Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Another look at missed patterns

So far, investigation  has revealed two types of error:
  • Missed patterns
  • Flawed logic

Today I had a closer look at the missed patterns. I found out, that if I take more time for a problem, I stop missing patterns. The price tag for this is twice the amount of time than the average solving time of other users for a problem. This means, that if I take my time, then sooner or later I will find all patterns that I used to miss. This implies that the missed pattern problem is actually a slow logic problem. Which I'm very glad to find out. All my failure is logical reasoning related.

Only once in every 25 problems (4% of the cases) I make an error that is due to bad logic.
I'm glad that both problems are related to logical reasoning. I will make an in depth study of the 4% flawed logic errors. What remains is 64% failure due to slow logical reasoning and 32% correct solved problems in time.

And so the key question remains: how to speed up logical reasoning? After 45 days consecutive error solving, I'm still no closer to an answer to that question. Yet in this case, my gut feeling tells me that it should be possible to find an answer and to improve accordingly.

This one took me 41 years, and I still failed.


  1. Your performance at tactical puzzles will raise by ~~200 Elopoints if you spend twice as long as usuall.
    A "friend" of mine, a 1600+ rated player had a 2400 Standard CT-rating by just thinking several hours up to some days about every puzzle.

    1. That is good news. It means we don't have to learn new skills, we only have to speed up logical reasoning.

    2. I dont think that there is enough material in a puzzle to make several hours reasoning. Reasoning is the smallest part in the process of finding "the best move".

    3. Reasoning is the smallest part in the process of finding "the best move".
      What do you think then what the biggest part is?

    4. Within the context of reducing "confusion," I think Aox is correct. I think most of the "confusion" occurs because of thinking at one level almost exclusively OR jumping up and down the hierarchy of abstraction without any clear idea that we are doing just that. When I go back to the thinking process and approach it step-by-step, one level at a time, then move up a level with the information gleaned, almost always the "solution" either begins to get clearer or it "pops" into consciousness. Although it does take SOME time, it does not take nearly as much time as roaming around the vast empty vistas of my mind using T&E, hoping that something will "pop" up. It is clear (to ME) that my thinking process is not sufficiently disciplined nor sufficiently "internalized" into subconscious (LTM) memory. That's where I still have a lot of work to do.

    5. I did not follow the confusion discussion with the necessary attention and i dont get exactly what you mean with reasoning. Reasoning is usually based on a ( maybe growing )set of premises
      Example: A ball is round thing, round things can roll now we can reason that a ball can roll.

      I chess we may do reasoning this way: The rook is pinned, it cant be protected more than twice, i can attack it 3 times now we can reason: i can win material

      The reasoning can be done in fractions of seconds.. but to find the premises takes time.

      The generation of the premises
      "The rook is pinned"
      "I can attack the rook 3 times"
      "The rook can only be protected 2 times"

      That cost time

      It cost time to find these premises to be the important ones to
      and proabably it takes the most time to come to ask the question: How often could the rook be attacked, how often could the rook be defended

      This is just a wild example. We would need a concrete example of a thinkingproces to check it in detail for the time consuming subtasks

      I personaly try to force me to ask a (logigcal) question to the position which suposingly bring me closer to the decision for a move
      And the answers to such questions take me most of the time.. i think ;)

    6. My apology in advance if I merely add to the "confusion."

      As one aspect, I sometimes get "stuck" looking at the piece auras level. I'm looking at the geometrical "lines of force" emanating from one (or more) of the pieces, expecting that the tactical "idea" that is appropriate for the "solution" (at the highest level) will "pop" into consciousness. When it doesn't, then I look at another piece at the same level of abstraction and continue my trek through the desert of "ideas" looking for an oasis. Usually, I will waste considerable time in this manner without realizing just how much time has passed.

      As another aspect, I sometimes "jump up and down" the hierarchy levels (stamping my mental feet in frustration) without any clear "idea" of what is possible in the given position. I look at a piece aura, jump up a level to looking for a motif associated with that aura, jump up another level to look for a tactical device/theme to take advantage of the motif, and (after considerable time passes) realize that I have done that same process with several pieces without having any "idea" pop into consciousness.

      As a final aspect, often times I overlook some crucial square or the interrelationship between a critical piece/square. Since I don't "see" it, I can't solve it. As the frustration mounts, I go into a mad scramble mentally, trying things by T&E, again wasting considerable time until I either realize I'm "stuck" in a rut, or I just give up and look at the answer.

      In other words, as Temposchlucker observed correctly, I either get stuck at one level or I am "confused" by all the various possibilities and interrelationships of pieces and squares. I am not quite sure how to correct my problem permanently, but diagnosis is certainly a necessary step on the road to recovery.

    7. We probably must agree at some time how many levels there are and what they exactly mean in chess, to prevent we are going to talk semantics. I belief that confusion is an indicator of thinking at a too low level. Confusion is caused by overloading the brain, and an overload is easier to "maintain" with bigger numbers. Since there are more letters than words, it is easier to become confused while chasing letters.

      A proposition:
      Level 1 = chasing letters = t&e = chasing individual moves
      Level 2 = chasing words = recognizing motifs
      Level 3 = sentence = combination
      Level 4 = text = solution

  2. Best figure caption ever - mfardal

    1. I even did never see the problem, due to a connection glitch.

  3. I am not sure if my observation will trigger any additional ideas, but anyway I want to share it.

    I have been teaching chess to two young kids. Every time I use the short games with the specific moves... I can see the main motif (idea) instantly. There are about 20-30 short games (related to traps and simple checkmates or winning material) and I can discuss it and I know the solution before the final position arises.

    Do you think this kind or statement may be useful in further explanations and conclusions (to our ideas we are trying to explore)?

    1. At the moment, nothing useful comes to mind. But feel free to share your experiences, since you never know. I read comments back on a regular base, to see if I missed something important.

    2. I believe there is value to an entire game context and its relation to tactics. As i find myself saying this reminds me of the opera mate, legal mate, smylsov rudowsky positional game.etc