Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas

Things start to become interesting.
Today I played a few games at FICS to test if my skills are growing.
I didn't do too well.
Allthough 4 games is too little to draw conclusions, I didn't feel "muscled".
Doing a tremendous effort, it would be nice if "something" happened.
But there is no proof that anything is working at all.

So the faith in my own reasoning is put to the test.
Usually at this stage of an experiment flaws you couldn't even imagine before show itself.
But no flaws become apparent.
Except one: nothing happens!

And that needs to be clarified.
At this moment I can see only two explanations for this phenomenon.

First explanation:
De la Maza is wrong.
Prof. de Groot is wrong.
Tactical training doesn't work.
Doing zillions of tactical problems is as usefull to chess improvement as solving crossword puzzles.
Chess skills are innate.
I will be a patzer the rest of my life.

Second explanation:
Pattern recognition is the ONLY way to improve at chess after you reach a certain level.
I have the feeling that my calculation ability is close to its maximum after 3 years of continuous training. I just can't imagine that I will improve in this area much further.
On the other hand it is equally clear that there is plenty of ROOM for improvement on the tactical side.
The problemset of CTS is so big that improved pattern recognition at this moment contributes little to my results. The pattern recognition will only be considerable after lots of repetitions of the problemset. I just have to continue. The training in itself does nothing, only after I have stored a pattern I can expect improvement.

Both explanations are equally bizar.


  1. I look at you as a pioneer of a new blitzish approach to tactics. I think if this doesn't help you, it won't say anything about MDLM's technique, because it as crucial for MDLM that you start out slow and then by the last circle are going "fast" (30 sec/problem). CTS punishes such an approach (even in the late MDLM circles, 30 seconds would probably hurt your rating at CTS). I have never understood you Tempo. You work harder than anyone, but are so fiercely independent that you haven't given the good-old vanilla MDLM seven circles a try, but are often willing to claim that vanilla MDLM doesn't work, based on your not actually following it.

    Temposchlucker: an enigma, wrapped in a vinyl chess board, stuffed inside a large novelty queen chess piece carrying case, wrapped in another larger chess board, breaded, deep fried, and served at a gypsy carnival at Midnight during winter solstice. The great Tempo enigma!

  2. No pain, no gain. And CTS certainly isn't painful (or is it when you do that many ; )). Maybe you should do some more difficult problems, ones that stress on calculation, aswell as CTS problems. Also, play lots of chess. Everyone seems to think that only studying the game allows you to improve, but practicing is nearly as beneficial (or more in some circumstances). So you might want to try that too :)