Let me be clear beforehand: I obviously have not yet found a way to improve consistently. Yet I am optimistic. It feels quite different than after a few months of salt mining. I narrowed down the goal I should head for rigorously. I would describe it as:
To improve the pattern recognition of the 18 most important tactical themes by building cues that enhance retrieval.
I tried a whole lot of different methods. None of them worked. The following idea emerged, by method of exclusion of everything else. It should start with the main idea of the combination. Before everything else, that idea must be recognized. It is always one of the 18 tactical themes that forms the basis (the clue) of the combination. All other tactical themes are just part of the preparation. They maintain the initiative. Once the main idea is found, the moves that lead to implementation of the idea, are usually found fast.
I can recognize the main tactical theme often flawless almost all the time. It only takes usually an awful lot of time. What is necessary, is to speed up the recognition of those 18 most important tactical themes. Therefore, I need to build a series of frameworks of cues.
I have gathered a database of about 100 problem position which I have failed to solve correctly within a reasonable time. I use FreeMind to toss around those problems, to categorize them from different angles of view. From an initiative viewpoint, I found the following categories (amount of puzzles between the square brackets [#] ).
|Problem categories from the viewpoint of CCT|
It is no sinecure to build a framework of cues that is usable in many positions, since the combinations are so diverse. But I belief it is possible, though. I'm going to give it a try.
|Building a framework|