Finding my way in the chessdevelopment- and training jungle in order to improve my rating.
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Is the method of MDLM flawed?
The method that MDLM used can't be flawed, since his result is a proven fact. But what about the method he advocates in his book Rapid chess improvement and his articles 400 points in 400 days? The program he describes there lasts 127 days and is aiming at adult class players. You can expect a rating improvement of 127 points if you do this program. The Knights Errant have done or are busy with this program. If you look at the average result of the graduated knights, the landmark of 127 points is exceeded by far. So statistically the method he advocates in is book and articles isn't flawed either.
But. . . There are a few other things:
1st. Not every knight managed to increase 127 points. I, for instance, started with 1701 points and have now 1743 points. For that improvement I needed about 640 days. I did 7 x the problems of step 3-5 from TCT (=7 x ca 1500) I did 7 x the 1359 problems of George Renko And I did 7 x the problemwindow of CTS, (7 x 10,000; gaining 120 rtg points at CTS) If I analize with higher rated players, I estimate my improved tactical ability equal to 1900-2000 rated players. Yet it doesn't show in my OTB-rating.
2nd. It is not so likely that the 127 points in 127 days of most Knights Errant who scored beyond the landmark can be extrapolated to 400 points in 400 days.
4th. Sofar nobody of the Knights Errant has equaled the performance of MDLM.
I'm content with my results, since I was plateauing on 1701 for long, and now I'm on the move again. Of course I had hoped for more. The facts above raise some questions.
Why is there so much difference in result of the program between the Knights? Why scored MDLM himself so well? Why score I so bad while I'm tactical so much better than I was? Why can prodigies improve so fast?
In an attempt to answer these questions, I made an assumption that MDLM hasn't told us everything. Not on purpose, but because either he didn't know or he didn't realize the importance. If I look what hampers my own development the most, I see a great lack of Positional Strategic Pawn Structure Crap (PSPSC). So now I formulate the hypothesis that this PSPSC is what is missing in the method of DLM. The crap proves to be fertilizer.
Why was the development of MDLM himself not hampered by a lack of PSPSC? A few Knights assumed that he had studied positional stuff before but since he was a bad tactician, it didn't bear fruit. His tactical improvement unleashed his positional knowledge, as it were. I'm always a bit reluctant when things look so simple. I have done a lot of positional study myself before. Why was that knowledge not unleashed by the program? I think there must be at least one other element that plays a role. Maybe that was indeed the fact that he played ca. 200 games in two years during the program. I haven't played that much the last two years, about 50 games in all. Or is there still something else? If I look at the prodigies, they all have a coach at masterlevel who takes care of their positional development, so tactical improvement is what they are busy with.
So all in all the program of MDLM is ok, but some PSPSC has to be added.