Monday, May 21, 2007

What's the difference?

When I solve a problem consisting of a position of a grandmastergame from Polgars middlegame brick, I do what I have already done so much times in the past. At the same time it is conform the conclusion of my latest posts. To study positions from grandmaster games with heavy annotations by another grandmaster as feedback. In this case the annotations are winning tactical variants.
So what's the difference?

There is no difference. Yet. But now I'm much more aware of where my focus goes. So I'm experimenting how to get the utmost from one position. With singing you can break down the maintask in a lot of subtasks like pitch, intonation, notelength, timbre, lyrics etc., which you can focus on seperately. It is much easier to focus on a subtask. Is the same possible for chess? We have tried a lot in the past. But there is a difference when you know what you are looking for.


  1. Hi Tempo,

    I also have the Polgar Middlegame brick at home. It's a great book with lots and lots and lots of nice problems. The only drawback (in my opinion of course) is that the problems are ordered by tactical theme.

    Example : when I'm solving the back rank problems I know I have to look at the back rank --> I'm not training my 'chess module' to recognise a weak back rank because I already know it's a back rank problem... .

  2. Piño,
    that is an important remark. It means that in order to trigger your unconscious chessmodule it helps when it is provided a conscious clue or key. So checking a conscious keylist should be of help to solve a problem.

  3. Blue,
    isn't the program about going around in circles?:)

  4. all well said. not much that i can add, since my chess skills do not hardly exceed yours. but to share a tiny bit in parallel and not the place to indulge in list making, when you already have your own:

    i noticed, watching the united states chess championship live yesterday, immediately upon getting home here in seattle from visiting family outside metro new york,

    in the game Nakamura-Onischuk from round 7 [US Championship May 15-23 2007, ICC: "finger US07", "liblist US07", game 33 , that Naka had two pawns e5 and f5 as white, and O had two pawns d4 and e4 as black--a very potent, dangerous, and unusal set up--and i IMMEDIATELY and AUTOMATICALLY started counting how many pieces were on each side, material past ranks, material and space in quadrants, mobility, possible counterthreats, endings, making threats, promotion threats, exchange sacrifices back, etc.

    hard to describe in text format, but i noticed myself noticing automatically.

    as time allows, we find more and more things to see and know where to use them. and, of course, the better we get, the more integrated and natural this occurs without cotrivance or need for deliberate recollection.

    warmly, dk

  5. David,
    I'm inclined to think you are better with volatile thoughts. My latest two problems from Polgars brick started with 20 minutes wandering around in a clueless state before the first usable thoughts come up. The list with the seeds of destruction is of no help with this kind of problems. But I want to find out what can be of help here.

  6. I look at the explicitly guided pattern recognition as a stepping stone to truly automatic pattern recognition. After enough times asking myself if the seed for a Knight fork is there, I have started to not ask myself, but just look, and see, and not think much explicitly about it. But having it conscious, especially during my training, is helping it become unconscious.

    The mysteries of the mind.

  7. Blue,
    maybe you remember that I thought for 2 hours at a "positional" problem from Bent Larsen. When he revealed that it was just a joke because it had a tactical solution, I saw the mate in 3 within 20 seconds or so. This means to me that I suspect that a conscious "key" will always play a role and that it will never become quite automatic.