Testing My Theories on Myself

In The Genius of the Kibitzer I and II, and in previous posts like Attention!, I have explored some techniques and methods that I believe can improve one’s chess results independent of studying or practicing chess.

Being oriented toward doing rather than just pontificating, I now undertake an experiment to test some of these ideas. For the next three months I am going to studiously avoid any chess study whatsoever. I will play 24 “standard” games (15 minutes per side or more) on the Free Internet Chess Server, trying to play two games per week but allowing for variations due to moving into a new home next week, travel etc. These variations would, no doubt, disqualify this experiment from academic peer-reviewed publishing, but no matter.

My current rating on the site is 1700. The point of the experiment is to see what might happen to that rating using nothing but my current chess knowledge and skill plus dedicated application of the contents of the above posts.

I will probably play a few games with the people at the informal local club over the next three months; however, none are really close to me in rating and I don’t really want to cut myself off from all the social aspects chess in the name of science. Since I usually only get to play two hours once a month anyway, I am hardly worried about serious contamination of the experimental design.

Some of the ‘experimental’ games will be annotated here to illustrate particular points. That is probably a form of study as well, but so be it. I will be staying away from books, openings and even playing over others’ games on this fine site.

This should be quite interesting. Whatever happens to my rating, the hope is to pay attention to the process and learn something useful.