According to Munich and Aox one plus one equals two. If you know all the constituent parts of a combination, you will be able to find the whole combination. The constituent parts are identified as "patterns". The fact that there are only about 27 tactical elements already shows a fundamental flaw in this reasoning. With only 27 elements you would know them by heart within a few weeks or so. Since it is evident that we aren't able to solve all combinations after only a few weeks, there is more to it.
If you call a combination of tactical elements a pattern, in stead of the tactical element itself, another problem emerges.
If you write out a combination as 27 x 27 x 27 x 27 x 27 etc. you will find that the numbers will grow rapidly. So rapidly that you need to learn at least millions patterns by heart to cover the most. Munich and Aox work their way around this by careful selecting their problemset based on their assumed frequency of occurence in real games. Of course it is logical that they worry about quantities and amounts of patterns per unit of time this way. Hence speed is their motto.
I don't buy this since I have tried all kinds of problemsets from easy to complex, tagged and untagged, big and small, fast and slow, blind and with the use of an analysisboard, with and without writing down the lines, standing on one leg while humming Mary had a little lamb etc. etc.. My results didn't differ from the avarage improvement of the Knights Errant. Just like the results of Munich, Aox and vitoc73 don't differ from that.
The whole is greater than the sum of its parts". This means that there is something different to learn than patterns alone. I'm studying Weteschnik's "Chess tactics from scratch" (hattip to Empirical rabbit) and he has a very interesting chapter about this subject called "status examination". Here you learn to guide your pattern recognition by evaluating the features of each piece. Even more reductionistic than holism, I would say, but it is all very logical and it guides the mind towards the right patterns.
In the end the reductionistic approach and the holistic approach probably will turn out to be the same. But at this moment, with overwhelming complexity, holism is a more logical approach.
They say that my method is not proven. But think about this: when I started with the first 50 problems I scored 0 out of 50. After just 100 problems I score 10 out of 50. From 0% to 20% in just 150 problems! This means that there is a massive transfer from acquired knowledge in known problems towards new problems! And if it already has such effect on high rated problems, how massive will the effect be on lower rated problems!
There has been a lot of talking about FIDE estimated ratings. I don't accept that as a convincing method. The only thing I want to know is what the effects are for my real rating. Then I will know how my efforts translate to OTB-play. No reason to muddle around with estimates. That is just a waste of time. I have said this a few times and this is the last time.
Aox didn't see where the speed should come from if you use a slow method in stead of a speedy one. My take is that you don't speed up the same things that you already do. In stead you simulate speed by doing something different. Look at it this way: I you must repair a car by means of trial and error, it will take a very long time. No matter how fast you are able to do the constituent activities. But if you read the manual first, you may speed up by a factor 100 or more, even if the speed of the separate activities is lower. Reading the manual is a very slow process in itself. It will speed up your activities by pruning the useless ones, though. Just like knowledge does to the tree of analysis.
The Life and Chess of Anatoly Karpov
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