Takchess Chess Improvement

A Novice chessplayer works to get better at chess using an improvement program based upon the methods of Michael de la Maza and the teachings of Dan Heisman

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Day 19: Thoughts on Pattern Recognition

Main Entry: ses·qui·pe·da·lian
Pronunciation: "ses-kw&-p&-'dAl-y&n
Function: adjective
Etymology: Latin sesquipedalis, literally, a foot and a half long, from sesqui- + ped-, pes foot -- more at FOOT
1 : given to the overuse of long words; "sesquipedalian orators"; "this sesquipedalian way of saying one has no money"
2. (of words) long and ponderous; having many syllables; "sesquipedalian technical terms"]

A friend and I once discussed words that we liked. He liked the word Sesquipedalian. I felt I had never seen this word before and most likely never see it again . Within a week, I ran across it in something I was reading.

Most likely I had seen this word a number of times but my mind was not receptive to
noticing it. Given the hundred of thousand (millions?) of sensory inputs the mind receives in a day. We are expert at filtering in /filtering out things that are important/unimportant to us. Because I had learned a little about the word and discussed it. I was far more receptive to noticing it. If I hadn't that experience;I would unconsciously skipped over it and continued my reading.

Here is a similar experience from my chess games. I had played through the games in Euwe's Chess Master vs Chess Amateur and learned about the Fork trick. I had played through that game a number of times. I was aware when in my games; I had a position with bishop and pawn on c4/e4 or c5/e5. I would ask myself can I use the fork trick and is it beneficial to me to play it in this position? In my games, I might of played the fork trick 5 or 6 times. (for info on the fork trick, see link below)


During this month I realised that I haven't seen the opportunity for a fork trick in a few months. The positions were there but I had become desensitized to it. In fact the other day as I was thinking of this, someone played the fork trick against me and I didn't see it coming.

From this, I have taken away these lessons.

1) I need to repeatedly be reminded of things that I know
2) I need to be rereminded over a longer period of time
3) I need to drill an image (in this case an image of a bishop and pawn separated by a single space in the opening) so that it stands out.
4) It would be helpful to collect images/situations so that I am prepared in the future
5) It helpful to have consciously know about an element in a game and drill it to the point I am unconsciously aware

Now I need to go do some Knight Sight drills....


  • At 10:39 AM, Blogger Temposchlucker said…

    Actually you have to learn two fork tricks:
    The one you do to your enemy and the one your opponent does to you.

  • At 12:21 PM, Blogger takchess said…

    That is quite true. I am far more likely to see my plans on offense than my opponents plans.

  • At 6:32 PM, Blogger Don Q. said…

    Good word. Check out A Word a Day if you enjoy language as I do. Each day a new word, definition, example quote and memorable quote is sent to your email address. I have been enjoying it for years now.


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