Monday, June 05, 2006

Speeding up

The rating system of CTS has as result that the problems that are presented to you will cost you 10 seconds per problem at average.
That means that they will look fairly simple to you.
If you can do the problems that cost you 10 seconds in a shorter time, your rating at CTS will increase. Finally, when you do all problems in less than 3 seconds, you will have the maximum reward.

So doing problems in 3 seconds in stead of 10 seconds is what CTS is all about.
From this arise three questions:

  1. How useful is this?
  2. Is the improvent from 10 to 3 the best or are other figures more efficient? For instance from 2 minutes to 3 seconds or from 5 minutes to 1 minute.
  3. Is CTS the best way to implement this?
Ad 1. Every master or grandmaster will score high at CTS. So it is a skill they have mastered in the past. Unknown is how much it contributes to their play. But it seems to be unavoidable to develop the skill.

Ad 2. About the 3 seconds part of the question: 3 seconds seems to be a reasonable time for the brainpart that is responsible for processing visual data and pattern recognition. If you ever want to give a simul this speed is necessary. Susan Polgar scored 2.4 seconds per move at her monster simul lately.
About the 10 seconds part of the question: I have no idea if this is best.

Ad 3. Using the theory of spaced repetition as ideal model, it is clear that the problemset at CTS is far to big and hence the rate of repetition is far too low.

After doing 2k+ problems last week my rating averages at 1510.
This is 40 points more than my start (was 1470) and 20 points less than my maximum (was 1530). So the 40k+ problems done in the past aren't totally down the drain after all.


  1. Many people have read my posts on CTS. My handle on CTS is spacecowboy.

    Regarding the summary statement you made: "So doing problems in 3 seconds in stead of 10 seconds is what CTS is all about."

    This statement is somewhat ambiguous. Maybe you might be trying to say that the nature of CTS requires all tacticians to aim to do problems in 3 seconds instead of 10 seconds. Am I hot or cold, Tempo?

    I would add the following thoughts to your discussion: Average speed of completing problems is an important performance factor. Tacticians must succeed at averaging faster than 10 seconds per problem to be effective in raising their CTS rating. But this is not the only performance factor that can have an impact on whether the direction of rating change will be an increase or a decrease in rating.

    The second performance factor I am speaking about is accuracy percentage. Unless the accuracy percentage is extremely low, the impact of accuracy percentage on rating change is mild to negligible. But an extremely low accuracy percentage can cause the direction of rating change to be a decrease in rating instead of an increase in rating.

  2. Regarding Ad 3:


    I have heard people cite the negative aspects of CTS in various different ways. And up until now, every criticism of CTS that I have heard people say was trivial or illogical or otherwise not worth repeating. But Tempo, you said something very profound in your Ad 3. And I think it will be worth repeating in the future. Many readers will notice I'm having a little pun with my last comment. All the same, I'm sincerely making a point.

    My own personal window of reachable problems on CTS is currently 8782 problems in size. And I just now looked up Tempo's window of reachable problems on CTS. It is currently 9278 problems in size.

    The smallest window I have ever seen (since the entire CTS web site modified the windows of presumably all tacticans on or about June 11 2006) since June 11 2006 is the window of a tactician named, KarlMarks. His window is currently 7563 problems in size.

  3. Hi Space, ad comm #1 you are hot.
    ad comm #2 I believe that the window is smaller at the edges of the bellcurve.