Remembering The Thinking Process

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Remembering The Thinking Process

Post by ChessPriyome on February 12th 2017, 12:23 pm

Hi all,

I'm an ICS and Opening Prep student and I am currently "in" the 10th month of the course, but realistically I have only nearly completed Month 6. I had been 'retired' from tournament chess for a long time, my last real tournament was in September, 2013, and previous to that a 2nd place in a CAT A tournament in 2007. It is now February, 2017.  I am in my late 50's, Cat A USCF. For training, I have been playing G15+5 games, primarily. I signed up for this course because it seemed to be the most realistic thing out there that gives you the materials to improve your play in a digestible format. I'm expecting to break out this year and improve my understanding of chess and tickle the ranks of Candidate Master

So far:

My play is a bit calmer at times, meaning that my thinking is less unorganized and less impulsive. Bit, I still struggle with impulsive moves and seeing moves I first did not consider and just make them without any real consideration or the same level of analysis, at times. This obviously is not good.

But I think my primary problem is forgetting the TO-DO list mechanism.

All games have ebb-and-flow to them, and it is in the ebb moments you must remember to re-evaluate your TO-DO list. I find myself getting caught up in the moment of the game and forgetting to think about my thinking process - CONSEQUENCES of Last Move/THREATS/TO-DO List every 6-10 moves - a high level grounding into the game at hand to calm yourself and give you pause to think. I'm close to making a meme about it and plaster it over every avatar I have across the web just to help reinforce the importance of this.


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“Could we look into the head of a Chess player, we should see there a whole world of feelings, images, ideas, emotion and passion” ~ Alfred Binet

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Re: Remembering The Thinking Process

Post by PawnCustodian on February 12th 2017, 3:26 pm

I think you are touching on the number 1 reason progress is difficult. If you try do do everything all at once it simply becomes overwhelming.

Smirnov in his courses stresses training games with only one objective at a time. In your example you are not finding all of the candidate moves, so training games with that being your training objective seems to be in order. Other training games can then concentrate on another objective, for example are you calculating positions that should not be calculated, etc.? Was it Botvinik that asked his training partner to blow cigar smoke in his face when he trained for one of his matches?

Other sports do it to great advantage, the trick is to distinguish between performance objectives as opposed to training objectives. For example, I am training for a 10K Run at the moment. When I am not "training" I would normally just go for a recreational run of 4-5 miles, compare my time and distance to some performance I have (already) accomplished. My training runs each have very specific objectives; intensity, recovery, cadence, technique, etc. I improve when I train, I stagnate when I just repeat the same routine time and again.

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Re: Remembering The Thinking Process

Post by ChessPriyome on February 12th 2017, 4:03 pm

Granted, trying to do everything outlined in the material is folly at first, for sure. I have a stack of index cards with points and ideas extracted from the material, and just having that tells me that is not the way to go from a practical thinking process perspective.

I'm concentrating strictly on the *basic* thinking process CSQ/Threats/TO-DO List. I have to reach the point where I perform these basic checks without thinking about it. If I cannot nail those down knowing the other specifics will not help much. This is what I am training myself to do now.

Of course, in chess, it's important at a high level of thinking to be able to have a process that you do not have to think about to execute. That is what I'm working on - that is my singular objective.

Thanks for the feedback. I thought these forums were dead.

Edit: Specifically, it is the TO-DO list mechanic that I am forgetting often.


Last edited by ChessPriyome on February 12th 2017, 4:05 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Added additional info.)

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“Could we look into the head of a Chess player, we should see there a whole world of feelings, images, ideas, emotion and passion” ~ Alfred Binet

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Re: Remembering The Thinking Process

Post by PawnCustodian on February 12th 2017, 4:23 pm

ChessPriyome wrote:I thought these forums were dead.

Unfortunately, it is...

Every so often I pull up the annotated games from the start of the course simply to recall how to apply the thinking process. I don't play enough these days to stay fresh, but I do enjoy the game and following the tournaments on-line to try and guess the moves of the elites and others.

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