There are three main "inventions" concerning exercisesI have discovered the past few years. So far the very discoveries itself has costed me so much energy and time that I have never made a serious effort to bring these techniques into practice myself. Due to my latest search for a method that is less taxing for my short term memory I decided to live up to two of these ideas: backward thinking and formulating narratives. But in stead of doing this after I have looked up the solution, I start with it immediately. That means, I skip totally the phase of trial and error.
I start immediately to formulate narratives that describe what is going on in the position. I write them down and only after this I try to find candidate moves that make use of the findings in the narratives. After this I look up the solution in order to see what characteristics I didn't catch in my narratives. The first attempts to solve complex exercises this way look quite promising.
Let me give an example:
White to move.
I formulated the following narratives:
- The black king has no space
- Pawnphork on d6
- Mating square c8 is protected 3 times
- It seems that the d-file must be opened to make progress
- The black bisshop is protected 4 times
- Black bishop is pinned potentially
- The rook at c7 is trapped
- d6 frees e6 and hence blacks minor pieces
- with the d-line closed it will be difficult to convert the win of the exchange
- A knight on b5 cannot be taken (=solution, this is better than Nf5+ which leaves the d-file closed and gives up e6)
- Due to the flexibility of narratives the method can be used for all kinds of problems, not only tactical
- No spilling of time due to trial and error
- Less taxing for the STM
- Learning what characteristics of the position I miss every problem