Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Soon coming in a theatre near you

Let's use the following metaphor for conscious and unconscious work in the brain.
There is a stage on which a piece is played. There is a beam of light, which resembles the focus of attention. The public resembles the unconscious brainprocesses which take place in the dark. From time to time different messengers from the public act as a prompter to influence the piece on the stage. 5% of the processes play in the light, while 95% take place in the dark.

With a child prodigy, it doesn't matter what piece is played. As long as it is vaguely chess related his supple brain has unconscious processes that create skill from almost everything. When you are a non-prodigy-adult, life is more difficult. You have to take great care with what you bring on the stage. If the quality of the piece isn't high enough, the resulting skillbuilding will be close to useless. It is almost impossible to find pieces of sufficient quality, since all pieces are written by former child prodigies, who know nothing about a good piece since they never looked at one themselves. And the public isn't very forgiving for a non-prodigy-adult.

Of course a non-prodigy-adult will never reach the same quality of chess play as the child prodigy. Yet he can come very close. If you learn a foreign language as an adult, you will never reach the same level as somebody who speaks it as his native tongue. Yet you can come close if you are willing to put effort in it.

At the moment I'm rethinking all I have learned during the past 3 years of blogging. There is a dutch chessplayer who is willing to act as soundboard. He has a rating of 2000+ which is helpful and he teaches children with the "stappenmethode" of TCT. That is very inspiring. I will let you know when the coöperation yields its first results.


  1. Nice game. Around move 25 I thought white should take exf6 to make the squares e5 and g5 available for the knight and other pieces and to attach the e6 pawn. Conversely, I thought black should prevent that with f5 at the first chance around there. Turns out you got to play it anyway!

  2. my ONLY visit to any blog for a week. its you. to know that i am alive and/or sane.

    almost done with big database project... warmest to you, dk