Wednesday, May 11, 2005
Nothin Doin
I'm at work right now, and I'm bored right out of my skull. Wish I could whip-out my book and start solving puzzles. Of course I can't do it because, oh I dont know, maybe get fired? And here I am trying to look busy because I wanted to get promoted this june. Seriously, If I havent got a family to feed I would have quit a long time ago, and looked for a less time-consuming job. Albeit with a lower salary.
If you are a bachelor boy and you're reading my blog - dont get married too soon young man. You dont know how good you got it right now.

Duty as heavy as a mountain,
Grinding me down to dust,
I am a hollow reed

I work for a japanese firm, and so learning japanese is a must. One of the key to learning this language is rote memorization of chinese characters (kanji). There are about 50,000 kanjis in existence.. but a person only needs to know about 1850 characters to able to read a typical newspaper. Now would'nt it be great if we can map out tactics that way. Like, there are about 50,000 known tactical operations, but you only need to know 1,850 to be considered a tactical adept. Then we could setup tests and certification exams to scientifically measure a players progress. I dont know why this could'nt be done. If an exhaustive study was conducted, I think this is feasible.

Pawn Endgames
I played a game at FICS yesterday, and was glad to have played a pawn endgame. I dont normally get that kind of endgames. I made some mistakes, but my opponents made some too. In the end his proved to be the decisive one, and allowed to me to escape with the win. I am now at 1681. Whooho! (My goal is to reach my previous high of 1720 again).
posted by Nezha at 11:18 PM | Permalink |


  • At 2:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous

    u very wu liao...[hey!chinese?]readin that passage of yours makk mee sleeeep....zzZZzZZZzzzzZzZZ

  • At 7:27 AM, Blogger Blue Devil Knight

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At 7:32 AM, Blogger Blue Devil Knight

    Dan Heisman, in his Novice Nook articles, thinks that the best way to study tactics is to do a 7-circles type approach with level-10 like problems. That is, learn more basic tactical motifs. He was explicitly discussing this as a shortcoming of the MDLM approach, which has you learn extremely complicated tactical patterns. In his article on the Big Five skills every beginner should learn, he says:

    The big contention I have with Michael's method is that he suggests repetition of tactics of all levels, while I feel that concentration on just the easiest motifs is sufficient. My reason is that many, if not most, difficult combinations contain permutations of basic motifs. Therefore, learnhing basic tactical motifs "cold" in order to do harder problems pbetter is similar to learning multiplication of one-digit numbers as the basis for all multiplication and even higher mathematics.

    He then goes on to give an example. If he is right, then we just need to find the right combination of tactics for a good study plan.

    Since I'm a beginner, I pretty much am going to be learning the basic motifs with my Circles anyway! Also as a buffer for his remark above, the article is written for chess novices. In mathematics, most people don't sit and derive complicated proofs in number theory just because they know the multiplication tables! They have to explicitly learn the more complicated mathematics, proof techniques, etc.. So perhaps MDLM is the graduate school of tactical training, while Heisman is the undergrad.

  • At 8:50 AM, Blogger Mousetrapper

    There is only a finite number of tactical patterns. But there is a nearly infinite number of combinations of such patterns. That's what makes it difficult.

  • At 3:25 PM, Blogger Temposchlucker

    I solved about 17.000 different problems the last 3 years, and I can surely say that the overlap in motifs is ashonishing small. I always thought that if I do enough problems, the repetition comes by itself. But that is not the case. So repetition is necessary. And of course you can start with simple problems if you think that would make Dan Heisman happy. That has nothing to do with the method of DLM but everything with the level and sort of problems you choose. If you choose medical problems, you will become a doctor.