About 8 years ago I started with chess after a break of nearly 20 years. I read quite a pile of books from Euwe. That was the first time I encountered information about positional play. I tried to apply the advice of Euwe in my games, which for 90% didn't work. When I obtained the bishoppair after a long struggle of 20 moves, meanwhile deteriorating my position, I had to flee for his omnipresent knights to protect my precious pair. Most of the time I could only make a move or two before I lost the pair.
If I tried to make a plan, that was simply ridiculous! If my opponent wasn't willing to cooperate, how on earth could I implement a plan? Where is the ship going, when there are two captains that steer by turns for 5 minutes?
That lead me to the conclusion that it was way too early for positional play.
So I forgot all this stuff and just started to play. Accepting any position as a given fact, only influenced by the position of the planets and the rating of my opponent.
I'm always very focussed on what I'm doing. Which means that I have a great power to ignore things that I consider irrelevant for the moment. The upside is that I can go really deep, the downside is that I miss the wide view.
I got acquinted with the idea's of prof. de Groot about pattern recognition and I read that chess = 99% tactics. And so I decided to give tactics a shot. Initially with great success.
At the moment I have reached the limit of what I can do about tactics.
So I have to apologize to the readers of this blog. This blog will in the future not be about MDLM, the circles or about tactics. That lies behind me. It was a great success, it was big fun and it brought me 250 ratingpoints.
Now the time is ripe for the next step.
I will continue to post about chess improvement though.
Allthough I read about positional play in the books of Euwe, I have never thought about it myself. That may sound very strange, but that is my way of focussing. When I read his books, I was absorbing HIS information. I tried to implement HIS advice. When I do so, I ignore my own thoughts. To prevent that they interfere and that I miss something.
But now is the time that I'm going to think for myself. I have seen 100K beautiful tactical combinations the past 3.5 years, so those don't distract me anymore in a position.
I started a few weeks ago to think for myself. About positional play that is.
Thusfar I have found already the main clue in all positional planning: piece activity.
The nice thing is that piece activity isn't contradictory to tactics. So my efforts in that area aren't down the drain. I can even continue to play gambits, if I like to do so, since gambits are about piece activity too.
What I expect though is that I will try to focus on "steerability" of the game.
In a way a gambit does that too. In the KG means 2.f4: I steer away from the Ruy and the Italian, and you are going to have a rough ride.
But a rough ride is double edged. A rough ride means your opponent doesn't steer but you don't steer either.
I don't know to if it is possible to steer a game, but it probably means that you must rule out tactics to a certain degree.
That is, you have to keep lines closed until it is favourable to open them.
The coming weeks (years?) I will be busy to study this subject.
I'll keep you informed.
The Soviet School of Chess
20 hours ago