Near the start of The Sports Gene, David Epstein dives into some fascinating research around the differences between novice, master, and grandmaster chess players.
One of the things that is mentioned is that it appears that the novice is focused on single pieces and single moves while the master (and grandmaster) are more focused on the relationship between the pieces.
I haven’t been able to stop thinking about that since hearing it (I’m listening to the audio book, not reading the actual book). I think it’s possibly a universal truth.
When you first start something, you are very focused and conscious of the little, single, individual tasks and challenges…but eventually, through dedicated practice and general experience, you begin to recognize patterns (probably without even realizing it)…and at that level, you are really much more focused on the relationship between the little, single, individual tasks and challenges than you are the specifics of any one itself.
I wonder if, outside of dedicated practice and prolonged experience, there are any short cuts to focusing on the relationship (I suspect not really).
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Kevin has a day job as CTO of Veritonic and is spending nights & weekends hacking on Share Game Tape. You can also check out some of his open source code on GitHub or connect with him on Twitter @falicon or via email at kevin at falicon.com.
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