Friday, October 17, 2014

Chess Skills

Definition Skill

The Performance of a chess player is given by his KSA = Knowledge, Skills and Abilitys.

"According to Lindner and Dooley (2002) knowledge is a body of information, supported by professionally acceptable theory and research that individuals use to perform effectively and successfully in a given task. Skill is present, observable competence to perform a learned psychomotor act. Effective performance of skills requires application of related knowledge. Ability, on the other hand is a present competence to perform an observable behaviour or a behaviour that results in observable outcomes. Collectively, knowledge, skills and abilities are referred to as
competences. Competences are behavioural dimensions that help to identify effective from ineffective performance.
" ( see here )

"Psychomotor skills refer to those types of skills that are developed as a result of constant use of the skills in question. These skill sets are usually utilized for the performance of specified duties. For instance, they may be utilized to perform everyday tasks that the individual may have become so adapted to that it requires little thought or concentration to perform them. Psychomotor skills may also be learned as part of the process of specializing in the performance of a particular task." ( see here )

"E. J. Simpson's 1972 model of psychomotor development begins with perception, which involves understanding simple tasks and perceiving how they should to be done. Next, students must develop the appropriate mindsets to complete the task. In the guided response stage, a teacher or coach walks students through the steps of the process. In the mechanism and complex overt response stages, students perform the task with increasing speed, strength, agility or confidence. Finally, learners must be able to adapt their skills to new situations or to create new products based on their skill set." 
( see here )


Usually motorskills are explained with physical examples like riding a bicycle, here a different one.
Bruce Lee said once: "I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times."

Please watch these videos one after the other

"It may be said that a psychomotor skill is cultivated over a length of time through repeated performance, in which a person is so used to doing something that he or she does not need to think too deeply while performing the task." ( see here

Back to Chess

As higher rated the chessplayer as quicker he can solve a tactic puzzle. This effect is not only at complicated puzzles like a complicated mate in 7: "If chess players’ are, for example, asked to detect as fast as possible, whether one of the kings is checked or not, masters are clearly superior in speed as well as in accuracy (Saariluoma, 1984, 1985). The same superiority can be also be found when chess players assess if a mate in one possible " ( see here )
Every ~~200 Elo-Points a chess Player gets twice as fast without loss of quality

A Master only needs 4 seconds to memorise a "typical" chess position. His skills tells him who has more material, who has more space and where, which pieces are pinned, by which pieces ..... ( He did look for these things over and over again ) So even if he dont remember the precise position of a piece he can reconstruct the position using the memorised information about its interactions.

So i think that the performance in chess is based more on skills and not that much on Knowledge and Ability's. The chess knowledge of a professional chess player gets bigger and bigger but his rating after a certain age not.
And i guess: here is the reason why improvement in chess is so hard for adult players, My Hypothesis is that there are too many chess related (sub)skills, to improve for an adult chess player, just by playing chess or solving tactic puzzles or reading chess books. I guess that an older need more and easier exercises to improve these skills than a youngster. A older need to learn a small set of vocabulary and repeat them over and over again to learn a language, a baby can do different. No adult can learn a language the same way as a baby. Examples of such easy chess skill exercises are GM Maurice Ashley's Skill builder and some other exercises at the right side of this page.

I will continue to work on sub skills of the tactical-skill like the "Most Valuable Skills in Chess named by  Maurice Ashley" , Board Vision, Visualisation, Chess memory and Thinking Process. I still hope i can make some progress. But Temposchlucker made a lot of such exercises too. I will have to make it better than him... really no easy task :/

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Now 36330 easy Mate in 1 puzzles

I did increase the number of puzzles by 20000 + new puzzles ( all taken from games ). The Link to the game see at the right side of this page. Some explanations here

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The End of the last Knight, Temposchlucker gave up

"The Knights Errant are a group of bloggers that are trying to improve their tactical pattern recognition using a method known as The Circles." said Blue Devil Knight
in this Post 2007 ; Followers of a "Method" invented by Michael de la Maza for "Rapid chess improvement". Now the last, and one of the most active one, of these group finished his impressive work : Temposchlucker. His last words:

"I made a genuine effort to get substantially better at chess. I failed. The final conclusion is that the common belief that you can become good at anything just by willing it and working hard is not true. No matter how intelligent you are.

I learned lots and lots of things about the workings of my own mind, so I don't consider it a waste of time. The lessons reach way beyond chess.

What is left is a monument of which others can take advantage. You can save yourself an awful lot of time by reading this blog well.

Good luck to all of you

I think the name  "Knight Errants" for this group was chosen wisely, Blue Devil Knight did explain:

"It is an homage to Don Quixote, who calls himself a Knight Errant in Cervantes' master work. In Cervantes' day, the term invoked images of knights wandering in search of adventures, which was Don Quixotes' raison d’être. Now it tends to invoke images of a bumbling fool. We try not to take ourselves too seriously."

What was the quest of the Knight Errant Don Quixote?
He said:

To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go
To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star
This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far
To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a heavenly cause
And I know if I'll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I'm laid to my rest
And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star

  But the star could not be reached!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Mate in 1 as Board Vision Exercise

White to move
There are 3 substancially different Methods to solve such a problem.

I )  ( plain ) Calculation ( using the knowledge we are looking for 1# )
          1) Ra2, no check
          2) Rb1, no check
          n) Nd6 check. Is it mate? Can i take the rook? No.... Can i move away?  Ke7 still check Kd8, no check

II)  ( almost plain ) Pattern recognition. This is a typical KRvK Endgame posiition  ( if you can "substract" all other pieces! ). This method narrows the vision to a few pieces.

III)  ( plain ) Board Vision
Board Vision ( = Chess Board Vision = Chess Vision = Board Awarness ) is the recognition of "whats going on at the chessboard" now. Without "seeing" whats going on now you cant see "it" in the future either. 

We see that the black king has 3 squares d8,e8 and f8. Only 2 pieces can attack such squares at once, rooks and queens. Now you look along this rank and intersect with the possible moves of the white rooks and Queens. The intersection is at h8.

There is a wonderful explanation of the benefit of advanced Board Vision  --> here! <--

The method ( (motor) skill ) of "intersection" is explained in GM Maurice Ashley's Book: The Most Valuable Skills in Chess , which is a wonderful explanaition to his "Skill Trainer" , but i realy dont think that this book is interesting for the average chess beginner.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

14 000 new "Board Vision" Exercises : Mate in 1

The 80 000 "Mate in 1" Exercises are seemingly to hard to generate a "quick" improvement. I already generated a useful tool to help to improve the "Mate in 1" - skills, thats the "Find all checks" Exercises ( see the links at the right top of this Webpage ). But the 80 000 Mate in 1 Exercises remain hard. They where generated from chess Problems. The Positions in Chessproblems are not "common", many moves are not legal because of pins... So there are too many things to learn to improve any skills ( quick ).

So i did generate 14000 new and "easy" Mate in 1 puzzles extracted from tactic-puzzles.

Play here
Explanations how to play 

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Myth of "Bad positional play of chessengines"

Its often said: Chessengines are bad in positional play and/or especially bad in closed positions. I think humans are not good enough to understand the brilliant positional play of the present engines.


See here a game Stockfish (Elo~3200+) vs. Cyborg Nakamura (Elo 2750+)  & Rybka (Elo ~3000)
A perfect closed position and Rybkamura was outplayed by stockfish!

I did check the "positional" Komodo 8, Houdini 4 and Stockfish 5 with the Strategic Test Suite 1-15, without Endgame-Tablebase, 2 sec / problem and 4 CPU on my i7 , Fritz 11

3) Stockfish: 82.5%  Average 0.45 sec/problem
2) Komodo: 84.3% Average 0.43 sec/problem
1) Houdini: 87.6% Average 0.42 sec/problem

Stockfish with twice as much thinkingtime = 4 sec/problem : 87.5% Average 0,57 sec / problem.