Man de la Maza

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Mr. Davis' Revenge

I was not the world's most committed student. My preparation for exams throughout high school and college was always rushed and incomplete. As a direct result of this, I have a virtual PHD in test taking ability. I am exceedingly good at figuring out clues in a testing environment that give away the answer. Much to the chagrin of Mr. Davis, my high school physics teacher, I could often deduce the correct formula to problem 3 by something he said in problem 7 . (Perversely enough, this has turned out to be a much more useful life skill than anything I ever learned in physics.)

I noticed last night that I am starting to probe the CT Art problems in this manner. Though I was happy to subvert Mr. Davis' attempts to get me to learn about thermodynamics, I really don't want to subvert my own efforts to learn about chess. I thought I got the last laugh when I passed the AP physics exam without doing any homework after Christmas break. Perhaps he will laugh best after all.

For example, the first thing I do when I look at a problem now is to see whether my own king is threatened with mate. Granted, this is a healthy habit. But the reason I do it is that if I am threatened with mate in 1, I have to either a) deliver a check or b) threaten in such a way that deflects the mate threat. Usually this means delivering a check which gives a big hint about the ultimate combination that I need to play. Rather than looking at the position and allowing the combination to flow out the weakness in my opponent's position, I am using the test to figure out the first move of the combination. Not sure if that is part of what makes these "level 20" problems or whether I'm cheating.

Oh and Mr. Davis, just in case you're laughing too hard, it was me who put the Ben Gay in your jock strap before the student-teacher soccer game.

5 weeks down, 17 to go
244 probs down, 965 to go in Circle One

2 Comments:

  • Yo, Don, what's up? No posts in 5 days. Still working those problems?

    By Blogger Lord Lessismore, at 4:44 PM  

  • Still on schedule, Cube Farmer.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:11 AM  

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