Posts

Showing posts from September, 2022

Remember the goal

Robert showed us a good problem that gives me the opportunity to show what we are after. Stage 2: the black box where system 1 works its magic, and transforms knowledge into skill. It is about skill. No skill, no thrill.  The position shows a perfect test. If you need system 2 to solve it, you are not there yet. If you have seen 10 Anastasia's mate, you have seen them all. If you have seen 10 smothered mates, you have seen them all. If you have seen 100 magnets, you probably know your mates. White to move. SEE the Anastasia's mate, the smothered mate and the magnet. 4r1k1/1p3pp1/p1b3q1/5N2/1Q2P3/2P5/PP6/1K5R w - - 0 1 You are ready if you you SEE the Anastasia's mate, the smothered mate and the magnet. No lists needed, whatsoever! ! Lists are system 2 stuff.  Black to move. SEE the magnet. White to move. SEE the Anastasia's mate SEE the smothered mate Lists are for if you don't know what to do. It doesn't make sense to use them when you want to acquire skill. B

Shedding light in the black box

Our learning process has three stages. Two of them are in the study room, and the third is in the tournament hall. In the study room Stage 1. Breaking down into chewable chunks The first stage is braking down a position into chewable chunks. This is a typical system 2 activity. gather a suitable problem set solve the problem analyse the positions break the position down into the 50 tactical elements From a learning point of view, this is a waste of time. Since there is no transfer of knowledge to skill during this stage. Nothing will stick into system 1.  Chess prodigies don't need to do stage 1. They have chess coaches that do this for them. When you aren't a chess prodigy or you don't have a coach, you can save time and effort: Let a grandmaster gather a relevant problem set Let Stockfish analyse the position Minimize your efforts Let others do the work wherever you can The quality of the chunks determine the end result. But there is no result in this stage for system 1 S

Debbie Downer

Today I had to solve a problem about which I have written a post on August 27. I failed miserably. I was rather disappointed. A position I have studied for hours on end, had nothing tangible left in system 1. But Robert cheered me up with his problem in the comment of the previous post, which I could solve without any system 2 deliberations. I considered my mate study to be completed, so the method is right for mates already, but for the other tactical elements it is not completed yet . What happened on August 27 ? Apparently, I have broken down the position into edible chunks with the aid of system 2, but I haven't eaten the chunks yet. So system 1 knows nothing about it. That is why I highly recommend to make use of a database with positions, and use the same positions over and over again. First you must process it with system 2 to make it edible, then you must eat it. Which helps us with a new definition: you are ready when you solve the position without any activity of syste

Another example

The tactical object  Roles are not geometrical patterns. It are abstract definitions of tactical elements. A role is often piece independent, although often different pieces give different quirks to the role. Often the role is rather independent of the geometry. There are a huge amount of places where the pieces can be, and still perform the same role. Roles are closely related to scenarios. A certain set of roles has its own set of standard scenarios. The specific position determines which scenarios from the set are suited and which are not. Have a look at the following position. Black to move 6k1/5p2/p4P1b/1p2q2p/4N2K/7P/P1P1Q3/8 b - - 0 1 Which tactical objects can we identify? Black to move We can identify: target Ne4 defender Qe2 Ne4 is pinned The roles: Imagine how broad the role of target is. It can be anywhere on the board. It can be any piece. Imagine how mary types of pinned pieces there are. Imagine how many ways there are to defend a target. The scenarios: What are the poss

Lookalikes

The power of the Fusiform Fase Area (FFA) is its ability to see the analogy between objects. What does this mean for our attempt to gain tactical prowess? There are about 50 tactical objects, which I mention here   We need to recognize all these objects under all circumstances. Usually, we recognize a pinned piece when we see one. And usually we recognize a double attack or a discovered attack when we see one. When you have seen one Anastasia's mate, you have seen them all. But it is not always clear which piece is a target and which piece is a defender. In order to recognize a defender, we must make an object of the role of a piece. The same is true for an overloaded piece. An overloaded piece can defend a piece, or a square, or a rank, or a combination of both. The piece itself can be a bishop, a knight, a king or any other piece. It is the role we need to learn to recognize. Under any circumstance. Just 50 tactical objects. It can't be that hard, can it?

System1, are you awake?

We know that system 1 is all about SEEing.  But how do you know when you have seen enough? System 1 doesn't tell you when he is ready. Say, you SEE the lines of attack, and you SEE the pivotal points, and you SEE the overloaded piece and you SEE the elimination of the defender. And you measure, that you SEE everything within a few seconds. How do you know that you have learned everything you can from this position? Somehow the communication with system 1 seems to be a bit one dimensional.

Status of the LoA

I'm not so happy with the term PoP (point of pressure) since it describes two things at the same time. For reasons of clarity that is not very expedient. First there is the role of pivot point in the line of attack. The line of attack changes from direction towards the target. Second there is the state of the square. Do we have the upperhand or not. Point of pressure indicates that we have not the upperhand on the pivot square YET, but we might get it in the near future. I like to separate these two elements. Besides that, I like two talk about the status definition. When we talk about pieces, we talk about B.A.D. (Barely Adequate Defended) pieces. This term is coined by Dan Heisman, if I'm not mistaken. When we talk about pieces, we must not only see their status as being B.A.D. (Barely Adequate Defended), but as being en prise as well, and we must see pieces that are not under attack and not defended LPDO (Loose Pieces Drop Off). So when the status of a piece is: attacked x t

B.A.D. targets

If we can learn something about PoPLoAFun, it will be helpful by all our moves. So let us continue the investigation. A LoA (line of attack) works from attacker to target. So there is no need to look to the edge of the board, since it stops by the target. Without a target, a line of attack makes no sense. The same is true for the attacker. Without an attacker, a line of attack makes no sense. Let's be more precise. A target doesn't need to be already on its target square. There are preliminary techniques to place a target on its target square (with tempo). The same holds true for the attacker. An attacker doesn't need to be already on its attacking square. There are preliminary techniques to put an attacker on its attacking square (with tempo). The line of attack goes from attacking square to target square and the attacker might or might not already be on its attacking square and the target might or might not be already on its target square. Points of pressure are the squar

The one Anastasia's mate is not the other

And the difference is made by the lines of attack. When it comes to SEEing, I cannot stress enough the importance of PoPLoAFun. It al starts with a clear picture of the LoA's (lines of attack). Let's get concrete. White to move rnq3kr/1b4p1/p4bp1/1p4N1/4p3/2N1B2Q/PPP4P/2KR1R2 w - - 4 22 Let's have a look at the lines of attack and the points of pressure. White to move A LoA is the line of attack between an attacker and a target. The attacker Rd1 attacks the black King and Queen via the PoP (point of pressure) d8. It is a double attack. This is for system 1 the stuff to SEE. It sounds complicated verbally (system 2) but in the realm of SEEing (system 1) it is ultra simple. White to move Attacker: Rf1 LoA: f-file PoP: f8 Targets: K and Q Simple to SEE. The black bishops blocks the f-file White to move The LoA's of the white Queen: diagonal h3/c8  diagonal e6/g8 h-file PoP: e6 All simple to SEE. White to move The PoP's of the Knight: The skedaddle squares f7 and h7 So

Transfer

I have long been puzzled by the mystery of the transfer of knowledge from one position to another. What I found out, is that matters are way simpler than I thought. The mechanism of transfer works by the frequency of occurrence. If a tactical element doesn't arise in each and every game, you are studying the wrong element. Mind you, it doesn't need to be actually played, it is enough when it plays a role in your considerations. For instance, in every game, a pin or a double attack plays a role. In every game, mate plays a role. If we focus on the elements from the previous post, you find everything you need to learn to recognize. All elements play a role in each and every game. Since there are only about 50 elements, you see that our task can't be that hard. If we are using the right method. Robert said: "I suggest (without being pejorative) that (in general) the notion that “If you’ve seen one (or 10) example(s), you’ve seen them all” is not true of most of the concep

What are the salient cues?

After a few hundred puzzles I can answer that. Luckily it is very simpel:  32 mates (after seeing 10 Anastasia's mates, you have seen them all) 6 tactical motifs (pin, double attack, skewer etc.) 8 preliminary moves (clearance, interference, magnet, elimination of the defender etc.) LoA's (lines of attack) PoP's (points of pressure) Fun's (Functions: defender, overloaded, blocking, covering a flee square etc.) initiative (CCT) No reason to make it more complicated than that. The transfer of knowledge from one position to another works, since these elements are occurring in ALL your games many times.

Rating result

Finally my rating from the two tournaments is processed: from 1691 to 1720 . Which is not too shabby for 16 games. I consider 100 points up within a year as the minimum requirement for a proof of concept. Training effort conform my latest ideas: 140 hours so far.