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Showing posts from October, 2023

The final conundrum

It took me 18 years to find the bottom steps of the ladder to chess improvement. Often I thought that I had found the beginning. But time after time, a close scrutiny of the results of my training sessions, tempered the initial enthusiasm. Usually after a month or three. Mr Glicko and Mr Elo are relentless. I always managed to keep my mouth shut when I thought that I was successful. Until May this year. When I discovered the importance of chess logic as the base of transfer between chess problems, and as the base of analogies in chess, I felt that I finally was on to something. I felt that I was improving. Of course that is subjective proof, but since I don't was punished by disappointment after three months, that was good enough for me. It worked. So I finally found to courage to speak up a bit. But it wasn't efficient. It started to dawn on me that still something was missing. I started to analyze my losses, and I was working on my five new openings as a madman. I noticed th

Execution

When you have 2 move (3 ply deep) problems, one move is used for the actual execution of the wood gaining process, while the other move either prepares the execution or deals with the consequences. In 54% of the cases the first move is a preparational move, while in 46% of the cases you start immediately with the execution. The level of the problems is between 1800 and 1850. This is the division of the executing moves in frequency of occurrence: B.A.D. (Barely Adequate Defended)  piece  46% Mate 22% Duplo attack 16% Promotion 11% Trap 5% In general, the salient cues that give away the executional moves are not too difficult to spot with hindsight. This means that you have to find the preparational moves or the moves that deal with the consequences. These moves must be revealed by logic thinking. By answering the question "how can I make this executional move work?". If you don't know what the executional move is, you cannot start with logical reasoning. So you must hoove

Tempo battle

The mate patterns can be conquered by doing mate in 2 exercises. The PoPLoAFun/killbox framework covers all there is to know about mates. 10 actions and 10 salient cues is all there is to know. But tactics that just gain wood is a totally different animal. I work with 2 move problems (3 ply deep) that do not end in mate. ChessTempo considers them to be winning after you have provided the first 2 moves. But in practice matters might not be that simple. Sometimes you are just 2 pawns behind after the 2 moves. Superior piece activity is supposed to provide you a win after 10 or 15 moves. But since I'm no engine, I can't look that far ahead so easy. So albeit ChessTempo forsees a bright future for me, I delete these problems from my database for now. 2 movers are complex enough when I only have to look in the near future. Mates in 2 (M2) are way more simple, since the future is mate on the second move. The PoPLoAFun/killbox framework certainly plays a role in 2 move tactical probl

Exploring the boundaries

Not only have I found a way to train tactics that works, but by focusing on 2 movers (3 ply) recently, I have found a way to do it in an efficient way too. Since May 1st I focused on mate exercises solely. Since I adhere the adage that the fastest way to come to a conclusion is to make extreme choices. A 2 mover usually involves two or three logical narratives at average. So far 6 narratives is the maximum that I have found. This means that a mate in two is complex enough to study everything that is important around mates. It doesn't make sense to start with 3 movers until you fully master the 2 movers. If that is even possible. This weekend I have been busy to inventorize the logic of 100 mate in 2 exercises and combine it in one coherent logical framework. It turns out that all logic can be captured in the PoPLoAFun system when I extend that with some logic concerning killboxes.  There are only about 8-10 logical actions to choose from when working on a mate in 2. Think of clear

Fun and momentum

The major change that I have made in my training regimen, is that I changed the focus of pattern recognition from pieces and moves towards the chess logic behind the moves . That is a shift from pure geometrical patterns to a mere conceptual approach . That solved the transfer problem of knowledge from one problem to another. A geometrical pattern can be ruined by just one pawn on a different place, while the more abstract approach of a logic pattern is relatively piece and move independent.  Luring an overworked piece away is independent of the pieces that are involved and their exact place on the board. I wasn't completely satisfied with the 3 movers (problems of 5 ply deep). It works, but it doesn't feel very efficient. So I changed towards the 4 movers. That was still fun to do, but it felt even worse in terms of efficiency. Somehow my training lost momentum. So I decided to have a closer look to 2 movers (3 ply). I have done a lot of 2 movers in the past when I was sti