Finding my way in the chessdevelopment- and training jungle in order to improve my rating.
Saturday, January 08, 2011
Skill assisted thinking.
. . . Can I?
After 6 years of blogging the gist of chess improvement seems to boil down to two area's of improvement: knowledge and skill. Both have to be taken care of.
Knowledge. In my case, at this moment, positional knowledge is the area where I can gain the most. I'm busy to make a summary of Silman's HTRYC 4th edition, so I consider positional knowledge to be taken care of.
Skill. I did write a lot about skill-assisted thinking in the past, without ever finding an appropriate method to train it though. Today I was thinking about a certain section of De La Maza's articles:
"You can refine this experiment further by creating two computerpersonalities, one that can see three moves ahead but has no positional knowledge and the other that can see two moves ahead and has complete positional knowledge. The tactical personality, which can see three moves ahead, will win the vast majority of the games. This is a key lesson: all of the positional knowledge in the world is worth less than the ability to see one move ahead. In other words, given the choice between being able to see five moves ahead in every position and having no positional knowledge and being able to see four moves ahead in every position and having a GM's positional knowledge, you should choose the former."
This is a very intriguing text. I haven't tried it myself, but I can imagine that it is true. If so, it sheds a certain light on positional knowledge. What are the means by which positional knowledge affects your chess? In fact it is an attempt to see ahead by means of probability. I cannot calculate enough ahead to known where the best position of my bisshop is, but I can put in on a square where it is active. The probability dictates that there it has the greatest chance to attribute succesfully to the game.
The words of DLM suggest that the nett effect of moving by means of probability is less worth than the ability to really see ahead. DLM narrowed that down to tactics, but I don't think that is necessary.
Do we find confirmation for this point of view? What was the amount of moves that a computer could see ahead by brute force when they begun to outplay even the positional grandmasters? What was the amount of moves that a computer could see ahead by brute force when they begun to outplay us? It should be possible to create a graph with rating on the one side and the playing depth on the other side.
If this is true then the decisive feature in chess is the ability to see ahead. Positional knowledge is a helpful means to emulate this.
(Sorry Chesstiger, again I sacrified clarity for speed)