Sunday, August 26, 2007

Solution-focused approach works

I've gone through Phase 5 of Chess Tactics for Beginners once, and am now repeating those problems I got wrong.

About 100 problems into this 300 problem set I started the new solution-focused technique for understanding each problem. All indicators suggest it works great. While not perfect, I am remembering many of the solutions quite vividly after just one time through. For the problems I did in the traditional stare-for-ten-minutes way, it's not so good.

One cool thing: in many of the problems I don't remember the exact moves, but the plan (recall that part of my new technique is to generate an explanation of the position, especially what the overall plans are). Once I recognize what the plan should be in that particular position, I start looking for the right moves to implement it. This is interesting, as it is more like what happens in games. This reinforces that pattern recognition includes the recognition of plans, not just moves and locations of pieces.

While the 'active solution' technique is very tiring mentally, that mental effort has paid off. Otherwise I'd go back to the stare method.


Blogger takchess said...

I think you are on a good path. I think a studied approach will lead to viewing a position and knowing by pattern recognition of it structure the best way to attack the position. I am trying to nuture this by looking at material I have on the board and looking specifically for mates based on them. Encouraging Boden mates etc.

You and I have been at this a long time. Do you ever ask yourself :What specifically have I learned about tactics?" I am thinking about this currently.

8/26/2007 02:04:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Tak: interesting question I'll think about once I finish!

8/26/2007 03:20:00 PM  
Blogger Temposchlucker said...

This reinforces that pattern recognition includes the recognition of plans, not just moves and locations of pieces.

Due to scientific papers we have overestimated the importance of recognition of geometric patterns at the cost of the recognition of plans.

In the complex positions I am studying, often the slightest change in position of a mere pawn changes the plans of the position drastically. Which means that the geometrical changes can be minimal while the effect on the planning is huge.

8/26/2007 03:27:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Tempo: I am especially finding that in the endgame problems having the plan is extraordinarily helpful.

8/26/2007 05:34:00 PM  
Blogger transformation said...

congratulations BDK: youve worked hard, and your future furtherance and success all but a foregone conclusion. thank you for all your bring to our circle here. dk

8/27/2007 03:20:00 AM  
Blogger takchess said...

Gadfly comment:

But doesn't pattern recognition lead to plan recognition ?


8/27/2007 08:03:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

DK: thanks.

Tak: if it did it would also lead to solution recognition, which as you pointed out, ain't so. :O

Though technically any quick and automatic recognition of anything upon an initial inspection of a position I call pattern recognition. What's changing is that it's migrating to solutions and plans rather than the original position after a first pass.

8/27/2007 10:04:00 AM  
Blogger Temposchlucker said...

Maybe the word "plan" isn't quite correct. It might be better to use the word "motive". That acknowledges well that it is a higher level of pattern recognition than the mere geometrical pattern on the board.

It seems to diminish the amount of circles you need for assimilating the solution. Which in itself might be a major improvement of the DLM-method. Allthough it is, as often said, mentally more demanding.

8/27/2007 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Tempo: many plans are abstract, not referring to particular features of the position. E.g., draw.

Besides, I thought you liked your lists short? :O

8/27/2007 10:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Consider me hooked. As I begin my circles, I will be trying the FOVEA (tm?) approach to reinforcing the correct solutions/ideas to my wrong answers. As mentioned above, I wonder to what extent one could reduce the number of circles?(I currently am going through six reetitions of my problems). Would the reduction have a meanful impact on the total time it takes to master a problem set, or would it equalize (less repetition, but same amount of time thinking through each of the problems)? Perhaps someone (me?) should design an experiment?

8/28/2007 05:40:00 PM  

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