I was somewhat reluctant to post this article. But what the heck, truth is more important than dogmas!
I'm rethinking everything that has happened during the last 3 years of blogging.
The greatest improvement in rating I made in the 3 years before I started with the circles. I gained about 170 points in that period. I studied TCT and Polgars brick without repetition.
The last 3 years, while I did the circles, I gained only 65 points. There are people who think this is due to the law of diminishing returns. I have ingrained all important tactical patterns, it boosted my rating with 235 points and that's it. I have to live with that. Any efforts in that direction aren't going to bring me much further. I have to learn to live with the limits of my brain.
I simply can't belief that. Since a simple test at Chess Tempo shows that I'm not so good at tactical pattern recognition at all! I'm sure I operate way below my potential. If I'm right that means that the methods I have used were faulthy. Or I used the right methods in a faulthy way.
This are the methods I have used:
- Solving tactical problems without repetition.
- Solving tatical problems with explanation of the motives.
- Solving tactical problems with repetition.
- Solving complex tatical problems with repetition.
- Solving simple tactical problems with repetition.
- Solving simple tactical problems at high speed with repetition.
- Solving an enormous amount of problems with repetition.
- Solving tatical problems with explanation of the motives with repetition.
- Chess vision exercises.
- Visualisation exercises.
- Playing blind chess.
- Playing blitz chess.
- Playing OTB chess.
- Playing correspondence chess.
- Imagining the solutions before the minds eye.
- Solving problems while looking through only one eye.
- Playing against the computer a tempo.
- Describe the solution as a narrative.
It is of course difficult to know exactly to what methods the actual rating gain must be attributed, but most of the methods gave a clear zero return. If I had to guess then the points must be attributed to the methods with the explanations and the narratives. Incidently that were methods without repetition.
That is why I wrote my previous post about the indirect influence of conscious information on the unconscious brainprocesses.
On the other hand there is some contradictory evidence that points in a quite different direction. If I look at the ratingprogress chart of the Knights Errant then it are the guys who I consider to be the most instinctive players, guys who are willing to do a move where they didn't think about, who have benefitted the most of the Circles. While the conceptual thinkers, the systembuilders and the logical engaged have benefitted little or not at all from the Program. Since I obviously don't belong to the intuitici I intend to work out a method to consciously influence the unconscious processes. I think that the intuitici are still somewhat closer to the child prodigies for who almost everthing works as long as it is vaguely chess related.
Disclaimer: I might color the remembrance of my experiences towards a logical reasoning.