Tuesday, October 30, 2007

More Thoughts on CTS

I just did another session on it, and I realize that the same things that plague me when I play online carry over to this too. I'm not fond of playing on the internet because I find I miss a lot due to the 1 dimensional nature of the board. I lose something spacially without a regular chess board. When I look at the problems on the screen I tend not to see the position as clearly as I might if I were looking at it on the board.

The other issue that makes this especially challenging is that I only have 6 seconds before the opponent is going to make the move. I have 3 seconds to come up with the right move in order to get full credit. I don't really care about the rating so it isn't a big deal if I'm not making the move within 3 seconds. In a real game I would have more familiarity with the position because it would be progressing in real time. Here I'm being dropped into the position with no concept of what is occurring until I look at the board so it's hard to come up with an answer quickly. Also since I'm not part of the video game generation my mouse reflexes aren't so hot, so even if I do see the right move immediately the hand-eye thing just doesn't work quite as well as it used to when I was a ice hockey goalie in college.

I would be interested in other people's observations on using CTS as a training tool. Do you encounter some of the same issues that I have mentioned?


BlunderProne said...

GM Igor Foygol told me once to set each problme on the board to get the 3 D effect.

I wish i were that disciplined. I do use the 3D board option in my database activities. I wish CT-ART had that option...my only gripe.

Sciurus said...

As far as I know the main reason behind the 3s timing is that they want to prevent cheating. AS usual it is completely incomprehensible to me why anybody would want to cheat but that is a different story...

Anyway, I agree that 3s are not enough for analysis. However, there can be benefits from learning to recognize patters quickly. As you noted, there have been many posts on this in the chess blogosphere. I did more than 10000 tries at CTS myself and noticed that the benefit I was getting from it diminished over time. But I guess that is similar to other exercises, you have to change training every now and then to really improve in the long term.

I am playing mostly online, so it is the 3D that throws me off sometimes in OTB games ;-)

Atomic Patzer said...

I use CT-ART and CTB instead of CTS. These are desktop apps that you have to buy. But you don't have to worry about the 3s. I do about a half hours worth of problems every day.

I remember you from the US Open. I was a few boards down from you the last round and watched as you convinced that kid to play.

I just started playing at the Marshall CC so maybe I'll see you there.

Grandpatzer said...

I haven't used CTS that much because of the time factor...it encourages my superficial thinking. But hey, it's free.

I've never had a problem with 2d boards. However, when doing serious study, I like to use a board because I find that I remember things better if I move real pieces myself--particularly when studying master games or seriously looking at an opening line.

Polly said...

Hi Atomic,

Make sure you introduce yourself to me when you come to the Marshall Chess Club. It's an awesome place to play. I keep getting my clocked cleaned, but I rather lose to hard opponents then roll up some fish.

If you go back into my August archives you can read about my last round at the US Open.

I have the CT for Beginners, and the Intermediate sequel. I think I'll try some of those too. Hopefully i'll find something that will work for me.

Blue Devil Knight said...

Very interesting, as I am much worse when I try to play in 3-D. The simplicity of the 2-D computer board helps me ignore extraneous perceptual details and focus on the abstract game problem set before me. Or, that's how I think about it. It's probably just what you did the most when you started playing is what you are comfortable with. I play very few games on real 3-D boards.

I think it's just like a gestalt switch, our visual system gets used to segmenting the world using one format, and when we have to switch formats it takes some time.

I'm not a huge fan of CTS. One reason is here. The data is clear, but as usual interpreting it is tricky. There is a new tactics site that doesn't have that ridiculous time constraint. It's ironically called Chesstempo.

Atomic Patzer said...

Polly - You are right about the Marshall. I played two tourneys there in October and only won 2 out of 8. But that is what I need to get better. I will be there on Nov 13th for Hoffman's signing.

Polly said...

I'm not sure I'll make it down for Hoffman's book signing or not, but I play almost every Thursday night, and I'll be playing this Saturday in the G/60.