Friday, December 22, 2006

Piece activity

Takchess suggested the word piece activity in stead of piece mobility. I think that is a good idea since piece mobility is somewhat tainted.
I realize very well that my findings in the previous posts are easy to be underestimated. That is very good, since the enemy is listening too.

Since I now know that piece activity is the ultimate positional goal in chess, I will not be left clueless again. For instance yesterday, I had a very difficult position in a cc-game. With the new acquired insights I could formulate what I wanted. After that it took me another 45 minutes to find a move that did exactly that. Now, two moves later, the sun breaks thru the clouds in my position. Alas, I cannot show it right now, since the game is still going on. But I will show it later to you.

There is one important point yet. To make a plan, you must forget about candidate moves at first.
A plan is based on the future, on an ideal situation, while a candidate move is only the next following move. Trial and error with candidate moves was my usual brain activity in quiet positions, in the hope to get some inspiration on the direction to head for. Often this hope proved to be in vain, ticking away precious seconds on the clock.
You have to define what you want first. Only then you can start to select candidate moves to see how you can transform the ideal into practice.

Now I only have to learn to do things faster. 45 minutes is of course way too long. Experience must do the job, I guess


  1. I enjoy talking about chess but find it very difficult to talk about it accurately. When it comes to mobility I think of what the total number of squares a piece can legally move to. although a queen in a position that can reach only 5 squares may be better than one that can reach 15 depending on the position. I imagine that a piece that is dedicated to protecting another piece has limited activity/mobility even though it can legally move elsewhere.

    interested in seeing your game

  2. Sounds like you've been reading Silman! Indeed, one thing I like about HTRYC is his discussion on developing a plan BEFORE choosing candidate moves. Very instructive.

  3. Blue,
    it's not different from MDLM's step 3 point 5.1: improve the mobility of your pieces.

  4. Tak,
    although a queen in a position that can reach only 5 squares may be better than one that can reach 15 depending on the position

    I intend to adress that in a later post.