Finding my way in the chessdevelopment- and training jungle in order to improve my rating.
Sunday, January 08, 2012
The downside of pattern recognition
In the comments of the previous posts we discovered already one big downside of pattern recognition. Patterns fight for their life in our unconscious mind. Their very existence obeys the laws of Darwin. The fittest will survive. When we see a chess position the patterns shout to us "use me! use me!". Every time a pattern is retrieved it becomes stronger while every time it is not used it becomes weaker. Until their shouting fades away into oblivion.
When we encounter a new position, the patterns with the loudest voice manage to make it into consciousness. While the more modest patterns are overshouted by their cheeky brothers.
When a pattern that is not the best fit overshouts a pattern that is the best fit, it takes time and energy from us away. Just like in real life where the biggest mouth with an unfitted brain has the biggest wish to rule the nations. We start to spend time to make the wrong pattern work. While the clock ticks away the seconds. If we are lucky we take another look and change the context somewhat, and a more fitting soft-voiced pattern will enter our conscious mind. If we are not lucky, we miss the right pattern altogether. So one downside of pattern recognition is that it costs us time or it makes us even miss the solution alltogether. There is yet another downside though.
I have done a set of difficult problems at CT. As Munich pointed out, it probably makes no difference what range of problems you choose, as long as you fail them.
I have added intelligence to the solutions, by defining the reasons why a move in a certain position works while others do not. I formulated a little narrative with a logical reasoning in it.
In an attempt to automate this added intelligence, I did the problemset a second time. Which revealed a second downside of pattern recognition. The patterns shout so hard that the narratives can't be heard. This means, I remember the moves straight away, or the relevant patterns, but not the logical reasoning behind them. I can solve the problem without the need to remember the logic behind it. Since I want to automate the logical reasoning, this simply doesn't work. I have to invent another method.