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Showing posts from February, 2011

### I was 50% right

. . . On the post Dissection of a microdrill Bright Knight commented: I believe that conscious feedback is important. If you get the solution to a problem wrong, it helps to work out why you got it wrong, and what you could have done to get it right. (Being too slow can be “getting it wrong” in this context.) Finding simple chess tactics is mostly an automatic unconscious process (unless you are a beginner). If you get it right very quickly, so quickly that you did not have time to work it out, that proves that you are doing it on autopilot. If you do not solve a simple problem quickly, you have not demonstrated even temporary success at the skill. You need to find the solution quickly, and have as much time as you need to reflect if you do not. If you fail to get the solution, a fast time limit is bad, because finding the solution for yourself is much more instructive than being told the answer - but spending too long on a problem is bad time management. Th

### Scandrills

. . . What are the kind of tasks that are suitable for microdrills? What are the tables of multiplication, chesswise? The task must be related to calculation. The task must be simple. Ideal is that they are as complex as 1 fact. That square overthere is e4 is an example of a fact. That piece is under attack is another. After some experiments is seems to me that vision-related scans are the most suitable. That are simple tasks like scanning the board for pieces under attack, pieces that are undefended etc.. As Uwe pointed out, if there is tactical vision there must be other visions too like strategical vison, positional vision etc.. Of course he is right. Every vision is related to simple facts. Every simple fact can be scanned for. Every scan can be turned into a scandrill. For instance: Point out in random given positions: Which pieces are under attack. Which pieces are undefended. Which pieces can deliver check. Which squares are suitable for an outpost. Which squares are suitable f

### Dissection of a microdrill

. . . Uwe asked: You did 100+k tactical exercises. Why is your tactics-rating still "so low" ( meaning not at GM-Level )? Indeed my exercises only gained me a measly 300 OTB points. And if my main goal wasn't to find out how stuff works I would have been a bit disappointed for sure. Luckily that isn't the case and most of the time I was happily aware of "spilling my time" for the sake of exclusion. On the road of exclusion chess improvement nonsense falls from the bandwagon every mile. The reason of wee improvement sofar: bad methods. The methods worked at first exposure but overtime the returns diminished gradually. When one ages precision in exercise methods becomes paramount. High time to dissect the latest microdrills in order to find out what the decisive elements are. What is critical and what are frills. I'm speaking of the drill of naming the squares. A little silly maybe, but we are looking after principles here and this is a nice and clearcut

### Inspiration from NM Dan Heisman

. . . Uwe commented on my previous post: I am still astonished, that you can play blindfold and have problems to name the squares. Be carefull or you will miss the point! From a normal point of view, I have no problems at all to name the squares. Just like anyone else. But for naming a square, I have to think a second or two. Just like anyone else. Under normal circumstances I wouldn't notice that there is something about it. Only under the extreme condition of squealing time trouble I can't make brain capacity free for it. Just see for yourself how fast you can name the squares. Do you need a second or two and do you hesitate now and then or do they popup immediatialy without noticable time delay, without hesitation or stuttering and with no conscious effort at all? In the first case you have to think, in the second case you use a skill. I suspect alot of chessplayers to fall in the first category without realizing it. You know "Training in Chess" from Dr. Fernand Go

### Searching for inspiration

. . . Now my positional approach is on track, I need to work on that other area that I promised myself to look at more than a year ago: skills. Where am I standing: For a skill you use a different part of the brain than for (re)construction. With my latest experiment of naming the squares I consider it to be proven that microdrills are the right way to train skills. I transferred an action from one part of the brain to another. At first I named the squares of the board slow and with conscious thinking, now I can name them fast and without conscious thinking. I limit the skills that I want to develop to "calculation" (drilling into the mouth of the croc). Blindfold chess adresses one skill that is needed for calculation. Since both in blindfold chess and in calculation you need to keep track of the pieces without seeing them physically. There are other skills involved in calculation and I want to find out which. I need inspiration to find out the other skills that are involved

### I've got rythm

. . . On my quest to find the right way to train skills I'm still working on the microdrill to learn the name of the squares by heart. After about one and a half hour of drilling in total (90 seconds per square), the skill starts to become fluent. It is not perfect, but already much and much better than it was. Another hour of training should make it perfect. Today I started to turn around the board. Allthough that goes somewhat better than when I started with the board straight, it is far from good. You can't say that the training of the skill with the board straight didn't influence the training with the boardcolors reversed, but the effect is not great. If microdrills proof to be the way to go, you must learn to love them. As MDLM did. What helps is to add rythm. In a week or two I should be ready to proof or falsify my case. Still continuing to play a blindfold game or two each day.