Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Multipurpose moves, flexibility and chaos

Some cc-players play rather quick. For cc-games, that is. So I have a few results from my experiment already. The active placement of my pieces in a Rubinstein-Zukertort set up is neutralized by 90% of the opponents. I was surprised by all the different approaches to the problem.

It made me think of what I once found out about how you can win a piece in tactics.
If you chase a piece, it will move away everytime you make an attacking move. Ad infinitum. You can only win a single piece when it hasn't enough space to flee.
So method one is the trap. Mate being a special instance of a trap.
Method two is to attack two targets at the same time. Be it a double attack, fork, pin, skewer etc..
Only one of the two targets can be saved at the same time.

If you position one piece well, it can be neutralized by one contra-move. Comparable with the fleeing piece. Only when your opponent hasn't enough space, it can happen that he cannot play a contra-move.
Method two is to make a multipurpose move, which accomplishes two things. Usually a contra-move can only neutralize one of the two purposes. As Fierabras pointed out, a technique that is closely related to the multipurpose move is the flexible move. He gave as example Be2 in certain Sicilian lines. Which keeps all options open.

Further it reminds me of the chaos theory. There are a lot different contra-moves possible for any of your actions. There seems to be a rather broad draw-margin. But if you reach the edge of the draw-margin, the roof can come down by only one move which causes a chainreaction.


  1. Your theory becomes more and more complicated. I have difficulties to follow. Why not come back to the real simple things? Such as make own pieces better, opp pieces worse, build up pressure with lots of threats and then, bang, shoot a threat that cannot be parried. Opp loses material or gets checkmated. Of course this is easier said than done. But my guess is that you get these simple things easier if you concentrate just on these simple things. Just a guess, not more.

  2. Maybe how I say it makes it look complex.
    It's very simple though. A single purpose move can always be parried. A dual purpose move not. Just like in tactics that a one target attack can always be parried but a dual target attack not.

  3. I actually believe chess is chaotic in nature. From the starting position there is a fine dynamic balance which most of the time is disturbed by one or more sub-optimal moves. Like Smyslov said: "I will make 40 good moves and if you are able to do the same, the game will end in a draw".

    So the draw-margin is very small and the margin for error is very broad. Statistical data will probably proof this, provided you look at data from the sub-optimal (below master) level. I believe if you do not count proposed draws every chess club shows a low draw percentage.