An example of my previous post might clarify matters (or obscure them even more:).
Say, Joe's rating is 1800. In that case I say 1700 points are atribbuted due to his motorskills while his average conscious thinking adds the other 100 points.
Motorskills = 1700
Average conscious thinking = 100
Total rating = 1800
By drinking beer, having no sleep and trashtalking to spectators during the game he can diminish the influences of his conscious thinking to the maximum. In that case he plays still like a 1700 player.
Motorskills = 1700
Beer-impaired conscious thinking = 0
Total rating = 1700
If he improves his stamina, works on his focus and visualisation, drinks lots of coffee etc. he can improve his conscious thinking untill it is responsible for 200 rating points. In that case he will play like a 1900 player.
Motorskills = 1700
Not average anymore conscious thinking = 200
Total rating = 1900
Fugures are arbitrary, of course.
In my scheme it seems as if there are two sources for chess moves: conscious thinking and unconscious complex motorskills. From here off referred to as thinking and skills.
In reality your moves are produced by your thinking while your skills assist your thinking.
When you start playing you have no skills, so all work is done by your thinking. Soon after you start to build your first skills and the task of your thinking will be enlightened. So there is room to think about other things. In the end you have build a pile of skills and your rating plateaues. Why is that?
It becomes harder and harder to find a skill that really attributes to the win of the game. If Joe starts to play Troyis, he builds the skill to move around the knight in a restricted area. In stead of thinking about those knight moves he will be able to do them automatically, without effort, fast, and he will be able to visualize them. These kind of moves are used in a game typically to regroup your knight with 3 or 4 moves. Since such move seldom decides the game, Joe's rating wil not improve more than a few points by playing Troyis. If measurable at all. His greatest advantage lies in the fact that he saves time while thinking about them, plus such move occurs sooner to Joe when there is one in the position.
The point is to find the skills that really matter. Some skills are too simple and common so everybody developes them. Other skills are so specific that you rarely need them. And other skills are common but have little or no effect on the outcome of the game.
The past weeks I have been busy to identify relevant motorskills. So far I haven't reached definite conclusions but I will give you an example what I'm researching.
White to move
This is a typical end of the middlegame position which I played yesterday. Especially
the fact that the queens are still on the board makes that both sides have a lot of possibilities. Most moves are trivial, that is to say they aren't immediately decisive, but you have to look at them anyway just to be sure. This is typically where motorskill assistance kicks in. The queens are racing around the board and the ease with which you can imagine them cuts down on the time you need to find a move and improves the quality of your move. In this case I had consciously worked to create a few targets and now I try to exploit them. Black is already too late and will lose a pawn by Qb5. And white can try to play for the win.
It is this kind of motorskills I'm talking about.
- Pretty simple
- Very common
- Potentially decisive
- Freeing up brain resources for thinking
- Not mastered optimally by your opponent
The microdrills of DLM are somewhat too simple and too common (=already mastered) to be of much use for Joe, but for the real novice they will be very good. If the skills are too complex, this will have an ill effect on the frequency you can apply them.
Training should engage in transferring tasks from your thinking to your skills.