Friday, July 07, 2006

This little post of mine

Today I had a look at an old post of mine.

That yielded a few figures:

#probs rat % recognized
35,000 1520 32
50,000 1540 85


What use is it to repeat the same problems over and over again?
It are pretty simple problems.
Because CTS only presents me with problems that I can solve within 10 seconds at average.
What can be the beneficial effect of trying to solve problems that you can already do in 10 seconds so fast that you can do them within 3 seconds?

When I put it this way it looks like nonsense.
But the strange fact is there that (grand)masters at CTS score much better than me.
Which means that they DO recognize most positions within 3 seconds.
The question arises, is this a mere side effect of their training which contributes little to their performance as grandmaster (except for blitz and simuls) or is it the core of their skill?

I don't know but I intend to find out.
The meaning of the rating improvement from 1520 to 1540 is that I stored another 1000 problems in my system so that I can do them within 3 seconds in stead of 10.

17 comments:

  1. I think you shouldnt look at rating and skill as being so closely connected....

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  2. That is an interesting question. In fact, I got sidetracked myself and spend now time reading some psychology articles instead of doing chess problems. That won't improve my chess but I do it for the fun of it anyway. In my opinion, 50000 problems are too many to efectively learn at once because you will have to solve an awful lotof them to get CTS to repeat them for you and repetition is necessary to memorize it. I am not sure, how much memorizing a few positions help to become a better chess player, though. I am speculating that it is not so much the complete position that is recognized but merely the position of a few key pieces relative to each other. Therefore, knowing a few hundred simple positions may be good enough with progress slowing down if you memorize more. After all, even Superman wouldn't be able to memorize all possible chess positions. It seems that even GMs know "only" about 50000 positions (see this article in my blog). Therefore, I think you may be better off restricting yourself to a smaller set of problems.

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  3. Studying Polgar's mate-in-one problems five times has increased the speed at which I find mating threats. I scored 303/305 in 115 minutes on my first try and 305/305 in 43 minutes on my last try. My CTS rating jumped 36 points and I spotted a mate-in-four in a real game so I agree learning small problem sets well can be fast and effective.

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  4. Yasser,
    would you be so kind to explain your comment a little more?

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  5. Sciurus,
    It not 50,000 that I'm repeating but the problemwindow of 10,000 that I'm trying to master. That is still way too much, but that's why I work with such rabies theologorum. In fact already 85% of the problems look familiar. I read the article at your blog, thx.
    Restricting to a smaller problemset would be wiser indeed.

    But now I'm so far I will try to finish it.

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  6. The super high rated CTS users are all cheaters, aren't they?

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  7. crptone2 is a cheater (James Sun from Brookline Massachusetts). Uraleech is a master who has reached the point he knows all problems a tempo. At the edge of the bell curve his rating is no longer reliable. Chromefeather is a cheater. The rest I don't know.

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  8. I'd have to agree with sciurus that 50K is too many, the fact GM's have around this many stored away is due to the ridiculously large number of games they have played, studyed and watched I suspect.
    The one question about this learning process is;
    If driving becomes a repetitive process and becomes controlled buy the lower brain then can chess tactics become the same? If you drill yourself enough can you shift the part of the brain that does the work?

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  9. DrMunky,
    I'm convinced that that is the way it works.

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  10. Dr. Munky,
    Judging by your post of July 8th @ 14:32, I suspect you didn't read the article posted by Blue Devil Knight in Tempo's blog of July 2nd entitled, Doping.

    I echo Tempo's words when I say I'm also convinced. And the article posted by Blue Devil Knight helped convince me.

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  11. Tempo,
    In your post entitled, This little post of mine, you are comparing your progress on CTS as of July 7 2006 to your progress as of Dec 20 2005. But you errored in this.

    In your post, you list your (latest action) rating as 1540 as of July 7th. I don't dispute this. But what does the number, 85, next to the number, 1540, mean? I ask this last question for the purpose of rhetorical effect. How do you know you rating won't go back down to 1520 tomorrow or the next day? And if it does, then does this mean you regressed?

    I think you have neglected to ask yourself these important questions in the preceding paragraph. Otherwise, I doubt you would have come to the unfounded conclusion you did in the final paragraph of your post where you said, "The meaning of the rating improvement from 1520 to 1540 is that I stored another 1000 problems in my system so that I can do them within 3 seconds in stead of 10."

    If you want to improve the level of certainty associated with the inferences you wish to make from these kinds of comparisons, I recommend you make a comparison between your CTS highest rating ever on two different dates instead of comparing your CTS (latest action) rating on two different dates. For example between Dec. 20 2005 and July 7 2006, your CTS highest rating ever went down from 1567 to 1564. Isn't this an interesting contradiction in more ways than one?

    Regarding the various statements you sometimes make that partially consist of the idea of doing the problems in 3 seconds instead of ten seconds, I recommend you add the words, "roughly", and "on average", whenever you make such statements.

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  12. Space,
    I appreciate the great pains you take to read my posts.
    It's true that I often omit the word "estimated average" when I talk about estimated average rating at CTS. I do this on purpose for a greater readibility. When I talk about a subject for the first time, I try to say things correct, but after a few posts, when everybody seems to understand and to agree what we are talking about, I use more convenient language.
    I want to prevent it becomes unreadable.

    The lowering of my highest rating ever from 1567 to 1564 isn't so strange as it may look like.
    My highest rating ever was 1567 indeed. But then CTS started to record the highest rating. And that was lower. So the correct formulation "should not be "highest rating ever" but "highest rating since (date forgotten)". For convenience and readibility I continued to use "the highest rating ever".
    I don't think the core of my statements is lost by this free formulation of things. Asking for clearity is always welcome ofcourse.

    Spacecowboy, I invite you to try to understand the essence and the intension of my words rather than to take things to the letter. I would appreciate that.

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  13. Tempo's last reply to me said:
    When I talk about a subject for the first time, I try to say things correct, but after a few posts, when everybody seems to understand and to agree what we are talking about, I use more convenient language.
    I want to prevent it becomes unreadable.

    How do you measure when everybody seems to understand? How do you conclude that everybody seems to agree?

    I can appreciate why a person would choose more convenient language for the purpose of making everyone's reading easier. Can you appreciate that it is difficult to write something that fits well for every reader? You can write something that fits better for the majority. But you can't write something that is the perfect fit for everybody.


    Tempo's last reply to me said:
    The lowering of my highest rating ever from 1567 to 1564 isn't so strange as it may look like.
    You made the wrong interpretation Tempo. lol ...I hope you don't think I'm laughing at you Tempo. I'm laughing with you so far as this is possible. It depends if you can find the humor in the sitation. If not, I don't mind; but I hope you understand I'm not trying to be offensive in this post.

    Tempo's last reply to me said:
    Asking for clearity is always welcome ofcourse.

    And vice versa, Tempo. Actually your misinterpretation is rather convenient for me. It provides an opportunity for me turn the tables around on you. And I don't mind if you make seven million more accidental misinterpretations in the future, Tempo. How about your feelings? How many chances do I get before you shoot me?

    But let me get to explaining the correct interpretation already before I make you impatient with me. I didn't exactly mean that the lowering of your (highest ever) rating is strange. Moreover, I didn't even use the word, strange, in my post. I think you are exaggerating my intended meaning with the word, strange. I merely meant there is a contradiction created by some unknown cause. And I don't find the contradiction to be strange. But I can understand why you could make this interpretation. I could have written my thoughts more clearly; but I wrote these thoughts in an ambiguous manner.

    Your reply confirms my original position on my actual issue was right on the money. On the other hand, your particular issue about your habit of using the phrase, highest rating ever, is not my issue. This bears repeating: I wasn't talking about your issue, Tempo. Your particular issue about your habit of using the phrase, highest rating ever, is 100% your issue that you introduced into discussion because you didn't understand what I said when you replied.

    You also didn't catch the vague reference I made regarding the idea of more than one contradiction. I bet quite a few of my readers missed that one too. As an FYI, the additional contradictions I spoke of address the issue of your concluding statement in your original post in which you speak about a rating improvement from 1520 to 1540. My evidence contradicts (read: "is inconsistent with") your conclusion that your rating improved between the dates of July 7 2006 to Dec 20 2005 and also contradicts the conclusion that 20 points is the amount of the improvement. You see, Tempo, the central point of my post that you replied to was intended to be about the weakness of the final conclusion stated in your original post.

    Perhaps you would like to address the weakness of your concluding statement in your next reply Tempo? Or not.


    Tempo's last reply to me said:
    I don't think the core of my statements is lost by this free formulation of things.
    Well then you are probably surprised to see that the core of your statements was lost on me on this occasion. But I will be more savvy in the future, I assure you.

    On the other hand, I cannot assure you that I will not continue to accidently misinterpret your words sometimes. There are times when your words say one thing... but your actual thoughts must be analyzed by your loyal and carefully schooled mind readers.


    Tempo's last reply to me said:
    try to understand the essence and the intension of my words rather than to take things to the letter. I would appreciate that.
    Like I said, I will be trying to understand as best I can. I suppose if I ask you to be more flexible and use more plain English in your posts, you will think I'm being insolent. I'm afraid I've fallen from grace.

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  14. Space,
    I don't feel offended or impatient since I don't have the feeling that you are trying to pester me.
    But I find your comments hard to follow. You have to know that English is not my native language, so subtleties are easy spilled to me.

    I can't see what's wrong with my conclusion when you replace "rating" by "estimated average rating".

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  15. Tempo's last reply to me said:
    English is not my native language, so subtleties are easy spilled to me.
    ----------------------------
    The more experiences we have doing dialogue together, the more we will learn about each other. Let's see what we can do to adapt to our communication difficulties and let's see what we can do to accomodate each other. One thing that I am starting to realize is that it is extra important for me to become aware when you don't understand something. I suggest you consider giving me this kind of feedback more frequently.

    Tempo's last reply to me said:
    I can't see what's wrong with my conclusion when you replace "rating" by "estimated average rating".
    --------------------------------
    Be careful. I said your conclusion is weak. I didn't say it was wrong. There's a difference. Nothing is 'wrong' per se. The problem is with the reliability or the level of confidence we can place in your conclusion.

    Suppose an imaginary person, Mister Blogger, posts a conclusion in an imaginary future post. I am going to describe this imaginary future post to you.

    Mr. Blogger does not support the conclusion with any evidence. For instance, no evidence in the form of testimonials is given to support the conclusion. Futhermore, no examples are provided to support the conclusion. And no statistics are cited to support the conclusion.

    Mr. Blogger didn't think he needed to present any evidence in his post because he thought his reasoning would suffice to support the conclusion. But the reasoning used by Mr. Blogger to reach the conclusion is not apparent in the post.

    Now in this example, when I see Mr. Blogger's post, let's imagine that I reply to Mr. Blogger and tell him his conclusion is not well founded. In other words, I'm saying to him that his conclusion is weak.

    Does the preceding example make sense Tempo?

    I am looking at your profile on CTS as I write this post. Currently, your rating on CTS is 1528. The fact that your CTS rating is currently 1528 goes to show that the figure of 1540 that you used in your conclusion is not necessarily the most sensible and convincing value that we should consider to be your rating on July 7th, 2006 when you stated your conclusion.

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  16. Space,
    now I see what you mean. Yes, most (if not all) of my conclusions are weak. That is because I make a lot of assumptions. I even like to call them hypothesisses (?plural) which gives a taste of a scientific approach. But my posts are not scientific of course. They are practical. I make assumptions, I draw an (extreme) conclusion and put it to the test. These tests are for instance to measure how the figures develop overtime, to do experiments based on the conclusions or to carefully read comments of readers on my conclusions.

    I like to take the things to the extremes. Because there is shown the best if assumptions are right or wrong. That's why I do an extreme amount of problems at CTS. In the end I hope to come to a definite conclusion about CTS and its method.

    Space, you have (quite)a different look at the world compared to me. That's why I have difficulty to follow your comments. We both have a blind spot in our looking to the world. But your spot and my spot is different. Because I want information about what is in my blind spot, I always try to listen carefully when I don't understand somebody. Because it can give me circumstancial information about the things I miss. What you do with your blind spot is not my business of course.

    One thing I hate btw is discussion only for the sake of discussion.

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  17. Tempo's last reply to me said:
    Yes, most (if not all) of my conclusions are weak.
    -------------------------------
    Please review the initial two or three paragraphs of my post of July 9, 2006 @ 23:31 in this same thread.

    I recommend you post a link to this thread in your sidebar under the heading of Links of interest, alongside such links as the Abbreviations we use. You might entitle the link, How to read the mind of Temposchulcker. Or you might choose a title more to your liking. I think people need to be orientated to your language habits just as they need to be orientated to the abbreviations used by The Knights Errant and who is the man named MDLM, etc.

    In this paragraph, I am discussing a tangential topic. I would consider you to be a very accomplished man if all (100%) your conclusions (premises) in your life were weak conclusions. It has been said that the most enlightened masters on this planet follow a path of spiritual development which prescribes for a man to pursue knowing less and less. The man may never reach the goal of development; but the goal is to know nothing with certainty. On that day, the man will be a master at relying on a higher power for making decisions and judgements.

    Tempo's last reply to me said:
    I make assumptions, I draw an (extreme) conclusion and put it to the test.
    --------------------------------
    I hope you find an opportunity to put my suggestion to the test. The suggestion I am talking about is my recommendation I made in the next to the last paragraph of my post of July 9, 2006 @ 13:39

    Tempo's last reply to me said:
    One thing I hate btw is discussion only for the sake of discussion.
    --------------------------------
    Point #1: Judging by my familiarity with how this familiar phrase is typically used, your comment appears to be a social gaffe. But I am not offended by your words and this is not why I mention it. I know I commit my share of trivial and not so trivial mistakes when interacting with people. Feel free to ignore this first point because I think it is trivial and I won't even remember it 30 seconds after I finish this post. Instead, I am focused on point number two.

    definition of gaffe:

    n: a socially awkward or tactless act [syn: faux pas, solecism, slip, gaucherie]

    Point #2: How shall I interpret your words? There are no clues to assist me with this task.

    Tempo's last reply to me said:
    Because I want information about what is in my blind spot, I always try to listen carefully when I don't understand somebody.
    ------------------------------
    Each man or woman who develops this insight is blessed. And the entire world is also blessed whenever someone develops this insight.

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