I'm toying around with the issues from my previous two posts and the valuable comments on it. Maybe new idea's arise when formulating the same issues in other ways.
Say, we have a complex middlegame position. What does our grandmaster do with it?
In the experiment with brainscanning, the people played against a computer. The scan was taken during the first 5 seconds after the computer made a move. That stood not in the original article, but research on the web revealed that.
Our grandmasters Long Term Memory (LTM) is triggered and analogous positions from the past are consulted. This happens at a subconscious level. Most of the elements (both tactical and positional) of the position are recognized. As response to the stimuli (the new position) the LTM releases 2-3 potential moves. The GM starts to calculate, and one of the moves is chosen.
What happens in the mind of our experienced amateur (rating 1700 or higher and at least 10 years experience in tournament play) when confronted with the same position?
The LTM is almost not consulted at all. This sounds unbelievable, but the brainscans proof it. Furthermore, it is consistent with my own experience when I played a tempo (moving within 3 seconds) against the computer which was allowed to think only 1 ply deep. What you can find within 3 seconds is quite based on what is stored in your LTM. The quality of the emerging move within 3 seconds clearly indicates if there was something analogous stored in your LTM.
Our amateur sees the position as new and starts a process of trial and error. Heavily depending on the Short Term Memory (STM)
But this process can't emulate the responses of the grandmasters LTM.
Even a sheer unlimited amount of time is of no help. Nor is a thoughtprocess. A thoughtprocess at this place is a try to make the trial and error process more efficient. A more efficient trial and error process can only give some relative results against opponents of the same level who use their brain in the wrong way too.
From this trial and error process emerge 6-8 candidate moves. The amateur starts to calculate and one move is chosen. Scientific research revealed that the ability to calculate doesn't differ much between grandmasters and experienced amateurs. Which is consistent with my own experience. After 3 years of doing tactical exercises, my calculation ability has reached its top. I can't imagine there is something to gain for me along the road of calculation improvement anymore.
While the grandmaster actually SEES most elemental structures in the position with his minds eye, most of these elemental structures remain hidden in the blind spot of the amateur. You can only see with your minds eye what is stored in LTM, which was what I found out with my experiments on visualisation.
My all time high at CTS improved with 13 points to 1590!
My estimated average rating improved to 1550 (was 1470 when I started with CTS)
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