"...a Chessmaster should be a combination of a beast of prey and a monk."

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Priority #1

It's clear from tonight's game that my #1 priority has to be to get a reasonable thinking process in place.  First off, lately I have been playing not so well, though there have been some nice games here and there.  But last night I played really crappy chess, and I determined that for my league game tonight, the most important thing was to at least run the checks, captures, threats routine for every move.  Well, basically I followed through and did this and was winning, and getting closer and closer to actually finishing him off.  But my "thinking process" was draining the time, and I got into mild time pressure.  That is, I was down to about 10 minutes.  I think what happened was mostly the time issue but also combined with the feeling that I was totally winning and just needed to wrap it up led me to stop using the checks, captures, threats routine.  Basically, I just started making the first move that seemed reasonable.  Quickly disaster descended.

So the first take away is just being consistent with applying my process.  But I think a second important point for me to notice was that my thinking was still pretty chaotic.  I would get distracted and back track and stuff like that.  I think the point here is that it is going to take me practice to get used to using this process consistently, but that with practice it should get more comfortable, and more efficient.  When it gets more efficient it won't drain the time as badly.

So the question is, if I believe that practice will improve my ability to implement a thinking process, then how should I practice.  Top is obviously in games.  Secondly, though I think when I am making my no engine correspondence moves.  Another idea I had though was to do the thinking process for every tactics problem I get served.  I think this is a good idea and will give me lots of practice if I do it.

I will still be practicing tactics, and looking at strategy like the attacking chess stuff.  But I think this has to be my biggest priority right now.


  1. To implement a thinking system is seemingly not easy, (at least for me ) and the thinking process in correspondance/puzzles and OTB is not the same. At a real game ( OTB ) you are still aware of many features of the position from thoughts you made a move ago, one move dont change the position completly.
    To establish a complete thinking system in one step might be to complicated .
    But you may try to implement some elements of your thinking system : one after the other. For example: just a blundercheck after each move ( Search for "Blunder" and "Smirnov" at youtube ) or selecting candidate moves first before starting to calculate...

  2. I agree with you on all your points. I used to think that somehow it was easy to do, but it seems to me now that it's a skill that needs practice, just like tactical ability. It's also true that you don't need to start from scratch with every position in a game. However, I think that if I have the practice of checking things like "what has my opponents move changed" and the CCT while I do tactics puzzles then I will be more efficient and consistent in games. Lastly I also agree about not trying to start implementing a very complicated thinking process right away. I think I am looking at 4 basic steps right now. 1. What has my opponents move changed? 2. CCT for him and for me. 3. Look for a good move. 4. Try to falsify my move. Right now I think this will be time consuming but the hope is that I get more efficient and it won't burn so much time.