Friday, September 23, 2005

Staccato Thinking

Bisides chess, I love music. (Hello Nezha, how is you guitar play?) Staccato, litterally translated, means «not sticky». In my last days on CTS I got an idea why I lose so much time and rating, and why I fail in so many problems. It is sticky thinking. I think I must explain this further.

Example: I see a King in trouble. Of course I look for a mate. It may be a near-mate, and I try this and that and again and again. Seconds pass. So I feel urged to move. I move. Bad Luck! You've failed to solve problem ... Your new rating is ... It turns out that the King can escape mate. The real issue is a simple Queen Fork. This is what I call sticky thinking. My thoughts are stuck to a mate fantasy where there is no mate. This fantasy prevents me from seeing the fork.

I also get an idea how all these titled tacticians on top can get a rating of 1800+ or even 1900+ on CTS. They just see in a fraction of a second that there is no mate, so they are free to look for more patterns, and, whoops, they click the fork in less than 3 seconds and get their points.

But staccato thinking is not sufficient to reach the CTS peak. You also must be able to collect all important patterns in the 6 seconds before the problem makes its move. Then you can use the 3 seconds to decide which pattern is important.

When I am tired, sometimes, I even have difficulties to figure out which King is mine. Once I tried to check my own King, haha. Or I stare at the board with tunnel vision and do not see that my King is in check. When I look at all this, it is completely clear why I am below 1500 and they are above 1900. To explain this is one story, easily told. To change it and join the top is quite another story.


At 12:54 PM, Blogger Temposchlucker said...

The stickyness in itself is not the problem. That's just the way the mind works. Research of prof. Adriaan de Groot shows that grandmasters have far less eye movements and consider far less candidate moves than amateurs. But the quality of the candidate moves is higher. So you can stick with it, as long as it is the best move. . .

At 7:51 PM, Blogger CelticDeath said...

Yep. It all goes back to chunking. I've even become aware of some chunking in my own thinking process. Whereas when I was weaker, I'd try to calculate nearly everything, now I'm pickier over how I spend my time. And I can afford to be, because I know that some moves should be discarded out of hand.


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