Monday, June 19, 2006

Gap closed, let the progress commence!

My OTB-vision has always been better by a 70-100 ratingpoints in comparison to my screen-vision. Which means that when I'm in difficulty with a problem at my screen, I often see the solution immediately when I set it up on the board.
Since I have always trained on a computer, except for papa Polgars brick, I always exercised at too low a level.
So my training with the computer couldn't have much effect on my OTB play.
Which it didn't indeed.

Last year I have done 47,000 problems at CTS and improved there with about 70 points, thus closing the gap between my screen-vision and my OTB-vision.
When the gap is closed, traning with the computer will effect immediately my OTB play.

I'm inclined to belief that my previous post on saturday shows that. That was about a combination last friday during an OTB game at my club.

In an earlier post a few months ago I formulated the hypothesis that complex combinations consist of easier parts (that's why it is called a "combination" in the first place, isn't it?) and that when you learn to solve those easy parts a tempo, the solution of the whole problem would be faster and easier.

That was the main reason I started with CTS, which is all about learning to solve simple problems a tempo.
The diagram in my last post on saturday seems to prove that hypothesis.
There are at least 10 parts of the combination in that diagram.
  • Removal of the defender of Be2 by Rxc3
  • The pin of e3 along the e-file
  • The lack of space of the white queen
  • The knightfork on e2
  • The attack of Nf6 by Qh4 and Bc3
  • The mate threat at g7 by Q and B
  • The mate threat at f7 by Q and N (via Bxf6, Ng5 and Qxh7)
  • The underprotection of d5
  • The unprotected Bishop at d6
  • The mate threat with Nxf2#
9 parts of the combination were spotted immediately.
The calculation was about how the parts influence each other.
I only didn't see the the mate threat with Nxf2#, which I saw only after he moved his King to h1.


  1. Regarding Lazlo Polgar's brick: lol :-)
    I assume you are referring to his large book, Chess , subtitled 5334 Problems, Combinations, and Games . BTW, did you do all 5334 problems?

    You mis-spoke when you said you did 47,000 problems on CTS during the latter part of last year. You meant to say you did about 44,000 problems.

    I can understand why you're pleased to find that your screen-vision is coming around and that there is no longer much, if any, gap between your screen-vision and OTB-vision. So the gap apparently disolved at some point while you were doing the 44,000 problems, eh?

    Prescription for screen-vision impairment: 44,000 CTS problems over the next five or six months... ...and Vitamin A for eyesight.

    Vitamin A (Retinol): Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin with multiple functions in the body. It helps cells differentiate, an essential part of cell reproduction. Cells that are not fully differentiated are more likely to undergo pre-cancerous changes. It is a central component for healthy vision; vitamin A nourishes cells in various structures of the eye and is required for the transduction of light into nerve signals in the retina. It is required during pregnancy, stimulating normal growth and development of the fetus by influencing genes that determine the sequential growth of organs in embryonic development. It influences the function and development of sperm, ovaries and placenta and is a vital component of the reproductive process.

  2. Space, yes I did all 5334 problems.
    With last year I mean the past 365 days. But maybe I misunderstand the English language?

  3. Tempo,
    I was actually the one who misunderstood. Thanks for clarifying you meant the entire year.

    I'm going to ask you another question if you don't mind. This question might lead to nowhere; but FWIW: Your profile on CTS currently shows 47,543 total problems at the time I am writing this post. As far as you know, does this 47,543 represent all the problems you have ever done on CTS or do you think some problems are not accounted for in this total?

    Regarding my own profile on CTS (spacecowboy), I have no reason to think that any problems I have done are not accounted for. On the other hand, I have noticed one or two profiles on CTS that are missing a large chunk or chunks of history.

  4. Space,
    I don't have the feeling there are problems missing. But I didn't check it either. Were that guys who started in the early days of CTS?

    Indeed, the receipe to close the gap is impressive.
    The price for improvement with ca. 570 problems per CTS-ratingpoint is high.
    On the other hand, if it works, there is an easy way for steady improvement.
    Just work hard and daily

  5. do you think that following your progress "rating wise" is so important?

  6. Yasser,
    yes, the rating is important. It is an objective method to measure the effects of what I'm doing. So it gives feedback for the direction to head for. What's behind your question?

  7. Tempo,
    Regarding the profiles on CTS that I have noticed are missing a large chunk or chunks of history, your reply dated 20/6/06 @ 09:03 asks me if these particular profiles date back to the early days of CTS or not.

    Currently the CTS server is down and we don't know why it is down. Hopefully, we all still have history on the CTS server. Otherwise, the issue of missing chunks of history loses relevance and loses our interest.

    If and when the CTS server comes back on line, I will search for profiles that have missing history and report back to you. If CTS continues to be down for a long time, then I might forget to do this task in the future. If so, you might need to remind me. I imagine we will continue to have words regardless of the future status of CTS.

    Circa 570 CTS problems per CTS rating point... hmm. This could explain why I have seen profiles of tacticians who sometimes do 570 problems or more on CTS in one day. The first time I ever witnessed a CTS profile showing such extreme production in one day, I thought the tactician must be a little crazy. :-) But I was new to CTS at the time. And I have changed my mind since then.