Posts

Showing posts from August, 2022

SEEing exercise

I'm investigating methods to educate system 1. Take the following position: Black to move 8/6pk/2Q1bp1p/8/5b2/2Bq1N1P/P4PP1/6K1 b - - 0 32 Wat elements are there to SEE? the line of attack c4 / f1, building up a battery the covering of the skedaddle square h2 the back rank mate the interference of the white defense of Bc3 by the white Queen After 1. ... Bc4 2. Nd2 Black to move What is there to SEE? the knight covers the mating square f1 black cannot take with Bxd2 since the black Queen is then overloaded The white bishop on c3 is taboo too because of the double attack of the white Queen: Black to move white bishop is taboo double attack with white Qe4 => Kh7+  and Bf4 And after 2, ,,, Bd5: White to move What is there to SEE? The black bishop moves to d5 where it no longer overloads the black Queen The black bishop moves with tempo Essentially this is a duplo attack on the white Queen and Knight Treat it as a SEEing exercise: SEE all the bullet points above don't worry abou

Moves and landscape

In the previous post, I tried to make a distinction between the chess moves and the landscape on the board. What is it that I'm after? The reasoning is as follows. Chess moves come in pairs when you have the initiative. Chess moves are balanced or unbalanced. If chess moves are balanced, you initiate a move and the opponent answers to that move. Every move has one or more purposes. Every purpose must be met. A dual purpose move must be met by a dual function answer. A triple purpose move must be answered by a move that meets all three purposes. Mistakes will accumulate into the position. Every time a multi purpose move can't be fully met, it is reflected in the position. Every unbalanced move should make you aware of the altering of the landscape. These mistakes provide the salient visual cues for the win. Be it the gain of wood or the mating of the king. These crystalized limitations of the pieces are the words that you must learn to recognize. This means, that you must look

They move in pairs

The previous post can easily be interpreted as an invitation for mass absorption of chess words. Absorb 6 patterns a day and you will be a master over 8.3 years. Let us see whether we can be smarter than that. Robert pointed me to an interesting scientific work about the nature of chunks. In stead of the assumption that chess chunks are based on the pieces-on-squares (POS) they make a case for the abstract roles of the pieces. Since science is divided about the definition of a chunk, I continue to use the word "word". Sometimes alternated with "pattern" due to old habits. Let's have a closer look at the problem of the previous post. The first word is 1. Bxa8 Bxc1 (tit for tat) This is a pair of moves that have a certain balance. White grabs a rook, and black grabs a rook back. No wood has been lost and white still has the move. The second word is 2. Qxc8 Rxc8 (direct exchange) Again a pair of balanced moves. White grabs the queen, and black grabs the queen back.

Chess vocabulary

Now I train in a rather consistent way, I can't help to think about my method a little deeper. The more I think about it, the more I see the analogy with learning a language. We talked a lot about this in the past of course, but we never reached a definite conclusion. A few spirals of contemplation further, I see things much clearer now though. B1q2rk1/5ppp/4p3/p1Q5/8/6P1/Pb2PP1P/2RR2K1 b - - 0 21 What are words in chess? Words are patterns. 1. Bxa8 Bxc1 (tit for tat) 2. Qxc8 Rxc8 (direct exchange) We all know these patterns well. But then there is a new word we need to learn. Why is this position winning?: B1r3k1/5ppp/4p3/p7/8/6P1/P3PP1P/2bR2K1 w - - 0 23 The problem lies in the fact that blacks rook c8 isn't free. It has a duty to fulfil. Its function is to guard the back rank. Leaving Bc1 unprotected. Because of that, white can save his bishop and gain a tempo at the same time with 3. Bb7. Black has to save his rook. But he can't do so and save the black bishop at the s

What is the difference between a crocodile?

What is the difference between a crocodile? The greener, the it swims. This riddle is already nonsensical before it is translated from Dutch. I have now reached a section with chess puzzles that is called "in between moves". And often I feel like I'm hearing this riddle. I know the words are correct, but it has no meaning to me. Which makes sense, since the words have no meaning. But in the chess puzzles, the moves have a definite meaning. Yet, I simply feel nothing. Of course, it is a good thing if something like that happens to your opponent. If their mind is numb for the why behind a move. They simply don't hear the alarm bells going off. So it is important that I find the why myself. Which proves to be not an easy task. Take for instance this position: 2qr2n1/6pk/1nr2pp1/p1N1p3/P3P2P/BQ4P1/2R2P1K/2R5 w - - 0 36 I simply feel numb when I see the winning moves. Why on earth would I even consider 1. Nd7 ?

Commenting to comment

Robert commented on the last post. I will comment to that in blue. Such considerations suggest an important difficulty our cognitive processes are able to address: the total information contained in an environment is too vast to process using deliberative reasoning but the information contained in localised chunks of the environment is too focused to be useful by itself. What we would like to find are the small number of visual cues that make up the salient aspects of the environment and show how these cues change as a function of skill. One approach is to use a neural network that can automatically form ordered, compressed representations of sensory perceptions such as Self-Organizing Maps (SoMs). SoMs have been used as a model of neurological organisation as well as a tool for data-mining and they have the benefit of being unsupervised learners, that is to say they extract structural regularity from data without external guidance. This last point is significant, from a behavioural p

Simplification

Some positions might look complex to me at first. But when I dig deeper, what remains is actually simple. Take for instance this position: r3qrk1/1b3ppp/ppp5/2nBp1N1/P3P3/7P/1PP1QPP1/R2R2K1 w - - 0 1 The first action is a forced series of exchanges on f7. Nobody gains or loses wood, but the black king ends up at f7 as a target. The other target is Bb7 The second action is the elimination of Nc5, which is both the defender of Bb7 and of the invasion square d7. The third action is the execution of the duplo attack against king and bishop. The art of simplification is helpful for the storage of the pattern in system 1. The three elements of the combination are easy to see . You are not bothered by where the white pieces exactly are, or which pieces it are, nor is it exactly interesting where the black pieces are or which pieces it are, as long as they are all in contact with f7, and a forced exchange results in a king appearing at f7 as target . This type of simplification of a positio

Expectations

So far the proof of my method only exists in my head. Based on my experiences during the past tournaments. I hacked two 2000 players off the board tactically, and both hadn't seen it coming. I never have been able to do so before. My success was based on the preparation for the tournaments. If I can cultivate this, a rating of at least 1950 must be possible. I keep repeating that this is all very subjective. That is good enough to convince me, but you my dear reader must not accept that. So the next step must be to prove it in an objective way with the aid of Mr. Elo. Before the tournaments my rating was 1691, after a steady decline for years, despite a lot of training effort. In september it will become clear what the tournaments will have done for my rating. I have trained with my new method for 240 hours before the tournaments. I expected by extrapolation to need another 740 hours to make my tactical training complete. But I found a few answers to the system 2 => system 1 tr

The dust settles a bit

Now the dust settles a bit after the tournaments, it is time to answer some questions. Papa Polgar put three of his daughters on a chess diet and proved that he could turn some random girls into grandmasters. That raised a few questions: Do his ideas work for adults? If not, why not? If not, can we alter his ideas so that it works for adults? Ad 1: Do his ideas work for adults? No. We tested this with quite a group of people: the Knights Errant. We found the following. Adults that do not plateau at chess and who have never  been exposed to tactics will grow about 250 rating points and will then plateau. It doesn't make any difference which method they used to become exposed to tactics at all . Adults that do plateau at chess and who have never  been exposed to tactics will grow about 250 rating points or less and will then plateau. It doesn't make any difference which method they used to become exposed to tactics  at all . Adults that have been exposed seriously to tactics

Absorbing the tree of scenarios

With every tactical aim you purchase, there is a logical chain of scenarios that can be followed. What I try to achieve is to absorb that logic in system 1, in order to make it a skill. This is such attempt. rn1q1rk1/p1ppbpp1/1p2pn2/6N1/1P6/P2BP3/1BPP1P1P/RN1QK2b w Q - 0 1 One logical thing that you can try to achieve here is to mate the black king with Qh5-Qh7#. From the tree of scenarios it follows that you look for the defender of h5. Apparently that is knight Nf6. The next logical step is to look for a way to eliminate the defender. Bxf6 will open the path to Qh5. There is no time to take Bf6 back for black, Since white has already two attackers pointing to the point of pressure h7, and Qh5 is looming. g6 seemingly seems to stop two of the three pieces that focus towards h7. For mate you need two pieces, but three pieces are heading for h7, so you can sac one of them in an attempt to open lines so the other two can do their job:  Qh5 gxh5 opens the diagonal d3 - h7, so Bh7# ends t

Summary

Rating progress  The both tournaments are over. What have I learned from the preparation and the execution? The tournaments themselves will deliver me a 15 rating points or so, I expect. But given the fact that I don't like to play against nervously moving agitated boys of 12 years old, so I try to draw them as soon as possible, and my two blunders when I was hacking two 2000 rated players off the board, I don't attach much value to the rating result. In this special case. Switch of area of attention During my preparation I made a major switch, due to the fact that I was hacked off the board in under the 20 moves twice. I analysed what went wrong and talked to my victors about the games. That convinced me that the area of concern is the realm of simple tactical themes and motifs. The ABC of tactics, so to speak. So I abandoned the opening preparation altogether. And even my endgame study was put on the back burner. Stopwatch as guide There is a brilliant method to measure wheth

The ABC of absorption

Evidently, we look way too complicated at matters. First, transfer. How does it work? It is very simple. We must automate everything that we use in every single game. If an element doesn't occur once in every say 5 games, it is not worth to absorb. Until you have absorbed everything what is occurring once in every 4 games or less. For tactics: Mates Gaining wood Preliminary moves The ABC of tactics. Everything in this realm that is not seen a tempo is not absorbed. For me that is for instance: 4r1k1/2r4p/3p2p1/8/2bN2P1/Pp2qP2/1P1Q4/1K1R3R b - - 0 1 It takes me a few minutes to completely calculate what is happening in this position. Calculation is a system 2 activity. Meaning, the elements are not absorbed (system 1). I'm sure you can find your own positions where your system 2 is making overtime. What are the elements you should see a tempo: The back rank mate The white Queen is overloaded (defending c1, c3 and Nc4) the interference of the defence of the Knight by Bd3+ (elimi