Sunday, January 31, 2010

conscious exposure on a coathanger

Tentative said:

"Yet in two very recent games against 1950 players I won by the basic pattern "Attack the Guard". They move, I attack the Guard, and they resign. This is a very simple pattern, yet they missed it in 1 move deep."

This indicates an ommission in their arsenal. There are a few tactics that are not well known by the old school while those who have done the stepsmethod are well familiar with it. This is expressed by the fact that the old school has to consciously think about these combinations - which is prone to error, time and energy consuming and can easy be overlooked - while the stepsmethodists see it right away.

More and more I'm beginning to believe that I look way too complicated towards training. Mere conscious exposure seems to suffice. No matter the form. The problem only being that we often think we are conscious while in reality we function on automatic pilot. Where did I park my car two weeks ago? It has disappeared in the blurr of all my parking memories. Just as the chessgames on the internet tend to dissappear in the chessblurr. What is the way out?

We simply have to organize our experiences and hang it on a coathanger. Keep a diary and analize the tendencies in your experiences. Immediately sort new experiences out and hang them on an appropriate hanger on the rack. Only then the experiences don't disappear in the mist of time. In fact a blog like this is (a very simple form of) such diary. Which prevents me from making the same mistakes over and over again. Child prodigies assimilate this with ease. Adults have to make a conscious effort. The shere numbers of different topics in chess tends to hold us back. That's why we need an all covering system. My System, for instance:)

Tentative said:

"To resume my advice: learn tactics and positional play well and then move on to improving your calculation skills."

Indeed calculation skills look different. There seems to be a part of the skills where specialized microdrills are needed. But enhancing the arsenal seems to have top priority for 1900 and below.

BTW I'm doing well at Corus with 4.5/8 sofar.
Margriet had to withdraw due to illness after two games, alas.
I have now read My System twice, so I have an idea what it is about. Time to read it for the third time and go into the details.


  1. Even if they've never seen the pattern before it seems to me that a player of 1950 ought to be able to calculate it if it is the immediate reply (and the most active move as well).

    Here's a nice quote from Kevin Zhang who never studied openings, but thanks to his calculation skills reached 2100 anyway:

  2. There could be many reasons why a 1950 player missed such trick as removal of the guard. Not only old school versus stepmethodist, but fatigue, oversight, the blond across the hall, not in tactics arsenal yet,forgot about it during calculation, a bad day, sickness, feeling drawsy because of the fact (s)he forgot to eat something, ... .

    I can honestly say that players in the range of above 1700 - below 2000 form one big pile where everybody can beat everybody. Ofcourse the scale will tip towards the 1900+ when it comes to victories because they have a bigger chess strenght but the 1700+ player has always a chance to snatch victory.