We have a method for plan A of which it is more or less proven that it works. Yet I feel that there are some loose ends to tidy up.
What is better, low rated problems in high quantities or high rated problems in low quantities.
Low rated problems in high quantities (aka "the saltmines").
What are arguments for this approach?
- A grandmaster has stored 50,000 - 100,000 chunks according to prof. de Groot et al. You can compare it to learning words of a foreign language.
- The frequency of occurrence is high. Hence the relevance of the patterns.
- The added intelligence per problem is extremely low.
- It is a daunting and time consuming task.
- No grandmaster ever did this.
- I have been in the saltmines for five years and it never quite worked. I have assimilated tenthoussands of patterns, maybe not in the most efficient way, but nevertheless.
- DLM used low quantities of high quality.
- Much intelligence added per problem.
- You can do much fewer problems compared to lower rated problems.
Both approaches have one element in common: speed. You repeat the problems until you can solve them fast (<10 seconds).
The difference in time needed per problem is caused by the adding of intelligence, which is time consuming.
To me the main question is: how does the transfer work from one problem to another?
It is impossible to learn all possible combinations due to their sheer amount. If there is no transfer of skill from one problem to another, the saltmines are the only possibility. The very expression pattern recognition suggests otherwise. You assimilate just one pattern, but our ability to recognize that pattern everywhere makes that you can see the pattern in a new position, one that you have never seen before. The approach of DLM had two elements which were necessary for skill transfer: speed and adding intelligence. One of them he forgot to tell us about. To me, the patterns in 2300 rated problems and 1300 rated problems are the same. So there is no reason at all to work on a large number of patterns. It is the adding of intelligence that counts. In the process of adding intelligence, the transfer to new problems is assured. At the moment I'm experimenting with 1800 rated problems at high speed. That might be the best of both worlds. With medium rated problems you can do a set of 200 problems within a week very fast.
I don't think it is possible to settle the score by arguments. Only proof ackowledged by prof. Elo will be accepted.