Man de la Maza

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

The oxen are slow

Must be time to go up another level. I was just getting comfy with the level 60's. After last night, I note I only have about 10 left. Ah well, existential crisis coming my way probably starting tomorrow night.

I can definitely tell a difference. When I started, I thought there were two skills that I would be developing -- calculation muscle and pattern recognition. Calculation muscle makes it possible to hold larger and larger numbers of variations in your head. Pattern recognition enables you to know the answer wihtout thinking because you've seen it before. I would now add a third which I would describe as "jugular detection".

When I look at a problem, I now have a very good sense of where the weak point in the position is. On the level 60's, the problems have been well beyond my ability to calculate. I have been able to see all the lines to a solution very rarely before I made the first move, but I now usually know what the first move is without even knowing why. You could also describe it as "pattern unrecognition". Something looks out of place because you don't usually see it there. You may not be able to see the line, but you're pretty sure it starts here. Even though I may make several mistakes, I am getting a much higher percentage of the first moves right. And to quote my nephew, "it is way cool!"

Note to Pale Morning Dun -- The oxen are slow but the earth is patient, Grasshopper. I would suggest resisting the temptation to abandon the the micro drills and go headlong into the CT Art 3.0. You're going to have 127 straight days of chess problems soon enough. That said, I might have done a few of the problems before I was supposed to.

73 days down, 82 to go
1026 probs down, 183 to go in Circle One


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