Today I analysed my mistakes in a somewhat different way than usual. In stead of looking for more understanding of the position, I looked at the things that I missed. That turned out to be a very embarrassing experience. From the exercises I did at CT today, I failed 28%. Without exception, all errors were caused by the fact that I missed something very, very trivial.
I missed: knight forks, overworked pieces, simple takes, the presence of a defender, a counter check, the right square to flea too for my king, a few different mates, an unprotected queen behind a pin etcetera etcetera.
All of these patterns are all too familiar. I have seen them literally thousands or maybe even ten thousands of times over and over. Why do these simple things pop up so difficult? If you are lucky, it takes 50 seconds. If you have bad luck, it doesn't pop up at all. In 28% of the cases, for me.
Of course you can't perform a decent calculation, with these numbers. It either takes too long or misses important facts. Somehow we manage to camouflage this during OTB play. If I look at my games post mortem with the aid of a chess engine, there seldom is a big oversight. I seem to avoid the lines at which calculation could fail, without even noticing it. Although time trouble is a recurring problem. No wonder, if it takes 50 seconds for a trivial fact to be recognized. And mistakes in time trouble I don't count for real.
How do we tell our unconscious mind to release trivial facts in time?
Annotated Game #173: I like the London System
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