Okay, moving forward on Chess. I have decided not only to shift my work to my correspondence Chess, but also to run an experiment with it as part of my greater data collection.
Okay, I’m backing off from my statement that I am quitting Chess. Sort of. When I quit working on my Chess game, I was very relieved. But as I looked around I realized there were still some cleaning up to do. I’m in the middle of a fair bit of correspondence Chess: four tournaments, a pyramid, and a few assorted games. I also have some very nice Chess books I got for this latest foray into Chess, some of which have interesting information I have yet to peruse. Not to mention my numerous Chess sets, like my really cool MoMA set, and the Isle of Lewis replica set my brother got me for Christmas. What to do with all of that?
I did promise an explanation of how I do the knight’s tour, so here it is. To be clear, the knight’s tour is where you take a Chess knight and move it around a Chess board so that it goes to every square once without going to any square twice. I use it as a visualization exercise to help see possible knight moves when playing Chess. I find it is also good for practicing thinking ahead a few moves, because at certain points you have to be careful about where you will be three moves later.
There was a post on one of the internet Chess sites I frequent about the World Chess Championships. I responded to the thread, and got flamed pretty hard, mostly because I think people were misinterpreting my position. I got out of the conversation when it became a willful misinterpretation of my position, because there’s no point in dealing with that sort of “conversation.” Unfortunately, the probability that an internet conversation will turn into that sort of thing is approximately the number of posts divided by 32. Which is part of why I made this blog, so I could just post my rants without the flame wars, I just forget the wisdom of that from time to time.
One of the thing you are supposed to study for Chess is visualization. That’s what they call being able to see what the board will look like three moves into the future. Like many things in Chess you can build visualization up from small pieces. First you learn to be able to tell what color a square is without looking at it, and then which diagonals it is on, and so on. Being a programmer, I wrote a computer program to generate random visualization questions for me to answer. In a fit of originality I decided to call it Visualizer. I’ve set up a page for it here on WordPress, and one at the pygame site (since I wrote it in Python and pygame).
The way I have been studying is not really working out. This is not a big surprise. I knew when I created the plan that it was perhaps overly detailed and probably more than I could chew. But I thought it was a good plan, and I figured that the best way to find the problems with the plan was to try and actually implement it. So here I am, two months down the road. I think I understand the problem with the plan, and it’s not the one I expected.
In following with step 9 from my first truly analyzed Chess game, I shifted my Chess work to address the problems I found with my play. Rather than continue reading my new Chess book (Reassess Your Chess) on Wednesday, I poked around on the internet and found some articles on the thought process in Chess. Today at work I had a lot of test runs to do on my new search program to deal with our new Sharp Floor system (more on that in the next post). While they were running, I did what I probably do best (and like to do most): I analyzed what I had learned about the thought process in Chess.