Finding my way in the chessdevelopment- and training jungle in order to improve my rating.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Wax in, wax out
. . . Remarkable that nobody commented on the picture of my previous post. That illustrates the power of pattern recognition!
Probably I would gain the most points if I followed the road that Phaedrus mapped out. And I sure will once. Yet at the moment I'm amusing myself with visualization exercises. For the following reasons: I want to settle this issue once and for all, the Chess Exam pointed out that I'm bad in calculation and I'm curious if my assumptions will stand the test. Besides that it's fun.
Ok, now where are we standing? Let's stretch matters a bit. Plateauing starts when automatic training takes it over from conscious training. Automatic training results in no transfer of conscious tasks towards the procedural memory. So the training is automatic, but in the real OTB deal you remain dependend on conscious actions. Conscious training OTOH, does lead to transfer of tasks. So the training will be conscious, while the real deal will be greatly automated.
Past two weeks I have made considerable progress in board visualisation. We all know EXCEPT J'ADOUBE by now that board visualization is of no use in games with a real board, but it is an excellent laboratorium to test hypotheses and trainings methods.
The method I used is to rebuild the bord from its diagonals. Yesterday I started with a new exercise: I try to imagine a knight on a random square on the board and to see all the squares it can go to. It is quite difficult for me and I really have to force myself to complete a whole circle of 8 squares around the knight. And I try to relate every square to the diagonals it is on. To imagine the moves of a bishop is more difficult than the moves of a rook. But the moves of a knight are really hard to imagine for me. Especially the backward knightmoves. Maybe that's the cause that I find knights hard to handle on the board!
Key criterium is to enlighten the burden of the short term memory. Those tasks with details that you have to repeat consciously over and over again to prevent them from fading away from memory. The exercises above point out exactly which tasks need automation!
One word about maintance of skills. I don't think much effort is needed to maintain a skill once the transfer is complete. Just like swimming or riding a bike you tend to never get rid of it.
Besides board visualisation exercises I redo exercises from papa Polgars brick with the aid of a real board but with no pieces. That goes extremely well. Usually I'm a bit faster than I was a few years ago when I did them for the first time with the aid of real pieces. I make heavy use of narratives during solving and that helps me to get much more out of an exercise.
The losses in my games lately point out that the bane of pattern recognition will be the most profitable. Yet bad calculation plays a role in almost every game of mine, allthough it seldom is the sole reason to lose a game. For the time being I continue with visualisation exercises.