Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Final conclusion

What this blog lacks is a final conclusion. I will provide one now.

There are things in life that one can call "unfinished business". In my life I had two which stood out: fishing and playing chess.

I hardly caught any fish when I started to experiment with fishing.
It took me 25 years to get the hang of it. At the moment I understood how to do it and started to catch lots and lots of fish, I abandoned fishing. Since I don't like fishing. Experimenting and finding out  how it works was a definite challenge, but when the challenge was over, it was finished. I never touched an angling rod again.

I made a genuine effort to get substantially better at chess. I failed. The final conclusion is that the common belief that you can become good at anything just by willing it and working hard is not true. No matter how intelligent you are.

I learned lots and lots of things about the workings of my own mind, so I don't consider it a waste of time. The lessons reach way beyond chess.

What is left is a monument of which others can take advantage. You can save yourself an awful lot of time by reading this blog well.

Good luck to all of you.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The initiative

Writing in english again is somewhat uneasy. I feel rusty both write- and chesswise. I did read a few old posts of mine. Especially this one caught my attention. I never really put the ideas from that post into practice. But pruning branches and  excluding move orders based on reasoning about the initiative is a great idea. I will experiment with it. All other ideas failed, so there is nothing to loose.

I did a little test with solving an old high rated problemset. It turns out that most of the times I remember the moves, not the diagrams. Since the initiative is much more important than geometric patterns (see the old post I mentioned), it's logical to have a closer look at it.

Further I use a mind mapping tool lately, which is a great way to organize knowledge.

Chess comes in waves

I haven't posted for a while. But the new season has started, so I will try to pick it up again. First I will have to read some old stuff to see where I'm standing right now. See you around.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Seeing everything as new


Say, there is a big tree in my garden. It casts a lot of shadow, so it makes my house ïnside very dark. At one day, I decide to chop it down because I got so annoyed to have to put on the lights by day, even in the summer. After a good night of sleep, I have forgotten that I did chop the tree and why I did it. When I wake up, I look in the garden and I start to rave: "which idiot has chopped my tree while I was asleep? When I now sit in the garden it will be too hot for me since there is no shadow!"

This happens when you see everything always as "new". When you don't see the relation between your actions and their consequenses. This may look highly unreasonable and highly improbable, yet this is exactly what happens in a chess game. Today my opponent made an unexpected knight move. I was in a bad position, and I was looking for eternal check. I looked at the consequences how his knightmove and I concluded that I could still put my rooks where I wanted them. After a few moves I gave a check with my rook. In stead of moving his king away, he simply put his knight in between. I had totally missed that move. I had seen the unexpected knight move. I had seen some consequences, but not all. You may argue that in this case, it was not me but my opponent who made the move. It was not you, but it was your neighbour who chopped the tree. But that doesn't make a difference. Somehow, we are blind for the consequences of actions, when it comes to chess. We see the action, but don't see the consequences.

This, and only this, is the main reason why we are so bad in chess. We see the actions, but are consequence blind.We see everything "as new". As if the consequence is there without a cause. No matter if we were the cause or our opponent.

This is what a brainscan of the amateur reveals. We see always everything as a new position. Every move. No matter if it was your move or your opponents.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

ATH 1900 Fide estimated

In about 11 months my FIDE estimated rating at CT has risen from 1844 to 1900 today. Most of this has been realized the past 7 months, when I started with my new method of making diagrams and memorizing limited amounts of high rated tactical problems. As you might have noticed I made a detour for two months or so with endgames during this time.
In fact, I might be somewhat underrated even. Since I wasn't aware that the FIDE estimated which is calculated during standard tactics makes use of the time I spend on a problem. I have the habit to go to the mall or to watch the telly while the clock is ticking. I will change that habit from now on and see what it brings.

Friday, March 08, 2013

How to represent checkmate?

I'm making good progress in solving tactics in which I have to gain wood. The method of making diagrams of the essence of positions works very well, and transfers chess knowledge to new positions. At the same time I continue to act poor when it comes to king hunts. That is, mate in x moves. The reason for that is that the king hunt is about squares. Empty or not. It is difficult to make a readable diagram for these mates.

For gaining wood, the diagrams are pretty straight forward. Targets, attackers, squares, defenders are very well represented by a position with arrows and colored squares. But for checkmate, there is a continuous change of covered squares when the pieces move around. When I try to describe that with arrows and colored squares, it becomes chaotic very soon. Since the law is that you can't visualize what you can't represent in the mind, I'm on the lookout for other ways to represent these mates. So far I have no idea how to tackle this problem.

Two random diagrams to see what we are talking about:


Black to move.
5r1k/1p4pp/8/p5n1/2PR2b1/PPBPq1P1/3N3P/6QK b - - 0 1
You can find the solution here.

White to move.
r1b3Q1/p1q5/2n4R/bpk1pp2/8/2P5/P1PB1PP1/1R2K3 w - b6 0 1
You can find the solution here.

Tactics of the same rating that gain wood are much easier for me, lately.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

What the heck?!

After thinking for 20 minutes I failed this problem which, given it's simple solution, should be rated about 1300 or so.


Black to move.
How is it possible to overlook such simple manoeuver for 20 minutes and still not see it?
What kind of training is needed to see these things?
You can find the solution here.