Thursday, June 30, 2005

Warning of the Surgeon General

Chess Tactics Server (CTS) is highly addictive and may be harmful to your health. I mean that you must be very careful not to adopt bad habits and play a move on first sight without double check it. If you double check on CTS then you lose rating points.

Can CTS be recommended as training device? In my first enthusiasm I thought yes, but after some posts and comments of the Knights I am not so sure any more. There is a saying that you do not improve in chess when you play blitz, and CTS is surely blitz. I checked the top ten most active CTS users and found what I had suspected: With thousands of problems done their rating remained in a band of roughly 100 points. That is, a top rated player was top rated already when he started on CTS. And a player who was 1400 at the start is still there after thousands of problems.

So I come to the conclusion: CTS is an excellent device if you want to test your instant pattern recognition and basic tactic abilities. But forget it as a training tool.

I agree with Temposchlucker that the first step should be finding a target, and the second step finding a way to attack it or to prevent an attack on it. So what I need besides my X-Ray Training is a Target Scan Training Method. I hope to find one soon. I'll keep you informed.

9 Comments:

At 3:32 PM, Blogger CelticDeath said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one to wonder about this. However, I do notice that the top ones generally have the FM designation next to their names. So, I haven't fully made up my mind yet.

 
At 4:36 PM, Blogger Ed said...

Hm. When I look at the profiles fo some players with lots of attempts, I notice that they often have "nightmares" dating back to 2003, while the graph only shows dates back to January 2005.

So I think you can only see a few months of history for each player, whihc is not enouigh to show any real trend in most cases, even if the players are using the server as a training tool, which is not necessarily the case.

The server should be just as good as any other tactics training tool, if you concentrate on getting the problems right, and don't worry so much about the "rating".

 
At 6:18 PM, Blogger Mousetrapper said...

I don't find your blog, Ed. Where is it?

 
At 6:23 AM, Blogger Ed said...

My blog is at:
http://altergoniff.blogspot.com/
What's odd is that the settings say it's a public blog, and it _used_ to show up in my profile. Don't know why it doesn't anymore.

 
At 6:55 AM, Blogger Mousetrapper said...

Leaves my browser hanging. Already once happened to one of us. Read the help manual or else contact blogger support for a repair.

 
At 7:06 AM, Blogger Ed said...

Hm. What browser, what OS?

 
At 6:50 PM, Blogger Mousetrapper said...

Safari, MacOS X (Tiger)

 
At 8:01 PM, Blogger Ed said...

Ah, Safari. Bane of my existence as a web software developer. What version number of Safari is that?

It comes up on Safari 1.3 under OSX 10.3.9, though it doesn't like the chessboard graphics in my LT-PGN-Viewer iframes, which makes me think the problem you're having may be in those frames as well. There's a big load of javascript to parse there; I wonder if that's it. If you have the time and inclination, try turning off Javascript and see if the page loads in Safari.

Also, do you have Firefox, and if so, does it work OK there? It seems to be OK in firefox under 10.3.9...

Thanks for the report, anyway.

 
At 2:12 AM, Blogger JavaManIssa said...

I still think that is can be beneficial if you calculate everything quickly. If you are just guessing moves, then don't expect to go far..

 

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