You might have read over it in the comments of the previous post, so I will summarize it here.
Munich had a period of 2-3 months in which he improved 200 points.
In 2001 I had a period of 6 weeks in wich I gained 170 points.
I always felt that this should be the standaard and not the exception when you train something. Oddly enough I couldn't replicate that trainingseffect allthough I tried it for 10 years.
It seems logical to look after what the training of Munich and me have in common:
- We learned something that was new to us.
- We both were aware that we were improving.
- The automation of the knowledge happened somehow automatically, without specialized training.
- No repetition exercises.
- No speed exercises.
Of course you can't expect to improve 200 points every 3 months. But it sets a new standaard. Just like the 620 points in 2 years of DLM did.
Why can't we improve 200 points every 3 months? It's not the speed of learning that is limiting us since it is hard to believe that this speed changes all that much within a few months. If the reason for diminishing returns doesn't come from the inside, it must come from the outside.
This means that it becomes more difficult to find something new to learn that matters. That has a direct influence on the outcome of the game.
- It has to be new.
- It has to have an impact on the outcome of the game.
Have a look at the following diagram. I suggest kindly you have a serious look at it before reading further.
White to move.
It is always difficult to find a catchy example since what is difficult for me is easy for others with the same rating and vice versa. What you have collected as familiar patterns is highly personal.
What happened to me here while I tried to solve this position for the first time I got lost in some sort of "concours hippique" of knight moves. There were just way too many possibilities. With no direction in my thoughts I had to throw in the towel.
Let's see what happens if we add some guidance to our thoughts:
- What is this position about? The main feature is the passer on d6. This position is mainly about promothing the d6 pawn.
- Besides that, the black king has to be aware that he can be mated at the backrank or the h-file. But it is unlikely that mate can be forced by white.
- The pawn on d6 is hanging. It is not so easy to see how to save it and how to guide it towards the promotion square.
- This adds some serious restrictions on the moves to consider. The moves have to happen with tempo and are geared around the pawn.
Try to map the moves of the solution on the guidance above. Ok, at a certain moment CT reacts a bit strange, but that is irrelevant. What you see is that the moves are no longer random probes but that they follow a distinctive goal. The moves make use of accidental mating threats and accidental threats of knight forks, but they are goal-driven. Save the pawn and queen it. Of course black has to make consessions to prevent it, but you can worry about that when it happens.
In stead of relying on recognition of geometrical patterns I have learned something new. I learned a new pattern of logical reasoning. Which can be used in all sorts of similar positions.
Of course a logical pattern will be, in the end, just another pattern. And patterns you have to consolidate by some sort of repetition, while speed always can come in handy. But you have to realize, without something new, you have nothing. So keep your priorities straight.
During the first circle of 200 puzzles of 2200-2300 rating at CT I scored a measly 2% correct.
I'm now busy with the second circle and I score about 80% right. Since I can reconstruct the moves from the reasoning. Now that is what I call learning something new!