Monday, June 27, 2005

Mein System. . .

A warm welcome to a whole bunch of new Knights:

Zeon - The Paradoxical Knight
Silver Dragon - The Pyrotechnic Knight
Dread Pirate Josh - The One-Eyed Knight
May Caissa be well-disposed towards them.

I played some more games against the computer, for learning to transfer my tactical pattern recognition to OTB play.
Before using my new scansystem:
Computer level: 6 ply deep.

Win = 0
Draw = 0
Loss = 35

Since using my new system:

Win = 0
Draw = 4
Loss = 2

So I make some progress.
It costs me alot of effort to stay focussed and disciplined.
One simple slip and the computer knocks me out.
On the other hand it is an amazing improvement and a great way to train.

Ok, more information on Mein System. . .
Since my computer doesn't make tactical mistakes within the 6 plies it is allowed to think, it makes no sense to check its side for tactical blunders.
So I scan only my own side. Against a real opponent it can be profitable to scan his side too of course, but then I have to be much faster.
My first target is to learn the system so that it becomes easy and automatic.

It is based on two key elements.
First you have to identify a potential target.
A potential target is vulnerable because:
  • it has a high value or
  • it is undefended or
  • it is already under attack or
  • it is defended by a defender under attack or
  • it is defended by a pinned piece.
Second you have to identify a way to win a vulnerable target.
There are two ways for the opponent to win a vulnerable piece:
  • Single attack. This can only work if the attacked piece is trapped. A special instance of this is mate.
  • Duo attack. I use this term to distinguish it from the common used double attack. I understand by a duo attack every method to attack two targets, as a double attack, a pin, a skewer, a discovered attack etc..
There is no other way you can loose material in a forced way.
(ok, by a trio attack. . .)
Since we all have the patterns of common tactical motifs stored in our brains there is no use to ask yourself: can he fork here, can he skewer here etc., because that's far too complicated.
You have to trust that when you focus, the right combination will come up straight away.
So how do you focus?
You only have to imagine how an attacking piece can reach your vulnerable piece.
An hostile Bishop can reach any square of the same color in two moves. On an empty board that is. So I use Mousetrappers X-ray vision to look from the attacker to the victim. If there are impediments in the way I ask myself, "can these be removed?". Your tactical skill does the rest.
To summarize:
I scan my pieces for vulnerability.
I scan my opponents pieces for a way to reach my vulnerable piece.

I hope you could stay awake and that I made myself clear.


  1. I like your points. I'm glad that you found this system. I might just use it myself. Just wondering, where did Pyrotechnic knight come from.


  2. GK,
    Choose your answer:
    * Gothenburg, Sweden
    * Pyrotechnic = relating to fireworks
    * DG dubbed him

  3. what chess computer system are you using? fritz?

  4. At the moment I use Arena with the SOS engine. But I change from time to time from engine. Besides this I use Fritz 7.

  5. also, my rating is 1596 for FICS. Thanks for keeping those posted.


  6. i pumped SOS at depth 4 (material only set) in 1 minute and 28 seconds. I'm guessing it gets a lot harder the next few ply.

  7. Pyrotechnic knight ey! Well I must say it suits me rather well. I´m a magician who loves things that blow up and who actually eats and breathes fire on occasion. ;)