Finding my way in the chessdevelopment- and training jungle in order to improve my rating.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
On knife's edge. Stay sharp!
In the previous post I elaborated on my reasoning process which brought me some new hypotheses. It's time to focus on the core of the story. What do we have?
A simple motorskill can be learned for life by repeating it just 7-15 times. The reason why we often need 20 hours or more, or 2500 repetitions or more, is because we then are talking about a compound complex motorskill which is composed of multiple simple subtasks. Every subtask takes 7-15 repetitions. In the previous post I gave an example of how singing of the right pitch is composed by hundred or more subtasks, each taking 7-15 repetitions. Everytime when precision is needed you can expect that.
An example of a simple subtask in chess is: occupy an open file with a rook. If you repeat that 7-15 times with full attention, it will become a habit for life.
There is a situation that 7-15 repetitions don't work. That is the case when you do those repetitions on the automatic pilot. On automatic pilot there is no consciousness of sufficient intensity. When there is unsufficient attention the transformation of knowledge into procedural memory doesn't work. You are left with the knowledge alone and you become a scholar, who knows how things should be done but lacks the skill to do it.
I will give an example of failing transformation. In our choir we always make the same mistakes. For instance we sing the vocals in a bad way. Margriet has corrected us at least a hundred times for this mistake. Yet we keep making the same mistake over and over again. Why is that? Margriet acts as the active force while we as choirmembers let it come over us in a passive way. We react on autopilot. The only way to break through this barrier is when the choirmembers themselves decide to actively work on the problem.
If the transformation from knowledge into habits fails because of lack of consciousness we get scholars, if the feedback from habits isn't transformed into knowledge you get blitzplayers with 1200 rating. Active consciousness is paramount for both transformations. The passive autopilot is the enemy.
BTW feel free to put your comments on the previous post here.