Sunday, April 08, 2012
Skill or pattern recognition
In a previous post I said that pattern recognition is the only way to transfer a solution from one problem to another. Maybe there is a second method: skill.
A skill is problem independent. The skill to see wether a piece is attacked for instance. If I improve this skill, it will have an effect on all positions, not just on the positions I used to train that skill.
To make matters more complicated, a skill can depend to a certain degree on the ability to recognize patterns or work in combination with it.
Saariluoma conducted a series of simple experiments which suggest that grandmasters are much quicker than novices in certain lower-level perceptual proc or esses. In the first of these experiments, a king of one colour was placed on the chessboard, along with a piece of the other colour. The subject had to state whether the king was in check or not. The average latencies were as follows: novices: 1550 ms, class players: 1250 ms, experts: 900 ms, grandmasters: 650 ms.21 The results show that skill is inversely proportional to reaction time.
This piece of text refers to a skill, not necessarily to pattern recognition. The skill to see whether a king is in check is transferable from one problem to another.
They argue that “the differences in chess skill manifest themselves in the speed with which successive new chunks are retrieved from longterm memory: 3 or 4 seconds for the Master, 6 or 8 seconds for the Class A player, and about 12 seconds for the beginner” (p.256). Therefore, not only does the stronger player have more chunks in LTM, he or she can retrieve them faster (Roring dissertation).
This points to pattern recognition (which might be just another skill).
The reason I bring this up is that when I'm busy with the fine art of seeing the invisible, it looks more and more like a skill and not like pattern recognition. Which is not the same as saying that pattern recognition plays no role in this skill.
CT is specialized in geometrical-pattern-of-the-pieces-recognition. As Aox pointed out, if you are disciplined enough during storage time, you can store the geometrical pattern of the squares too. And you can test it indirectly, if you are able to solve the problem quick, you prove to master the pattern of the squares. Well, he actually said "nothing new", but I think this is what he meant:)
But for a skill, an entirely different method for improvement might be needed. Something like the skilltraining in Fritz, for instance or something similar. What is needed for the skill to see the invisible topology of the board?
(the picture above, btw, is a shoe which plants a seed with every step)