Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Developing a sense for the initiative

Now the ToS is simplified, it is time to get a sense for this way of looking to the position. To describe it in those terms.

Black to move


r3kb1r/2qn1pp1/p4n2/4pNB1/1p3P2/6N1/bPPQ3P/2KR1B1R b kq - 0 1
[solution]

In terms of the tree of scenarios:
Diagnosis:
  • Target: The king and queen look juicy
  • point of pressure:  c2; b3
  • line of attack: c-file
  • function: c2 defends king and b3 (overworked)
  • immobility: King has Lack of Space; c2 is pinned; K and Q are at a knightforks distance

Plan: add attacker to b3

Cashing in: it becomes apparent that  you not only have to look for counter attacks when you want to cash in, but at any moment that you don't make a double function move. When you potentially give the initiative away. Due to the multiplex immobility you can permit a move that hasn't a double function. That isn't a two headed monster. (1. ... Nc5)

ToS version 2


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Simplifying the tree of scenarios

So how would a simplified tree of scenarios may look like?


Monday, December 11, 2017

the role of the initiative and immobility

I'm trying to understand the essence of the tree of scenarios. What I find is that every scenario leans on either the initiative or immobility.

Take for instance the generic scenario "add an attacker". You cannot simply add an attacker to a target which is already attacked by two of your attackers, since your opponent simply moves the target away, and your attackers will be rendered looking silly.

Somehow, the crucial tactical elements must be "fixated" for a little while. You must either add an attacker with tempo or the target must be immobile for a while. The initiative or the immobility are the necessary precondition which must be met.

The scenario is the plan what you want to do, while the precondition determines if the plan is viable.

The initiative
The initiative is maintained by a double function move. One function is based on CCT, the other function is what you actually want to do. Say, you want to clear a line of attack. Your own knight is standing in the way. When you can move the knight out of the way with a check, or a capture, or a threat, you clear the line of attack with tempo.

Sometimes it is suggested that you have to investigate every possible CCT move. If you try, you will find that that is not doable. Usually there are way too much CCT-moves that perform no second function. That approach is a waste of time.

It is better to turn it around: find the scenario you want to execute, then you look whether you can do it with a CCT-move. With tempo, that is.

Immobility
When a target is immobile, be it by lack of space or because it performs a function it can't abandon, you factually have a free move. An immobility is temporary, and it takes your opponent two or more moves to free himself. It is quite comparable with the initiative.

The core problem
That is the core problem. We have to develop an eye for the initiative and for immobility.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Wrapping my head around the tree

So far, I haven't been able to internalize the knowledge which is confined within the tree of scenarios.  Several methods were tried, but none of them stood up to the challenge.

I wondered why that is, and while pondering about it, I came up with an analogy. Quite some time ago I was a member of an economy study group who studied the book Progress and Poverty of Henry George. It took me about six years before I was able to wrap my head around the matter that was described in the book.

Once that was the case, it usually took me only seconds to dissect a complex economic problem and to describe it within the context of the book. I realized that despite all my efforts so far, I still am not able to wrap my head around chess tactics though.

I can investigate parts of it well enough if I take my time, but there is no coherence in my tactical chess knowledge. I feel that I'm not at all that far off, though.

So I'm rereading my posts from about April to now, and extract the essence of it. I'm going to reshuffle the knowledge until the core of it sinks in. Until I'm able to wrap my head around it. From there, the magic of the unconscience is supposed to kick in.


Saturday, October 28, 2017

Educating the eyes of the vulture

I have done a few exercises in "vulture mode", lately. It gives a clear idea of what the problem is.

White to move
3r2k1/5p2/1p5p/p1qb4/5R2/P1N1p1P1/1P2P2P/2Q3K1 w - - 1 1
[solution]

I circled above this position for a few hours. I have dived into a few tunnels now and then, but I always managed to get back to circling again. So I could avoid to get stuck in a tunnel. Yet I wasn't able to guide my attention into the right direction. I totally missed the zwischenzug.

That perfectly cuts out my work for me. During the flight of the vulture, my attention must be guided by the tree of scenarios. Apparently, almost nothing of the tree has been internalized, so far.

Maybe the culprit for that is that I tried to do two things at the same time: developing the tree of scenarios and internalizing it. Now the tree of scenarios has reached some maturity, I can focus on the latter aspect alone.

UPDATE
The pictures I made in order to summarize the tree of scenarios are too compact to be useful as of yet.  I'm simply not familiar enough with the scenario's. That's why I plan a series of diagrams with the scenarios written out fully. For the diagram above:

Move 1: Immobilize the bishop by pinning it.
Move 2: Add attackers to attack the immobilized piece.
Move 3: Gain a tempo by the double function move that frees the rook and attacks the king in one go.

It is the double function move that gives white the edge.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

As the vulture flies

Thanks to Ophelia we have summer-like temperatures lately. Which makes it attractive to work in the garden in the weekends. Despite the global warming, the evenings have become darker every day though, while the winter solstice nears. It is not doable to work in the garden in the dark, so more and more times becomes available for other matters. For instance for thinking about chess.

Robert mentioned a point which has to be clarified, some day. Maybe it is good to give this some attention before I dive head first in the matters which we have talked about lately again.

That point is about to investigate what happens when we stay circling like a vulture while looking at a position, in stead of diving into the first tunnel that smells to road kill time and again. It will require quite some mental discipline to withstand the old habits, of course, so it is actually some kind of meditation. I will give it a try and see what happens.