Finding my way in the chessdevelopment- and training jungle in order to improve my rating.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Only 1% of the chess advice which mankind so unselfishly and abundantly provided to me survived the test. When you write something like that there is always somebody who asks what that 1% is. To be honest my first reaction was somewhat itchy. Man, don't be lazy and read my blog! On the other hand I realize that I just said in an implicit way that 99% of my blog is BS. Combined with my difficult way of saying things it is no wonder that somebody loses the thread. To take distance from the past I will try to formulate what that 1% is. To be exact, that 1% of good advice is actually non existent, since the advice was of no help at all and I had to think for my self.
Let me try to explain what I have found. After a break of four months lately I had the feeling that I had forgotten all the details of what I had found out about chess the past years. During the first game after the break I felt what made the difference between my opponent and me. The only thing that was left from the past was my franticly scanning of the board. Automaticly and unconsciously. All the chess knowledge and chess skills finally cristallizes in this complex motor skill, this automatic scanning of the board. Knowledge that hasn't made the transformation into scan habits is virtually useless. Simply because you forget to use it. The trigger of this revelation was described here.
There are 3 parts to it. The how = scanning The what = quality The how often = frequency Scanning is the method. But with playing Troyis you learn a skill that is of little importance in winning a chessgame. It is a scan of low quality. You seldom decide a chessgame by only manoeuvring a knight in a limited space. Imagining the beams that come out your pieces is an example of a high quality scan. Besides a high quality it is important that you need the skill often. If the frequency of what you have learned to scan for only plays a role once every twenty games, it is too seldom of help. You have to identify those skills that you need almost every move.
In search for high quality scans with high frequency of occurrence I followed the blitz games of GM Danielsen. I could follow the tactics usually quite well but his positional decisions were acabadabra to me. I figured that that meant that my tactical scanning is reasonable but that my positional- and endgame scans are virtually non existent. Hence the first thing I'm going to work on are the 15 endgame principles of Lars Bo Hansen's book Endgame Strategy. Trying to transform those principles into scan habits.
To Alastair: I put it in the refrigerator means: I don't do it now, but later.