Wednesday, January 13, 2016

A focussed mind doesn't ask silly questions

It just gets the job done.

A housewife asked her husband to do some shoppings with the list she made. She wasn't amused when he came back.

She couldn't belief her eyes.
For those who can't read Dutch, a translation of the list:
1 Milk
2 Cucumber
3 Butter
4 Greek yoghurt
5 Tomatoes
6 Eggs

I'm busy with visualizing Renko's advanced forced move sequences. I'm definitely not in my comfort zone. So I guess I get additional karma points for that.


  1. Thought you would be so good in visualizing? Have something in my mind like 3d color superduper vision? Are you able to play blindfolded? I think i remember you doing these chesseye exercises...
    To be able to play 10(?)plys and still "see" the board is a valuable skill

  2. Vision is a subject with many facets. A lot of those facets are irrelevant to being good at tactics, others are crucial. I can play a simul blind folded against two opponents who are rated, say, 400 points below me and probably win. If the telephone goes during a blindfold game against the computer, I can continue an hour later, so I for sure make use of my LTM during play. From time to time I can see the board in 3D and technicolor in my head. Alas not often or continuously. So for sure I master a lot of irrelevant facets for being good at tactics.

    If you try to think ahead, you will find that if you allow yourself to move the pieces around on a physical board, that that is of much less help as one is inclined to think. As I said yesterday: If your vision of the present position isn't perfect, you can't expect to have a clear vision of future positions.

    Hence I try to visualize as much as I can in a position. What visualisation skills are crucial to being good at tactics is not quite known by me, nor is the technique how to train them. But I try and I learn.

  3. if your blindfold-play skill is relativly (in comparison to other players of your strength ) good then you should be relativly better in tactics with a long variation ( say a mate in 8 ) than in a tactics with short variations (say a mate in 3). You may see that it is realy this way at your rating performance in "mates" i did send you.. as more moves as higher your rating performance. Meaning ~ others of your ratings, perform relativ to you, worse in Mate in 8.
    And of course as shorter the lines as more the tactical vision becomes something like a "simple" board vision.
    So i think a training in long lines.. is not what you need. You can do that already. You dont see enough ( relativ to others ) in short lines. Maybe you should do some short blitz or even flash games?

  4. @Tempo

    "Vision is a subject with many facets" - that's right! What I I have recently tested is the ability to gain as many ideas as possible! I have a very weak "mind/eye vision", but I feel the "idea vision" much better!

    What do I mean? I have BIG problems to visualize the positions without forgetting which pieces stands at what square(s), but now I can feel IDEA vision much better! I simply feel what is the best (or at least promising) good due to reading and analyzing the dozens of positions related to the specific positions.

    I have no clue what is the importance of ideas vs mind vision, but it looks like BOTH are very important ones (they are mutually inclusive). I am wondering what would be the impact of practicing the ideas vision to the game played by me. I could tell you in a half year (as I try to test it at the battle against some different players).

    1. It is important to get rid of all those rigid idea's about chess improvement. Cognitive science doesn't know all that much about it, nor do coaches and authors. Or we, for that matter. We are on uncharted territory. The spirit of curiosity and doing experiments, that is what we need. Experimenting with idea vision is a good "idea".

  5. @Aox, Mathematicians easy fall prey to the mesmerizing effect of numbers, I presume. But figures are used as a simplification of the world. In this process of abstraction, the information of the details is erased. You cannot expect that studying numbers will lead to the revelation that an electron has hair, or that it suffers from fleas. Since that information is erased in the process of simplification.

    The visualization I'm talking about, is the language that I try to use to talk to my unconscious mind (soothing new age music in the background). Since when I learned to shift gears, visualization worked. In some incomprehensible way.

    Only when my unconscious mind has taken over the task I want it to do, and works it's magic, the result will be measurable by numbers. Big numbers, I hope. But the numbers have no value in predicting which method of communication with my unconscious mind will work best. Go figure.

  6. @Tomasz
    Tomasz your weaknesses or strengths in tactics are opposit to Tempos weaknesses and strengths. While you are good in mate in 1 ( relatively ) Tempo is weak. Your weakness is long calculations, visualistation and thats where Tempo is strong.. relativily.
    So estimately tempo should do high speed low rated problems ( which you can do so easy fast and good and you like to do them ) and you should do long calculations visulalisations memory exercises ( which tempo (did) do often and long ).

    What we like to do is what we already can do good, what we cant do good we dont like to do ;) That what we dont like is estimatingly that what we need to do.