My mind is easily overwhelmed. When my mind is overwhelmed, it stalls.
That is the feeling I have when I play chess.
The reason that my mind is overwhelmed, is that it can not handle complexity. Probably no mind can. The only way to prevent the mind from being overwhelmed, is to get rid of complexity.
There are quite a few areas in life where I managed to get rid of complexity. I studied the book Progress and poverty of Henry George for about six years. In the beginning it was impossibly to apply his ideas to modern economic events. But when it finally dawned on me, I could see through complicated economic events in seconds. Because the events where no longer complex.
One of the characteristics of complexity is that you see things as different while they actually belong to the same category.
The mind is overwhelmed by numbers (vast amounts). When you see that things are different that are actually the same, you add to the numbers. By adding numbers, you add complexity. The conscious mind can handle only a few numbers at the same time. That is why it is overwhelmed so easily.
When I started this blog, it had the subtitle "chess improvement by effort (hatsjoe)". It was a joke, but since nobody knew the dutch word "hatsjoe", nobody recognized the joke. Only when I explained that the dutch hatsjoe was the same as achoo in English, the allergy to effort became apparent.
I learned six languages at school, and to me all languages were essentially different dialects of the same language.
Once I had to translate a brochure from Swedish. I never had been in contact with the language before. But by pronouncing it as old English with a German accent, it became suddenly clear what the words meant. All of a sudden I recognized about 80% of the words.
Only when you think that all languages are different, you manage to introduce complexity.
groot, groß, grand, grande, great, gran, grut, gwo, are all the same word in different languages. You add to the amount of numbers by seeing them as different.
We talked a lot about the subconscious working miracles. I always wondered in what area these miracles would be when it comes to chess. When complexity disappears, miracles are being worked. To recognize that groot, groß, grand, grande, great, gran, grut and gwo are all the same, is such miracle from the subconscious. But you must first realize that the words are actually the same.
I have gone at great length in the past in understanding chess problems. But what I failed to do, is to consolidate that knowledge. I analyzed, but I didn't systemize the knowledge that emerged from analysis. The analysis rendered the problem as simple, in the end. But I didn't simplify the analysis.
I have wandered every path of chess improvement under the sun. I have fallen in every pitfall one can imagine. I even didn't miss a single pitfall you cannot imagine, the past 18 years. Which makes matters very simple nowadays. Only one thing I haven't tried. And that is what I'm up to now. Deep understanding. Even so deep, that matters become simple. Time to put in some effort again (hatsjoe).