Finding my way in the chessdevelopment- and training jungle in order to improve my rating.
Monday, September 18, 2006
Going around in circles
It is shown that there is a (negative) statistical correlation between the #times I have repeated a problem and the solution speed. Which means that at average I solve a problem faster when I have seen the problem more times before. This was based on a wee problemset of 56 problems that I solved correct. I plan to investigate a bigger problemset in the future.
So massive repetition works. It doesn't work very efficient though. The question arises, what is it what works in massive repetition of problems?
We can define a broad spectrum. On the one end of the spectrum, there is a big database of 50,000 - 100,000 basic patterns you have to master. If you are confronted with a chess position you have to recognize one of these basic patterns. Since the amount of basic patterns is so high, you can say that the "pattern recognition factor" (an own invention) is low. Science did an educated guess that learning much basic patterns is a possible scenario how a grandmaster became good (based on the theory of chunks). There are two arguments against this.
The first is that a pattern recognition factor is usually high in any given situation. If you see a cloud, you recognize a rabbit in it, not a Sylvilagus mansuetus. You only have a database of about a hundred pictures of animals, but you can recognize them in even the most distorted clouds. You don't need a database of 50,000 - 100,000 animals. The second argument is that it is not according to my own experience. The past few weeks I concentrated solely on memorization of old problems at CTS. My rating declined in stead of improving.
At the other end of the spectrum you break down the basic database until only a few characteristic geometrical patterns are left. The Mother Of All Patterns (MOAP). Here the pattern recognition factor is very high.
You can imagine a database of anywhere from about 10 to 100,000 basic patterns in the spectrum. What is the right amount to train? MDLM gave a clue about a database of a few amount of basic patterns. To train them he invented the microdrills.
I investigated the microdrills two times in the past. Both times I dismissed them as being of no use for a person of my level. As too simple. So I have never trained them serious on a regular basis. But now I see reasons why it could work. Hence today I started my concentric circles and knight sight exercises. I'm not good in it. Which means that I have to THINK to get the job done. And thinking is SLOW. If you realize that about 30% of the problems at CTS are DOUBLE ATTACKS, and that the microdrills are designed for DOUBLE ATTACKS, and that I do the microdrills SLOW, there is reason enough to do this experiment. Better late than never, as an old Chinese saying goes.
Doing massive repetitions of problems clearly didn't lead to a faster doing of microdrills. Now let's see of doing microdrills leads to faster solving of double attack based problems.
Have I finally arrived at the end of the rainbow, is it the wrong end! %&*#!