Besides that, I felt that it was necessary to improve the trainingsmethod first. And in that area I have made the biggest progress the past 3 years.
Munich has implemented my suggested improvements of plan A and proved that it has become a viable method. He has made a considerable progress in little time and he has been so friendly to describe how he precisely implemented the ideas:
- No DIY = it is not important that you get a headache and find the solution by yourself. It is much faster to understand the tactic. Think short about it, make your move and pick up the solution, especially if you did it wrong.
- Reduce complexity of chess (try to isolate what you want to learn)
- Add intelligence (train only what you cant do well)
- Automate the new gained knowledge (you need to be able to apply it subconsciously)
- Deliberate practice (part of adding intelligence: you only train puzzles you did slow or wrong)
- Tag-sorted training (part of No DIY and part of reducing complexity of chess: of course it helps to know you look for a fork. It speeds things up in adding intelligence. At the end you only need to understand the tactic. You know for instance it is a fork before you even start the puzzle, it makes your live more easy. Also, you will see typical patterns more often, which reduces complexity and helps your understanding in finding and applying typical patterns.)
- Spaced repetition (part of automating new gained knowledge and part of reducing complexity in chess. The later is so, because spaced repetition is the most efficient way to remember what we learned, so it is the fast track to success.)
- Rating sorted sets (part of no DIY and reducing complexity: if you know what difficulty to expect, it makes live more easy.)
- Train puzzles that are easy for others but not easy for you. (part of automating and adding intelligence and reducing complexity: you don’t repeat puzzles you did very fast. But you need to do an easy puzzle at least once to check if you were able to do it very fast. If you are, than you just wasted a few seconds to eliminate this puzzle from the learning list. It is a little sacrifice. After you went through the whole set of ie easy fork puzzles, then you only concentrate on puzzles you did wrong or slow. These are the very puzzles that are easy for others but not easy for you. You miss important intelligence.)
- Statistical relevance (the easy ranged puzzles are puzzles which expert players and master players failed to see during long tournament games. They were easy tactics which are easy, but not easy for the master who just failed to see it and hence lost the game. So even master players should go through easy puzzles and see if they know them all.)
- Puzzle range (I recommend easy puzzles, but not too easy puzzles. It is a bit of a trade off. If you can solve 90% of all puzzles that means you need to check 10 puzzles to just find 1 puzzle that is not easy for you. If you can solve 98% that means you need to check 50 puzzles to just find 1 puzzle that is not easy for you. And chances are, that it was a mouse slip anyway. So don’t do too easy puzzles. If you do puzzles rated 320 points below your rating, that means you will solve 90% of them. But since you want to solve them very fast, you may go lower than 320 points below your own rating. I suggest a range 450-350 points below your peak all time high CT rating . In temposchluckers case the range should hence probably be a CT Blitz rating range between 1350-1450. I assume his CT Blitz rating peak ATH to be at 1800.)
- CT Blitz rating as gauge only (The puzzle rating is more stable, because it takes time into account. Since we aim to do puzzles fast we take time into account. Using standard rating is just a bad habbit, if you have CT Blitz rating available, too. A 5 mover takes longer than a 2 mover. )
- A puzzle is known if you can find the solution without much hesitation. I suggest to aim for solving a puzzle within 9 seconds. A mate-in-2 maybe even faster.
All these leads to following training plan:
- Tag-sorted (ie all forks, or all mate-in-2)
- Rating sorted (reduce complexity, No DIY)
- Easy range but not too easy. (add intelligence, the range I suggest to be 450-350 below your CT Blitz all time high rating (your peak rating)).
- Repeat failures and repeat slow solved puzzles (add intelligence/ deliberate practice)
- Spaced repetition (until you know them very fast. Really, it is beneficial if you memorize them. Even literally, don’t worry about this. You will recognize the learned puzzles in your own games, where you will compare your knowledge with the actual situation on board. It enables you to calculate faster. Really. GMs draw heavily from there Long term memory and don’t calculate much. They “know” the tactic.)
I have started a trainingplan according to these principles.
Besides this I have to work on plan B, of course. Plan A is about the patterns of the pieces. Plan B is about the patterns of the squares. Exercising according plan A only brings you limited knowledge of plan B. Mr. Z expressed it beautifully:
The problem is we learned chess too materially. If I'd to start over again, I'd say, the squares are exactly (or more to be safe) important as the material. I used to wonder why they came up with the result in those eye following test that GMs looked at the squares dramatically more than amateurs, and this is why. I also answered the question I posed to you some time ago, why is chess so different? One of the reasons for me, because it is played on a deceptively flat map (or terrain). I mean, in starcraft and in real life most people know that holding a higher point like a mountain is an advantage, or being pushed into some narrow cross is bad, but where is the mountain top in chess? It is a flat board for your eyes! At least it looks like that. But really it is the playing field. It isn't flat at all, moreover it changes its highest points turbulently, better pay attention to it. Your pieces can be isolated, walled in, they can be pushed into a swamp of pawns, one knight on a mountaintop can barrage over the whole battlefield. You must go around it, or siege it just like you'd do if you see it in real life (not hidden by a flat board).