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There was a study done on what separates chess masters from beginners. Chess masters and beginners performed equally well on memorization tests. Where they began to separate was pattern recognition - chess masters are really good at pattern recognition.

When I was a beginner I would agonize over every move and drive everyone crazy. Eventually after enough games I started to recognize some patterns. If I were to do it all over again, I would just play as many games as I could, all the way to the end, not worrying too much about winning or losing as much as just absorbing what is happening.

I'm not a chess master, but I did beat a guy with a knight tattooed on his forearm, so that has to count for something :P

I actually have an observation about this: it's difficult for me to get some feedback from whole chess games because the loop between a move and its consequences can easily be too long while the situation changes pretty fast, in my eyes. Would my play be better if I chose differently seven moves ago? Pfft, who knows anymore.

I have a much better time with action or racing video games precisely because the feedback loop is very tight. Finally figured out that I should try chess puzzles, increasing the length gradually.

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