Wednesday, July 05, 2006


50,000 problems solved at CTS.
20,000 to go (repeating the problem window 7 times)

I'm experimenting with stress, what seems to be good to reinforce memory.
Maybe MDLM was very stressed while training hence gaining 400 points in 400 days.
Or maybe he just hacked the USCF server?

The problem window for me at CTS is about 10,000
Since I have done 50,000 problems, I have done each problem 5 times at average.
Alot of problems at CTS I have seen 20-30 times though.
Meaning: the random choice algorithm within the problem window is not linear. Possibly it is more a bell curved function.
So the rate of repetition of problems is much higher than I initially thought.

Today I did some counting.
I recognize about 85% of the positions at CTS as "hey, I have seen this one before."
That doesn't translate in an extraordinary boost of my rating at CTS.
Why not?
Though I recognize the position, I don't remember the moves exactly (yet).
So I still have to think for the moves everytime.
Further I have problems to move "a tempo", because of my cautious nature.
The recognition of the problems is still somewhat vague, which triggers my caution.

Let's see if things are going to change the next 20,000 problems.
I feel like exploring Terra Incognita.


  1. Jubilee! That accounts for 1% of all problems served on CTS. I'm up to 2622. I plan to reach 50,000 by the next decade or so.

  2. Good ideas Tempo. In particular, you are looking at the possibility that stress might have been a factor in MDLM's success.

    Otherwise, there was apparently something else, besides doing seven circles plus chess vision training, towards which we should attribute his gain of 400 points in less than 400 days. My examination of the various chess improvement blogs on the Internet suggests that this rate (speed) of rating improvement that MDLM demonstrated is largely not reproducible for mere mortals who try to imitate MDLM by doing seven circles plus chess vision training.

    Perhaps the application of stress is the purpose for MDLM's program requirement that each of the seven circles to be completed within a limited time frame. What other purpose could this program requirement serve?

    Congratulations, Tempo, on reaching 50,000 problems. You're a machine the way you knock 'em out.

    BTW, you didn't mean to say 50,000 solved problems - just 50,000 problems attempted.

    I'm unclear about something. Which part of Terra Incognita do you feel like exploring? Or have you made any decisions about the direction of your travel?

  3. I'm sure I read somewhere in an interview with Michael that he was umemployed at the time, therefore had all his time to devote to chess and motivation (e.g. being broke). Maybe the program worked for him because he had spent years reading various books before hand and had prior knowledge which was "amplified" by tactcial acumen. It's a strange question as to why he achieved so much so fast, I think until you are broke and desparate then you'll never really get to the bottom of it.

    On another note, I would love to join the Knights de la maza since I am about to start a program using De la Maza's ideas with some from elsewhere. Does the group have a website or a team?

  4. Hi Munky, you can find some information about how to join the Knights at my sidebar.

  5. Congrats Tempo. I admire your steadiness, unmatched by any of us other knights. After having done 7 MDLM circles plus more than 10k CTS puzzles I asked myself, hey, did this really improve my games? It did not. Not yet. I am quite sure that all these puzzles must have improved my tactical vision. But it is also clear that I did not manage to activate my skills in real games. Not yet. This is my new goal now. To study Real Chess, as Dan Heisman puts it.