Finding my way in the chessdevelopment- and training jungle in order to improve my rating.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
The past week I have experimented with method A again. I observed that there is no lack of patterns stored in long term memory. The problem lies in the mechanism that decides which pattern to retrieve and which pattern not. The mechanism that controls where your attention over the the board is directed.
If not under the control of guidance, that mechanism works automatically. And automatically means semi-intelligent.
We can guide our attention with a thoughtprocess. This way we add real intelligence. This is a blunderprone, time- and energy consuming conscious process.
During a game under competitive circumstances, there is little time for conscience guidance, so we have to rely heavily on the semi-intelligent automatic move selection process.
Under the quiet circumstances of the study room, we must improve the semi-intelligence of the automatic move selection mechanism. I called this "adding intelligence".
We can influence the mechanical habits of the move selection mechanism only in an indirect way. By guiding it by means of conscious thoughts. Thus transferring conscious real intelligence to automatic semi-intelligence.
Method A is about the storage of new patterns in memory. Method B is about the selection mechanism that retrieves them. In our discussions we didn't make this clear distinction, and that causes a lot of fuzz. As you might have noticed.
I have been busy with the storage of patterns for 5 years. The first 3 years I made considerable progress, the next 2 years I stalled. With hindsight, I have tried to long to make it work again, denying the law of diminishing returns. I did that on purpose to make it absolutely clear that there was nothing to gain along that road anymore.
The past week I noticed that a lot of patterns have faded away from memory during the past 3 years after the excercises. This costed me a 150 ratingpoints the past years. Of course I will work on their refreshment the coming weeks. Once refreshed, I will get those 150 points back, no doubt about that.
Plan A, the storage of patterns, is something different than plan B, the retrieval of patterns. Excessive excercises along the lines of plan A don't have an effect on the retrieval of patterns. Of course, as long as you aren't stalling with the assimilation of patterns, you have to work on plan A. A pattern you haven't stored, you cannot retrieve. But when the law of diminishing returns takes over, further exercises along this line make no sense. Except to replenish the fading away of patterns from memory due to the progression of time. But that is only maintenance, which requires little effort. Maintainance which I am about to do.
The semi-intelligent move selection mechanism.
As said, we can only influence this mechanism in an indirect way by means of conscious guidance of attention. The past months I have been working on a thoughtprocess. Said thoughtprocess is ment to be the framework along which the attention is guided. Somehow I haven't been able to implement this in a systematic way. During the process, the thoughtprocess mutated a few times in an unexpected way, and before I noticed, old habits took over.
I think this is the main difference between juvenile and adult improvement. When you are young there are no habits ingrained in your brain while when you are older the old habits fight back. I don't think there is a physiological reason why the brains couldn't be reprogrammed, but it takes a precise method and more effort.