Finding my way in the chessdevelopment- and training jungle in order to improve my rating.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Self organizing skills
. . . The past 10 years I often complained that 1 + 1 <= 2. That's to say, I always got what I trained for, or less. There was never a bonus, never a self accumulating effect, no rent, no unexpected fruitfull side effects, no magical brain changes overnight. So if you would have asked me if chess training is good for anything but chess then I was inclined to answer it in a negative way. It is of course a nice idea that if you want to raise funds for your chess hobby to claim that it improves your school results too or so. But I didn't found any proof of such beneficial side effects.
Recently matters have changed. If you train a skill, your brain all of a sudden shows a self organizing effect which I haven't seen when I trained in a conscious way. If you give your subconsciousness no other instruction than to improve the speed at which you can see a knightfork then the brain reorganizes itself and assimilates a strategy to do so.
Take for instant Troyis. I never took the effort to formulate a strategy to play it well. Yet, by mere playing it as fast as I could, I was getting better at it. I don't think that the strategy you unconsciously develop is necessarily the best strategy, but it is a strategy that works well enough. The best fit, so to speak. And what's more, I didn't need to invest additional effort to formulate a strategy consciously. There are other side effects too. After two hours chess training I stood up, bought a new washmachine tap and replaced the old one. In one flow, without hesitation, without thinking and doing different other tasks at high speed along the way. Quite a difference with my usual rather contemplative pace in live. Rebuilding half the universe in my mind along the way
. . . Did I already mention the importance of speed? The speed of training must be faster than your conscious thinking can follow. But why is it then that blitz chess doesn't work? Because it isn't simple. Simple tasks can be automated. Complex can't since the ratio of repetition isn't high enough. 15.000 repetitions in 22 hours total is the goal. You can't make that in complex positions. They differ too much.