Friday, August 19, 2005

Nezha commented on my previous post. I will try to address his questions.

Nezha: I am curious, do you feel - has the circles with CTS helped you?

If I was wise, I would answer this question with something like: “this is only circle 1, so it’s far too early to say something about it. When I have done all 7 circles you can see at my rating how it worked out.”
But since I cannot keep my mouth shut I will give it a shot.
To understand fully what I try to explain, it would be interesting if you do the same experiment as I did. That is, play against the computer a tempo (= max 3 seconds per move for you). Decrease the amount of plies the computer is allowed to think until you score 50% against it. I had to lower it to only 1 ply deep!
This gives you a very good indication what the level of your pattern recognition really is.
It explains fully why we are so ridiciously bad at chess, and that it should be easy to improve.
If it was only possible to see the simple things a tempo in stead of after a minute or so, we would improve tremendous. Because you can only solve complicated matters within a reasonable time if the underlying simple things are seen a tempo.
So what does some work with CTS do to me?
Something strange is definitely happening in my mind.
Ok, maybe you say, if a guru lets his pupils whirl around in circles for two hours underwhile chanting “chickenshit” in Arabic, they will experience something strange happening in their mind, so solving 400 problems a day will probably yield the same.
But my mind is sometimes speeding up by it. Often this means that my errors are made faster too, so it is not proven by an improvement in rating. I’m quite sure I’m on the right track now. I’m starting to recognize the patterns faster. It looked incomprehensible how Nabla (the no. 1 at CTS) could be so fast, but I begin to see now how it is possible. To see the solution of a problem in one glance is really quite amazing and enjoyable.
Don’t look upon the enormous amount of problems I am solving. It are really simple problems and it is not comparable at all with CT-art. What is really good at CTS is that the problems are adapted to your skills.

Nezha:
I seem to recall blogging that I intend to solve about 5,000 problems, and you commented that it is not the optimal way (or something like that). What has brought this change of heart? - You feel you need to work more on pattern recognition!? if that is the case.. then I can say that i'm really way behind in that area.

I can’t quite remember, but what I want to say is that you have a wrong idea about this matter.
The amount of problems doesn’t count, but the results. The rating is a true indicator of what your level of pattern recognition is. My rating at FICS is about 1800, no matter how much problems I have solved in the past. If your rating is 1800 too, we are equal.

Start rating 1470
CTS circle 1: 9,600 / 70,000