I've been two days down due to food poisoning. Still a little feverish, but I can hang behind my computer again at least.
It's nice to see how a discussion among the CTS-users is evolving. Sciurus asks if repetition is a neccessity for learning pattern recognition, since grandmasters in the past became grandmaster without computers and without such repetitions.
I like this kind of basic questions which can put everything topsy turvy. I have of course a certain amount of repetitions under the belt, but that's no reason for not asking these kind of questions. On the contrary.
Where does the idea of repetition come from? Cognitive rechearchers asked themselves how many patterns a grandmaster had stored in his LTM. Based on the amount of hours a typical expert needs to spend to become an expert in any area (=grandmaster in chess), which is about 10,000 hours, they made an educated guess that possibly 50,000 to 100,000 patterns are stored.
We concluded from this that repetition was necessary. How else would you store so much patterns in your LTM?
What we didn't realize, is that the technique of spaced repetition is developed for EXPLICIT memory and not for IMPLICIT memory. My experiments on CTS indicated that a much different regimen would be better for implicit memory.
Mousetrapper raised the question how many patterns there are at CTS.
It's funny that I'm doing research along the same lines as he. At first I thought there would be at least a few hundreds or thousands. Now I have evaluated an 200 CTS positions I'm inclined to say just 80:
- Double attack
- Discovered attack
- Overworked piece
- Eternal check
- Exchange/take/take back (lower rated problems)
- Annihilation of defence
- Intermediate move
In every problem at CTS is at least one of these basic tactical motifs present.
So this can shed a different light on what we have to accomplish. If I see a problem at CTS I now have to ask myself the question: which one of the 10 basic motifs do I have in front of me with what kind of preparational move? I have to find the answer on this question within 6+3 seconds. That's the other way around!
So the job is how to recognize just 80 patterns in 23,803 different situations.
Actually Mousetrappers Target Feature Count and my Thoughts About Tactics were in a way unconscious attempts to find a systematic answer to this question. If we can find a systematic answer, it could alter our training efforts dramatically! It can make repetitions possibly superfluous indeed. Now I know what I'm after, I will have a new look at it. I'm curious where this will lead us!