation". Because all off a sudden he understands what he has been talking about for so long.
Of course his words will sound trivial for them who didn't have the same experience.

In his article MDLM talks about "the two class C players which saw five major tactical blunders in the first 30 moves." I always thought that he greatly exaggerated. The last two years I made about three blunders. Ok, I am a class B player now, but I can't remember that I blundered so much when I was a class C player.
Here we have a matter of semantics. I call it a blunder when I actively give a piece away.
But analysis of my last 10 games showed me that it happens 1 - 4 times per game that my opponent made a good tactical move or sacrifice that I haven't considered or I haven't even looked at that part of the board. Most of the time I manage to control the damage, but that is more a matter of pure luck. Such moves that I overlook can be called blunders without exaggeration, however the damage may be minimal.
When I play against the computer which is allowed to think only 6 plies deep, I get pounded everytime by simple tactical shots.

First revelation: I didn't now that I make so much tactical blunders.

Second revelation: I didn't now I make blunders in every game. Even the ones I manage to win.

Third revelation: I get pounded by the computer by tactical shots that are very simple and which patterns I have assimilated long time ago.

Fourth revelation: My assimilated simple patterns are insufficient tranferred to OTB play.

Fifth revelation: Making plans or "playing positional" is useless as long as I blunder so much.

Didn't I warn you it would sound trivial?
I'm lucky that my opponents seem to suffer from the same problems.
You have to be REAL bad to loose from me.

My goal now is simple, I have to find a way to transfer my tactical pattern recognition to my OTB play. Just adding more insufficient used patterns to my brainlobes will not be of much help.
Simple X-ray vision seemed to help me, but I still can be beaten 10 times in a row by my computer at only 6 ply deep.
When I don't make tactical mistakes I at least draw, but usually win.
Next month I play two tourneys in a row (18 games G/180)
So I have a month to work on this.
I use my computer as a sparring partner, and continue to experiment.
The last time I was so badly beaten during a long series of games, I played against a former French blitzchampion with a rating of 2350. Which means that there is a big prize to be won if I manage to beat my computer at 6 ply deep everytime.
In some way DLM has managed to do it. So it should be possible.
But we are still missing something important!

Of course I continue with studying pawn endings too, but untill the next tournaments at a low pace.

A warm applause for Nezha who just with enormous will-power entered the Hall of Fame.
He already has his next program ready (= an 8th circle).
Question: What do you think, does the the program lead to masochistic habits?

1 comment:

  1. I also spent some thoughts about blunders recently. I came to the conclusion that any move that is equal to giving away a piece against a pawn is a blunder. In computer terms, this is about 2 pawn units. So, if I miss a tactical win I call this a blunder, even if I win the game later.