I'm still working on a checklist which assists in analyzing positions. It is a very pragmatic list. Everything I'm used to, like looking for tactics, is not on the list. So aren't the questions which I ask from the perspective of the opponent. If I know what I want, I can hold the same reasoning for my opponent, so no reason to make a distinguished item of it.
I check the checklist against a series of positional problems.
Yesterday I was still very happy since there were only 3 items left on the list.
I like my lists simple and clean, and 3 items are perfectly managable during a game.
On the list were the following questions I had to ask myself about a position:
- Are there good squares for my pieces? (home, outpost, keysquare). Related to this, what has my opponent as defenders and I as attackers for that square.
- Are there weak pawns? (target). Related to this, what has my opponent as defenders and I as attackers for that pawn.
- Which pawns can be pushed? Which (half-) open files and/or diagonals can possibly be the result of the pawn push.
The first two questions are clear to me, the third one is pretty complex. I have to work that one further out.
Today I realized that there are 3 other questions that I have to investigate:
- At which side of the board to struck/which side to block?
- Which pieces are good and which are bad?
- Which pieces do I want to trade?
With these questions it takes me 10 to 45 minutes to analyse any given position (non tactical). The result is very promising until now, I score very well in answering the positional problems in Zen Larsens Good move's guide. While I used to be dramatically bad at it.
I have finished more than 60 cc-games the past 2.5 months, which is a perfect way to incorporate my new style in my play. Right now I still play about 25 games at the same time. Time is running fast to the upcoming Corus tournament (jan 19th, 2007)