I have seen numerous assertions (such as from Garry Kasparov) that planning involves (at its best) considering what will happen within (approximately) the next 5 moves, sometimes (often?) fewer than that.
Isn't planning essentially looking at the general situation and determining (through the process of elimination via calculation) which sequence of moves provides the best probable outcome? If that is so, then PopLoaFun seems to provide an excellent basis for determining a (shorter term) plan. A plan for the entire game seems to be too general and abstract for practical use move-by-move.
Planning starts with WHAT should I try to accomplish.
Followed by HOW can I do that.
It is too early to say how big the role of PoPLoAFun is going to be in the endgame. About the middle game, I am inclined to say that 25% of the moves are tactical by nature, meaning that all three parts of PoPLoAFun are directly concrete involved. The remaining 75% focusses on creating lines of attack, closing them for the enemy and wrestling for domination on the existing lines of attack. How you exactly are going to use the lines of attack is of later concern.
Are endgames particular (concrete; tactical) or general (strategic) in nature?
If I'm not over ambitious, read I don't throw the kitchen sink at move 3, I will get a middle game. I put a lot of effort in investigating the middle game. After a few months I reached the final formulation of middle game planning: Get the most piece activity against the least activity for your enemy. With this simple rule, I can judge any middle game move.
With my new approach, I am starting to get endgames on the board. With so many years of attacking and gambits under the belt, I'm relatively under experienced in endgames. I simply am not used to get them on the board. But now I do get them, I smell a possibility for improvement.
10% of the endgame is about specific endgame knowledge. Those 10% tends to be 98% of the content of any endgame book. The remaining 90% is simply not treated in endgame books.
This 90% is about endgame planning. Start at the highest level. There are two possible plans in the endgame:
- Attack the weak pawns
- Create a passer
There are a lot of assisting rules for endgame planning. I will devote several posts to that.
My experience with various openings (admittedly, I rarely look at specific opening lines unless I'm upset at how I played a particular line) leads me to believe that the openings (for Class players up to approximately Expert level) are not critical for winning chess. My experience is that usually I win or lose because of an oversight (usually tactical) that has nothing to do with the outcome of the opening. In short, I don't win or lose the game in the opening.
Would you please elaborate on why you consider the Caro-Kann defense to be insufficient for a Class player in tournament play?
It is a matter of taste. And of confidence. I trust the London system. I trust the Dutch defense with black reasonably well. There are a few lines in the Caro Kann that I don't like to play. Not because they are bad, but because it is not according to my taste. What I'm searching for, is to play with black against 1.e4 in a way which gives me the same feeling as the London system with white.
I used to mess up the Caro Kann since I hadn't the slightest idea what I was doing. But with my new middle game approach, I fare fairly well with it, lately. But there are a lot of variations that are so commonly well known, that I still don't know after move 12 whether I face a grandmaster or a beginner. Meaning that I denied my opponent the chance of 10 moves to go astray.