Druss Blog

An account of my attempts to try and improve my chess.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Repeated level 40 until I got them all right

Although I completed level 40 in CT Art a few weeks ago, I decided to continue to solve the 'erroneous' problems until I had scored 100%. In other words, to redo every problem until I got them all right first time. This is the same approach that I did previously with levels 10, 20 and 30. Although it is nice to achieve, it does involve trying to solve the same problems over and over. And, in the end it seems more a case of memorising the move order rather than solving, and I wonder if this is a bad situation. Am I building up a generic pattern recognition memory that will improve my tactical play, or am I learning how to solve specific CT Art problems? Also, it takes a fair slug of time to complete, especially at level 40. On balance, I like it though, and I feel it is helping by repeatedly exposing me to patterns that I miss. I definitely have tactical blind spots, and certain combinations are much harder for me to spot.

I have now completed seven circles of levels 10 and 20, six circles of level 30 and five circles of level 40. Above this, I have solved level 50 twice, and levels 60+ once.

Even with level 20, I have not managed to complete them all in one day. I have with level 10, and got it down to about 1 hour. The best at level 20 is 3 days. I'm getting a bit better at level 30, and managed to knock off 30 odd without really trying this morning.

According to MDLM I should be aiming for completing everything all in one day. At the moment I think this is unrealistic. I also think there is limited value going above level 50 problems. So my goal for this year is to try to complete levels 10 to 50 only in one day.

I am not fully convinced of this tuning the problem solving down to one day final stage - what do other people think who have achieved this? Personally, I find the iterating through the erroneous problems until you achieve 100% approach is more useful for me.

On another note, is the enthusiasm waning amongst the knights? People have commented that we are not as enthusiastic at rallying round people who are struggling. And also, I feel there is a lot of divergence in methods and more of a focus on chess improvement rather than MDLM methods. Is this bad?


At 8:28 PM, Blogger Pawnsensei said...

Hey Druss,

Good point there. I think as the community got larger it was harder to keep up with all of the Knights. Bloglines helps but it's still difficult.

This was an experiment so it may be that the end result is that the De La Maza method isn't perfect, but I don't think anyone claimed that it was, even Don. It looks like most of the Knights who have completed the circles have come to the same conclusion. "Tactics are important, but need balance with other areas." I don't think it's a bad thing at all.

Another thing I noticed. The Knights that have stuck with blogging and chess for over six months tend to stay in there for the long haul and continue to show improvement.


At 11:31 AM, Blogger takchess said...

Many interesting points raised in your blog. Going through the circles a number of times, part of the pattern recognition involves recognizing the pattern when certain types of problems occur in CT-art. You can count on the first 10 plus problems of each ct-art level to be Knight Forks. Despite this happening, I think there is a element of improved "generic pattern recognition"that is occuring under the surface. I do subscribe to the belief that one should strive for high level of accuracy as you are doing. 100% accuracy wasn't for me I had to settle for around 95%. I'll write
more on some of the things you brought up on your post later on my blog.

At 3:17 PM, Blogger Temposchlucker said...

I don't think it is exactly waning.
But the knights who have completed their circles have said a lot about DLM's method during their efforts. Now they have shift their area of attention. That's only logical.
Further nobody has reached equal results as MDLM so further investigation proves to be necessary.
Sounds like a good idea for the "fresh" Knights:)

At 10:05 PM, Blogger Jim said...


Most everyone has already commented and made the important points, but the MDLM method does work - it's essentially the same as the Soviet system but the difference is the Soviets only use the most basic problems -not the higher level ones you find in CT-ART.

On the other hand, I don't think anyone has experienced a 400 point rise.

At 9:40 PM, Blogger The Hungarian Knight said...

Since I'm really knew at the whole DLM thing (my CT arrives today!), I can't talk about specifics but . . .

I took and passed my Oracle DBA certification by reading and taking several thousand practice questions. Now, I'm now expert DBA, but it gave me a more indepth knowldege that helps me day in and day out at my job. This is whay the DLM method seemed to me to be such a good one. Repetition breeds familiarity.

As far as the community is concerned, I'm hoping there is a lot of support and guidance as I plod through this. And then the responsibilty turns to me to help the future newbies venture throught the DLM maze.


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