Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Four times faster in half the time

Blue Devil inspired me to have a close look at my working method at CTS.
That revealed that I had learned 1,300 problems by heart.
At first that didn't look too bad. After all, with CT-Art you only have a look at 1,000 problems or so.
But when I realized that it is going to take me 19 years at that pace to learn 50,000 patterns, it was clear I had to improve my method.

What I do now is the following:
I solve ca. 120 problems at CTS.
About 30 problems are failures or consume >30 seconds.
I make a list of these 30 problems.
I repeat these problems via a spaced repetition system (spread over several days - weeks), until I know them by heart.
So I learn 30 patterns a day.
Since my old method provided me 1,300 patterns in 6 months = 7 patterns per day, my new system is more than 4 times faster.
50,000 patterns can be learned this way in 4.6 year.
This starts to look more like what DLM was talking about with his 400 points per year!

Another good point is that this new method takes me only half the time I used to spend.
Which doesn't hurt.


  1. Sounds like you owe Blue Devil Knight a beer for giving you 19 years of your life back!


  2. I didn't know you could select particular problems at CTS. That's pretty cool.

    That system sounds interesting. It is so funny, to me it sounds like tons of work, but to Tempo it is like taking a vacation after what he's been doing!

    I'd rather have a chess lesson from Tempo than a beer! :)

  3. This is very interesting. I was thinking about that technique yesterday. The Empirical Rabbit's next project is applying Spaced Repetition to Dan Heasman's Bain Training. That should get me spotting a core set of patterns very quickly. I thought about applying your technique to Dan's six other recommended books.