LEARNING ACCOUNTABILITY, MAY 12
This is an experiment. A great use case, one among many, of NotePD, is learning accountability. Good for learners and good for coaches, instructors, mastermind groups, etc.
By keeping track of:
- tasks I am doing to learn
- what I am learning from each task
- questions I have
It has these benefits:
A) allows a coach to see what I am doing. (this is different from tracking how I am doing on a specific course because it's across multiple courses and platforms)
B) it allows me to remember and consolidate what I'm learning. Writing things down reinforce learning.
C) it allows me to be accountable.
Also, I am writing a book on this experience of adult improvement. Robert Greene, in particular, has strongly encouraged me to turn this into a book.
For example, in chess, it's easy to get sucked into playing mindless blitz games online. But forcing myself to be accountable makes me opt for actual learning rather than doing mindless tasks.
I will probably make these lists private at some point but right now I will make them public just to
A) be even more accountable
B) show this as an example of learning accountability.
My only worry is that they will be boring as public lists. but one way to think about it is:
I'm an adult improver, I'm busy in life other than this, so it shows how I am managing my time to make the most out of trying to learn a hard task as an adult.
So this is how I've learned in past 24 hours
1. Went over tournament game from Tuesday.
Played a tournament game Tuesday evening against a strong master.
It was a Caro-Kann, in the variation I am most nervous about. It's a very tactical line where Black wins a pawn and White is supposed to get a good attack. I am playing White.
For reference, here's the game: (I might make this private later): https://lichess.org/study/tMLcDnsc
Ethan played the critical variation but then did not play the best move at move 9. He played "e6".
Here is where I made what could have been the CRITICAL mistake of the game even though I made the "correct" move according to the computer.
A) I thought for seven minutes. These are 30 minutes each side games. Seven minutes on the most obvious move is a critical mistake. I am going to need those seven minutes later.
Lesson: In a rapid game, there's usually a few acceptable moves at each point. Just make one fast.
B) Some notes about the position after move 9.
- White is a pawn down. There's "compensation".
- Basic compensation is that I am three moves ahead in development (I have 2 pieces out, I'm castled, and it's my move, and he only has his queen out. 4 tempi minus one tempi and I am 3 tempi ahead. RULE OF THUMB: three tempi = 1 pawn. So compensation.
- other factors to consider:
1) I'm ahead in development. RULE: When ahead in development, OPEN THINGS UP. So c4, trying to open files and diagonals with some pawn exchanges, is natural move.
2) His positives: his "bad bishop" is traded (the bishop with the pawns on the same color) , and his pawn structure is rock solid. A triangle sort of like the London system in reverse.
3) Negative: Development, mentioned above, but very important, his Queen is on the kingside and blocked off from the queenside.
SO NATURAL setup for me is c4 (open lines), Qb3 (more pressure on center and attack where his queen is not), and Rad1 (same as Qb3), and when I get the chance, Nd4 (harrass the queen strategy) and Re1.
Also, I'm constantly looking at Nxd5 sacs. All of this should've been natural. Instead I thought for seven minutes on c4. BAD!!
C) Next move, Nc3, a bit weak.
1) With the black queen on the kingside , the queenside is a bit weak. Nc3 is just a developing move when I had an opportunity to develop with attack.
2) His Bc5 is a bit loose. It's not protected. So I had an opportunity to develop on the side where he also has a loose piece.
3) Qb3 suggests itself. And as GM Jesse Kraai put it (my coach), if he does ...b6 to protect pawn then this is a concession and I should be aiming for concessions. THEN, I still have c3 square available for maybe Qc3 and b4.
4) then after b6, exchange pawns to A) open lines and see which lines he opens. If he takes with c pawn, then Nc3 to look at d5 because both Bishop adn Queen's rook are weak.
if takes with e pawn, then the playbook is something like:
i) Nbd2-be (pressure bishop).
ii) Qc3 (look at kingside, threaten b4 , look at weakened c6, can even sac a rook if a later Bb4).
iii. Rae1 (kingfile is open.)
iv. e6 keep opening lines.
v. Nd4 if given a chance
D) My Nd4 is weak after his Qg4 and my e6. Because I didn't do Qb3, forcing more weaknesses on his queenside, I can no longer justify things like e6 where he gets to develop and maybe even trade queens. He went for the win of a pawn though, which kept me alive.
E) Qf3?? For some reason I only looked at Qf3 or Qb3. This happens to me a lot. These moves aren't bad but Qc2 is better: keeping an eye on the queenside while threatening to bring in the rook to attack the queen.
What's the difference? Here's where it is critical to note:
- Qf3 and Qb3 I was directly attacking something in one move. But Qc2 is jus as dangerous but the attack comes one move later (Rad1). Sometimes I'm too impatient for the immediate attack. But "the threat is stronger than the execution". I didn't look at Qc2 as a candidate move.
How could I have seen it as a candidate move.
Use this calculation technique.
- Start with the pieces to the left. Look at all the possible moves, identify which are good candidate moves. I would've seen Qc2 almost immediately so at least would have considered it. On Qc2 he would've had to spend time calculating Rad1. And then I could make Rad1 instantly anyway, saving time.
F) ND4? He has caught up in development. And Nd4 gives him too many options. As Jesse put it, "I just gave his useless bishop something to do". Plus he has opportunities to exchange queens, diminishing the attack.
Again, playbook might've been Qb3 and then even Qa3 to block K from castling or if he puts N on e7, take it and put Rae1 to put R on same file as king.
And here's where the 7 minutes I took on c4 cost me.
I have a massive attack. Rb1 threatens mate. But he can run with Kd7.
I SAW THIS.
I also saw Qa7 stops the K from running. THEN I would do Rb1 and he can't stop massive damage.
Again, two moves to threaten instead of just one. So I wanted to directly threaten.
I did't have time to calculate so I figured the direct move would "cause something to happen".
I saw Qa7 and couldn't find a refutation but I didn't trust myself. It's easy to say I should've done it but if I even had another minute to calculate I almost certainly would've done it.
G) Re3 on move 29?
I had one second left so was moving fast.
but basic calculation technique. Look for checks first. Re3 is losing to d4. But just Qb1+ keeps me in the game. I'm still better then but I would've lost on time anyway. But you never know.
Overall a great lesson in how to attack with the Caro.
2. Prepared London vs KID
I had lost with this line previously (playing KID). So I wanted to study it:
A) watched James canty vidfeo on this. Slightly different variation.
B) went through my own game with it and studied other games.
C) Conclusion: my basic setup was good. But before moving the Queen towards the kingside (which let him create HELL ON EARTH for me on the Queenside) I should have finished mobilizing pieces on Kingside wth Ne7-g6 and then more play with an easier f4.
3. Puzzle Storm on Lichess.
these are very quick tactics. The goal is to recognize simple patterns as quickly as possible. I played 3 times and solved about 100 tactics. Which is a bit slow.
The idea is that when calculating in a game, these simple tactics might be at the far branches of your calculating and you want to spot them easily. Not sure if it's good practice or not.
4. Tactics practice
Went through about 30 tactics which average strength of intermediate. Which means I should be able to solve them within ten seconds or so. Some more , some less.
This is different from deep calculation practice which I need to do more of.
5. Some endgame studies.
In m memory lesson with a former world memory champion, we went through Philidor and Lucena endgame positions and one more.
I need to review these more.
Note: in fast or rapid games they never occur. But in the Georgia State Championship this weekend I will definitely get in some endgames.
6. Video: Jesse on Bishop's Opening.
A) big insight which I didn't realize. The Bishop's Opening as white has similar structure to the KID. BOOM! Changes everything.
B) The video didn't cover what I view as the main line: d6 and Bg4
C) I understand the 3. c6 line a bit better.
Need to apply the memory techniques to review all the branches.
Should rewatch video today.
7. Video: Jesse on Grand Prix.
Again, saw the connection between Grand Prix and KID. Difference being that the f4 pawn is a bit harder to move to unleash c1 bishop.
Looked at d6 line, e6 line, Nc6 line.
Feel I need to review it more .
Also, spent time exploring e4 c5 Nc3 a6 g4!