Saturday, August 04, 2007

Specific and general narratives.

I'm experimenting with narratives. I'm using George Renko's Intensive Course Tactics II masterlevel checkmates. It takes about 10 minutes per problem to find the solution. I can't resist to find those myself. Then it takes about half an hour to construct a narrative that describes what is going on in this specific position. Then I try to generalize the idea's. But it becomes evident that I don't know how to do that yet. So for now I'm doing 10-20 problems to get the hang of constructing specific narratives, then I'm going to do them again in order to find out how to generalize specific narratives. I can imagine that this can work out great.


  1. I keep thinking about you as I try to consciously work through solutions to these tough tactical problems. Not just see the solutions, but consciously tell a story about them. It is extremely demainding compared to just looking at the solutions. We'll see how the experiment goes: will I learn the problems faster? Also, I am not taking long looking at the problems but just a couple of minutes, and then making the moves and explaining the solution to myself. It is fun, but many I do get tired fast. Let's see if the degree of conscious effort helps upload it into memory!

  2. Blue,
    I assume you still are attempting to finish your circles. That makes it difficult to take long times for one problem. If our theory is right, doing one problem the right way should effect multiple positions in our games because we recognize the pattern.

    I suspect when we get more experience that it will become easier.

  3. now i am affraid to post a comment. :)

    its like 1939 now in the chess blogger world, with everyone watching everyone else and comments on comments... galore... and i dont want to fuel that, and probably do, too.


    seriously, i am having a similar experience now. in going through my GM game collection, and am now up to the Chigorin and Pillsbury era, it is a lot harder, more strenuous, and time consumming to classify games and identify patterns, than to just simply 'view' (click) the games alone, in chessBase.

    i have done 21 games like this, and while it is hard work, my recollection of the key squares, motifs, and strategic elements is a lot more vivid. but also as you say, fatiguing or tiring indeed!

    nice work tempo.

    and thanks for all else. dk

  4. I am hoping this helps me finish the circles faster! My percentages will be lower the first time through than if I spend 10 minutes staring, but perhaps I will see a larger jump in the second Circle. That's the experiment.

  5. Have you read Chess for Zebras? I guess there is quite a lot on this topic in that book. There is a nice discussion of how helpful the book will be, in practice, here.

  6. Blue,
    I didn't read the book. Due to your advice I read a lot of reviews about the book. They are all positive, but none of them gave me the impression that there is something new in it for me.

  7. Interesting theory.

    I look forward to hearing more about it.