Finding my way in the chessdevelopment- and training jungle in order to improve my rating.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
First time exposure
. . . Lately I found myself writing the following as comment to a post of BDK:
Now that you are rubbing that old wound again. . .What if it has nothing to do with circles at all? If I look back I made my greatest progress when I entered a new area. When I started with tactics I didn't repeat them. Yet I gained 250 points.
I entered the (to me) new area of positional play last year. I gained another 70 points. If I count my latest winning streak which isn't processed by the rating committee yet, I can add another 80 points. Virtually I'm above 1900 now.What if you simply can't avoid to memorize patterns when you enter a new area? What if plateauing simply means that you ran out of new area's? Not because they aren't there but you simply don't know how to get access?
For me, there is no proof that repetition is the key to improvement. I didn't improve when I repeated problems. I improved when doing tactical problems only once for the first time. It seems that it is the mere fact of exposure to the practical application of new knowledge that did the job. Looking at the other knights, they usually weren't all that much exposed to tactics before they did the circles. Accidently, unlike me, their first time of serious exposure to tactics coincided with doing repetitions. So it was easy to attribute their progress to the circles while in fact it might be caused by first time exposure.
First of all I have to make clear that I use here a very "Temposchluckeresque" interpretation of the word area. That is, I abuse the meaning of the word to make it fit into my current biassess. Take for instance the two fighting methods I showed you in my previous post. That specific knowledge I call an area. There are zillions of them.
It is by no means simple to get access to a new area. Look for instance at the struggle of BDK with the area of colorcomplexes. Without the feedback of a coach, or a helping blogcommunity, you are having a hard time to find your way in the jungle of chessknowledge.
It all begins with tactics. Without tactics you are nowhere. I remember only all too well how I learned about the power of the bishoppair. I quite wreckaged my position game after game to obtain that powerful asset, only to lose it the very next move by a simple trade.
But those tactics lead to a concrete variation bias which helps you to think forward, while for all other area's of chess you need to think backwards. Seperated by a gestalt-switch, as BDK called it. Only when you sufficiently master tactics, you are ready to enter other area's.
In order to enter the area of endgames, it took me two months only to find out where to start (pawnendings, I thought at that moment). After that I studied endgames for almost two years, only to find out that it was the wrong starting point. Lately I have found a more logical approach and I started with endgame strategy. Only now I have the feeling that I factually entered the area of endgames. Such entrance shows itself by that I get the positions I'm reading about on the board now, and that from the practical application of new knowledge arise new questions of which I am able to find the answers to. A little detour along the crenels and merlons rose a lot of questions which I have managed to answer now, for instance.
I like the idea of the gestalt-switch. When you have mastered a new area, all of a sudden you see it everywhere. While before the patterns associated with the area remained hidden. To me this indicates the road to go to master new patterns.
Based on my own experience I deem the progress by mastering the area of tactics alone at about 250 ratingpoints. High time to enter other area's.