Friday, June 1, 2007

Practice, practice, practice...

I have been running around like a chicken with it's neck cut off, trying to find the "right" things to study.

Lamenting about the poor educational materials out there. Wondering how anyone, gets anywhere at all. It finally dawned on me that the only way to read a book, is with a board. You cannot read it independently. (Like printing costs are through the roof). Why print any images if I am supposed to be using a book. I just can't believe that you would otherwise want me to learn the foreign language, prior to understanding the game.

Then it started dawning on me. This isn't a learning exercise. Not really, especially not yet. While it is clear that the game starts out with basic knowledge beating no knowledge. How confusing is it, to have your first success at the game, beating people who don't even know how to play. That will confuse you. Mostly it is a mistake exercise, and learning a few tricks along the way.

Ultimately, after all the whining and complaining it comes down to just a few things. Efficient Brain programming. Managing your energy levels. Playing "real" chess. By far most of the points you can gain, will be by focusing on those three things. Some of this has come from the chess improvement log, where one of our fellow players is trying to find the soul of caissa in a tactics book before 50. And while I feel his angst, I honestly do not believe that it is in there.

We spend hours trying to find the art in chess thinking this will make us better players. Without realizing, that you can't create art until you are a craftsman. That we all know plenty of the outline. It turns out there are some really cool things that we can do with technology to dramatically improve the results in a short period of time. Focusing on those three items alone have lead to a 200 point gain for my son in about 40 days. I don't think that he has this for each of 40 days. But I think that we have 200 more available in 4 months. I can see it in his play. His combination of plans, and lack of mistakes going forward. He is capitalizing on the lack of stamina, of the "top" players in the area.

I think there are some basic principles, some additional plans that would help. We have added strategy and endgames to 50% of his training. Tactics training is his other 50%. This is all through PCT, and it works, for the same reason that the circles work. It is about practice, practice, practice. It is about programming. It is about rest. It is about that last game in the tourney. It is about playing the game. It is about playing real chess every move. It is about not giving up.

Art is fun. Art is desirable. Art is currently has a very low ROI. More importantly, thinking you are playing art, can have a deleterious effect on your game. And this is going to be sick: You probably know all the stuff you need to know to get to be an expert. What is missing is those other things. Not more art.

The soul of Caissa, is not in a book about puzzles. A book of puzzles is not about the content. It is about the process. Learning everything about them, about 2000 master games. It is another part of the programming of the brain. You are not learning the puzzles. You'll likely never see the same scenarios. You are learning a process. You are learning success. Your brain is being programmed to see the clockwork, to find the solution, to win, the chess. You need to do that, you need to do the same again, to add recall to the process. You need to do it again, to add vision. You need to do it again to add intuition. You need to do it again to add reflexes.

You need to play. For real. You need to have the adrenalin rush, the fight or flight. You need to practice the skills. This is not just a measurement of strength, but it is part and parcel of the development of strength. You need to project your will, you have to develop your paranoia of their plan. You have to be able to winnow the wheat from the chaff. From both your own play, and the play of your opponents. You need to make sure that their plans are not strong, due to the lack of your ability to punish them with tactics. You need to recognize the mistakes. You need to see the weaknesses and exploit them. You must practice real chess each and every single move, or your opponent will exploit you, and you will have not respected your own skills. You must write down every move, even when it sucks, unless you can't because of time trouble.

You must analyze every game, to find the specifics of what you did wrong, so that you can exploit it later. De la Manza played chess when he increased his rating. He programmed his brain, but he played chess.

And it is very important to understand the cycles of brain programming. Much of what we learn is based on tickling the conscience mind, and letting the sub-conscience sort it out. There is no reason to believe that the brain is much different than other cells in the body. They are triggered to develop by stress. They actually develop in rest. When you plateau or go down. Rest. Stop. Let your brain work it out. Then restart training. You will train higher and faster instead of forcing the issue. But also remember to stress. Thinking about chess for awhile, and yet not actually doing chess. Will do nothing. This is not about being tone. It is about getting stronger. In order to be stronger, you must stress, and you must rest.

Craftsmanship is within us all. We need to do that before we strive for art. That may be within us as well. But we aren't striving for that yet.

More Later...

1 comment:

Blue Devil Knight said...

Did DK Transform write this post?