Thursday, January 16, 2014

John Bain - Chess Tactics for Students: Revision 1 Complete

I started my 1st revision of this book on November 25th and finished it January 16th (52 days).  After excluding the one bad problem, the book contains 389 basic tactics, broken down by motif.  Dan Heisman suggests you should be able to complete 85% in less than 15 seconds.

I divided the problems into 6 sections, exactly the same way as Bright Knight in his Bain Experiment.  Each section should be slightly harder than the last.  Instead of presenting each section, broken down by time solved for each repetition, I'm going to show two different graphs:

Percent completed in under 15 seconds for the 1st pass of each section:

Keeping in mind that A1 was hand-timed, thus faster than the other sections, this shows overall improvement.   Given that I generally improved about 20% from pass 1 to pass 2, I suspect A1 would come in around 35% if it were Anki-timed.

Percent completed in under 15 seconds for all passes:

Note: I left out A1 from this chart since I thought it looked better without the hand-timed results.  As I mentioned above, I generally improved about 20% from pass 1 to pass 2, however I improved from 40% to 81.54% from F1 to F2!

I solved at least 85% of the problems in under 15 seconds by the time I got to pass 6 at the latest, except for section B, where I topped out with 76.92% for some strange reason.  My total under 15 seconds solve rate across all sections was 86.3%. I estimate I would be about 88.4% if all were hand-timed.

I have now made a supplementary problem set, made of all the problems that I failed to get in under 15 seconds in at least two of the last three passes.  This comes out to 58 problems. I will be treating these problems like a 7th section and work them for 6 passes.  When I finish, I should be 2 weeks away from doing a 2nd revision of all the problems.  With this supplementary work, I suspect I should do much better than 86.3% after 1 pass of each section.

Percentages from each motif that are in the supplemental section:

 Keeping in mind that "Knight Forks", "Forks" and "Double Threats" are a similar type of problem and "Discovered Checks", "Double Checks" and "Discovered Attacks" are also similar, they each account for 31% of my supplemental problem set.

I'm already working on the Woolum problem set, and am just over 50% completed.  The problems overall in this book are much harder than Bain and I feel pretty confident I won't be getting anywhere near 85% in under 15 seconds.  I think 75% might be doable though.

As a last thought, I definitely need to tone down the amount of books I'm going through at once for repetitions.  I had Bain, Pandolfini, Woolum and Mattson all going at once.  I think I'm going to stick with no more than 2 books at a time as needed.

Just noticed that today marks the one-month anniversary of this blog.  #BirthdayCake

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