Saturday, January 13, 2007

Guided pattern recognition

I have started my third circle (Stage 3 of Chess Tactics for Beginners). The problems are a wee bit harder (fewer mate-in-two problems, more purely material tactics involving traps and the like). This software is just great.

I'm in my first circle on this set of problems, doing ten a day. It is a huge change of pace from doing 150-300 a day at the end of the second circles. In these I focus on developing my tactical thought process. It is starting to become more and more automatic. After simply scanning the board, if nothing pops out at me I first look for checks (potential mates), captures, and then the dreaded FSTDD (pronounced "fisted"). FSTDD stands for Forks, Single-line tactics (skewers and pins), Traps, Discovered attacks, and Deflections. As I get more efficient, I don't look directly for such moves, but the seeds of such tactics (e.g., enemy pieces with only one escape square, enemy pieces lined up, etc). This is much more efficient, as discussed in Heisman's article The Seeds of Tactical Destruction.

This thought process, which is starting to become automatic, really helps me find tactics when they don't immediately pop out at me. It's like when I look at a picture and don't see something, and then someone says "There is a dog somewhere in the picture", and suddenly the dog pops out! This is what happens when I look for specific tactics. Initially I see nothing, but then when I start looking for pieces with few escape squares (potential trap victims), the traps just start popping out at me. It is pretty cool. Not foolproof, but helpful.

A couple of weird bloggy things. Another blog copied, verbatim, my post on Howard Stern (my original post is here, his plagiarized version is here). Also, this crazy philosopher guy (implicitly) wants me to be shot (my blog meets both of his criteria for being a justified target of NRA-inspired justice). His blog has a Christian focus. Hmmm...Something tells me he is not the most meek and humble Christian you'd run into.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

for a big bad PhD seeking to enlighten the world, that "MavericK Philosophizer" sure picked a silly topic to whine about.

perhaps we simpletons do not comprehend the metaphysical ramifications of white text on black.

1/13/2007 03:41:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

I can understand his consternation about blinking moving things: those are very annoying (though my beautiful rotating mug is an exception). However, the actual measure of readability, contrast between foreground (text) and background, is the same for white on black and black on white. They both conform to all web standards. He is basically (and he does this a lot) trying to make it seem that his subjective preferences have a basis in something objective. This is something at which philosophers excel.

I picked the black background as it is the only blogger template for which the blogger banner at the top doesn't stick out (since the banner is black).

1/13/2007 06:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is your picture still moving? I have so much add-ons/plugins/adblockers that 99% of the ads or flashes stand still or don't show at all. I remember that your picture was rotating in the past.

About the colors, the only thing is that there are other bloggers with the same template, which sometimes is confusing when I attribute their posts to you or vice versa.

1/14/2007 01:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

> traps just start popping out at me

I really miss my pattern recognition *sigh*

1/14/2007 09:08:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Tempo: I would have thought that the HUGE ROTATING HEAD would make it hard to mix up my template with someone else's. :) But I have noticed on some browsers the thing doesn't rotate. So you are stuck with my pretty face staring at you with those deadeyes.

1/14/2007 11:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've seen your comment on the Impala blog. I'll post a link to your site later today. Sorry for any offence caused. James

1/15/2007 06:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the philosopher dude was just indulging in a bit of hyperbole.

1/15/2007 09:53:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

James: I appreciate it. I'll update my blog.

Anonymous: obviously he isn't serious. I'm bustin' his chops.

1/15/2007 11:51:00 AM  
Blogger Robert Pearson said...

And NOW I know why you and Vallicella, "Not so much." :)

7/29/2008 12:50:00 PM  

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