Please all give a warm welcome to another Knight getting his breech on: Daland.
May his rating rise to such heights that ICC gives him a free membership!
At the club I'm crushing opponent after opponent. Even much higher rated players are crushed or drawed. Yesterday I played two G60 games against an opponent which had the same rating as me a year ago (1710). I always scored 50% against him.
But last friday I had difficulty to belief that we were ever of the same level. It was clear I had much more overview. He just couldn't see all simple tactical buildingstones that made up a complex position. He was blown away two times.
I even let him take a move back because he would lose his queen (it wasn't for a competition, it's vacation time now). To no avail.
Where does this sudden improvement come from?
Since september 2005 until now I have done only two things: CTS and pawnendings.
Because I don't win by grinding out pawnendings, the improvement can only be attributed to CTS.
Why seems the improvement to concentrate in the last two months?
I belief that that has to do with closing the gap between screen vision and board vision.
So what have I found?
A. Improvement at CTS pays off in OTB play (which was a major worry).
B. It is possible to decompose complex positions into a lot of simple tactical elements. Learning these simple tactical elements improves your overview in complex situations.
To give an example: if a position consists of 10 tactical elements and you use 3 seconds per element, you will have an idea of the position within 30 seconds. Since all elements are handled by longterm memory, mistakes are not very likely.
On the other hand, if you have to think a little about every element and it takes you 10 seconds to process the data (the pre-CTS state of a pattern, so to say:), you wil need 100 seconds to get an idea of the position. And you will have to make use of the short term memory for the thinking part. The short term memory will be stretched to its boundaries with 10 elements.
Hence it is more prone to errors.
C. CTS is a steady and sure way of improvement but it is a hell of a job.
CTS indicates the direction where to go, but can a more efficient method be invented? The first idea is to limitate the # of problems to make more use of the system of spaced repetition. Any other idea's?