THE WOODPECKER METHOD Axel Smith Hans Tikkanen
This book by a couple of Scandinavian GMs is outlines a training method named after one of them, Hans Tikkanen.
This method is a tactics intensive training, during which the trainee must go through a chess exercise set over and over agiain reducing the time devoted to each exercise in every round.
As they authors put it:
The general idea of the Method is to develop intuitive/automatic pattern recognition through repetitive solving of the same exercises in a cyclical fashion.
...using this method gave me a tremendous increase in stability in time trouble, improved my tactical vision quite a bit, and significantly reduced my blunder rate.
Step 1 Cycle 1: Solve as many exercises as you can manage in four weeks. These exercises are your set; and solving them brings you to the end of your first cycle. (The exact time period can be adjusted according to your lifestyle and circumstances, but try not to spend much more than four weeks. If you find yourself taking much longer than four weeks, you have probably either not been putting in sufficient time, or have included too many exercises in your set.)
Step 2 Take a break from chess for at least a clear day, and up to a week if you need it.
Step 3 Cycle 2: Solve the same set of exercises but faster: within two weeks is the target.
Step 4 Repeat steps 2 and 3, and repeat again. Aim to complete each cycle in half the number of days as the previous cycle (rounded up, when dealing with an odd number of days).
Step 5 The Woodpecker Method has been completed when the full set of exercises has been solved entirely in one day – or after the 7th cycle, if you are unable to solve the full set in a day. In the final two cycles, you should focus more on spotting ideas, patterns and motifs at speed, and less on the finer details of calculation.
Here you can seee an interview of one of the authors:
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