How you know you’ve learned something

In college, it was the “shrinking textbook” effect. Cramming for an exam, I knew I was in good shape when the amount of textbook material covered no longer seemed physically large and I started to remember where various facts and concepts were in the book. (Side note – turns out this was not a good marker of long-term recollection. But it was reliable for cramming purposes.)

In chess I wonder if it’s a good sign when boring stuff stops seeming boring. My drawn game last night was pretty insipid at one level – again I am trying to stuff my impulse to lash out in practically every position – but there were plenty of nuances that I need to dig into and fully understand, both in the closed/manuevering opening position and in the endgame position that was evolving when we buried the hatchet on move 30 or so.

When simplified positions become truly interesting, I’ll take that as a personal milepost that I’m getting to a different level of understanding.

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8 thoughts on “How you know you’ve learned something

  1. Next thing you’ll say is you find rock and roll more palatable at a lower volume! Sheesh, turning past the big quadragenarian threshold has made its mark on you.

  2. Bravely bold Sir Derek
    Started a WordPress blog.
    He was not afraid to write,
    Oh, brave Sir Derek.
    He was not at all afraid
    To be mocked in nasty ways.
    Brave, brave, brave, brave Sir Derek.

    He was not in the least bit scared
    To earn a Google Rank of 1.
    Or to have robots crawl his site,
    And his ideas stolen.
    To have his chess skill mocked
    And his rating to decay,
    And his openings hacked and mangled
    Brave Sir Derek.

    His tagline ignored
    And his cooking snubbed
    And his links unclicked
    And his comments spammed
    And his wit dismissed
    And his opinions ripped
    And his pen-

    Er, that’s enough music for now. Sorry this has no relevance to the post. That Monty Python song was playing while reading your site. So.

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