Saturday, October 11, 2008
Summary: Having a clue and active attention
Ok, time to summarize.
First you must have a clue. You must understand what a position is about.
Second you must have the skills to perform the tasks that arise from the clue.
From our debates about skill-building the picture emerges that active attention is paramount. I dare to say that active attention cuts back the necessity for repetition dramatically. Active attention supplies the feedback for your efforts. No active attention, no feedback. No feedback, no adjustment. No adjustment, no learning.
Putting the body to the equation.
The comparison with physical tasks like swimming or Tae Kwon Do is always a bit tricky. The human body adds a factor of its own. It has its own impediments which one must overcome.
From experience with singing I can add that active attention translates to precision. There are always new aspects to discover when singing tone ladders. When you add these aspects as seperate details to your exercise it makes every repetition count. When repeating mechanically you don't learn anything. With no precision you might even ingrain the wrong habits.
In my youth I have never used an umbrella. I never saw somebody use one either. When I was 24 or so I went for the first time outside with an umbrella. During rain, that was. Much to my surprise I saw people with umbrella's everywhere. Have I overlooked them before? Did I simply stay inside during rainshowers due to lack of an umbrella? It seemed as if those people had materialized due to my attention and focus on umbrella's.
It's the same with chess. If you have a theme you are looking for you will find it everywhere. With no theme, you see only what is already familiar. You can overlook important themes for years.
If you are renovating a house where every wall is askew you have to decide which wall you will call straight. No matter how lopsided that wall is. Once you have chosen a wall as referential framework, you can measure everything back to that wall. If you don't decide which wall will be your reference, you will find your self measuring then from this wall and then from that wall. In that way you can never come to a definite conclusion. From one point of view that sink looks straight, from another point of view it looks askew. I tell you this since it clarifies why I always react on comments in a somewhat insisting way. I always want to make clear the referential framework from which I'm talking. Even if I have chosen a very lopsided wall as base. Don't let it scare you. I'm not attached to my choices. Allthough I never let go my wall of choice.
Merlons and crenels.
My metaphor of merlons and crenels has provided me with a theme. An umbrella. Now I see it in every game and I'm learning from it. I'll be back.