Wednesday, February 13, 2008

What moves should I study?

Thinking about Sticky Chess, it just hit me: what moves would be best "taught" by repetition?

The Circles focus on combinations and winning moves. All the software and books that people use for repetitious study teach people how to win a won game, for the most part. The moves are forcing, with any deviation leading to less than the best result. The benefit is tangible- you will, most likely, not miss winning opportunities less often than before the course of study was begun.

But what about those moves that are sound, solid, "normal"- the moves that don't lose? I think this is what I've been reading on Tempo's blog, as well as in the writings of other people beyond Circles and hardcore tactics training.

In what I've read about chunking and GMs having familiarity with (iirc) ~100k positions, it seems the subconscious makes the normal moves, and only pings the conscious mind if something is there to be looked at deeper.

It's those moves that I think need their own training circles. I'm imagining a database of thousands of game fragments starting with "normal" positions and proceeding through a balanced move set where neither side wins or loses outright- no blunders. Watching the moves repetitively would instill the instinct that says it's time to move a knight back to the first rank and then across the board, to shore up a pawn, to open or close the center- whatever is called for. looks like I'm asking for the mythical easy way out of chess study, but knowing how hard it is to complete the Circles, I doubt it'd be easy. I could only watch chess moves for so long before wanting to play :P


  1. Unfortunately, I barely study and have no real routine, so can't be of much help. Getting that many "chunks" in the brain can only be a function of lots of playing and studying. There's no substitute for that. (Someone brought up de la Maza's meteoric rise had a lot to do with how much time he had to devote to the game.) I just got you no closer to answering your original question. You can thank me later.

  2. psst it's donnie's bday march 24th

    just thought it would be cool if we all posted a cheery happy bday on the 24th.