Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Circle 3 begins with a noticeable improvement.

Well after running into another suspect variation in the Level 70 exercises I finally decided to call it quits on the last 3 levels. (70,80,90)
I probably will do a set of mini-circles containing just those 3 levels after I finish the remaining circles with Levels 1-6.

I started the 3rd circle today. I only need to average 65 problems per day to cover all 1039 exercises. But I have to agree with Michael de la Maza's approach. Start strong and leave yourself some breathing room on the harder problems.

Anyway onto what I consider to be the good news.
I noticed a definite improvement in my pattern recognition. At first I was giving credit to what I thought at the time was just plain memorization of the material. But then I found myself spotting patterns based off the proximity of my pieces to the enemy King. I began looking automatically for mating nets that could occur with each group of pieces I had at my disposal.
Another thing was happening as well, I would quickly spot weak points in a position. I could see at a glance which pieces were overworked. Which squares were under defended. Here’s the weirdest part of the story, sometimes I imagined my pieces as magnets, with the ability to both attract and repel enemy pieces. I would see them pulling an enemy piece out of its vital defensive position, away from key squares.
Other times I would imagine them dragging the enemy King into an area where it could be mated. There was even one exercise where I envisioned my Queen bumping the opposing King away from his escape square where he was quickly mated in two forced moves.

My focus is slowly shifting away from just seeing pieces and more towards how squares are being controlled.

I know what you are thinking... Sancho is becoming Twilight Zone material.
If anyone has had similar experiences or even noticed small changes in their board perception please let me know.

Fortunately I didn’t screw up once with these first 100 problems.
I found myself back in grade school, double checking my answers
towards the end of the series.
I just knew I was going to goof up on something simple,
and miss out on a gold star.

ELO 1550 (Start) -> 1845 Current
Scoring Percentage
Level 10 - 100% (So far)
100 exercises completed 939 remaining in circle 3.
72 days down 37 to go.


Calvin said...

hey sancho

i just started my own blog, which, similar to yours, follows my progress in the De la Maza program. (Actually, you sort of inspired me to start my own :). ) I was wondering how you add links to your site, like you did. If you want to see my site, it's at www.generalkaia.blogspot.com. If you can help, it's greatly appreciated.

Sancho Pawnza said...

Hello generalkaia and welcome to the fun.
As far as adding links you will have to know a very small amount about html. It's not hard to learn. You can find enough information to sink a battleship just by doing a web search on topic "WebPages for Beginners". Then you will have to make the changes in your blog template.
You can find that tab on the same screen you use to "create a new post" and enter it from there.

Pawnsensei said...

Welcome aboard generalkaia!

Hey Sancho it sounds like you are really starting to get into the zone. I would imagine that at higher levels of play people see things like that. I think it helps with the board calculations if you can see it as a battle going on like how you described.

Calvin said...

Way to go. That sounds pretty cool, with the magnet-feeling and different view of the board (figuratively). Good job.