Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Deja vu. Round and round in circles

Papa Polgar has written another brick, what is less known.
It consists of 4158 middlegame problems.
Frustration about that book was the immediate cause that I joined the Knights two years ago and started the circles with George Renko's Intensive course tactics I and later on TCT.

To be more precise, this was the diagram that made me throw the towell in the ring.

Black to move and win.
It stems from a correspondence chess game.
What I thought was: this is way too complicated. This I will never see or learn in a real game. I must learn the more simple things first.

And so I joined the Knights Errant and did the circles with simple problems. Compared with Polgars book, that is. Later on I started with CTS, with even simpler problems. In those 2 years I gained about 50 rating points, which is not so bad, but way below expectation or hope.

The past months I even started to adopt a Karpovian style of play, which basically consists of avoiding difficulties and complex positions, trying to win by subtle means and more knowledge. Untill a few days ago when I saw that there was a whole area of complex chess between simple tactics and positional play. An area where concrete analysis rules, but memory overload errors blockade me. And so I decided to postpone the work on the Karpovian style of play and openings. I will continue it, but first I want to tackle this complex style of play.

In order to get some adequate training, I bought a second hand copy of PCA from Mark Buckley, but I allready throwed it in the corner because of the low quality of the exercises. And so I picked up Polgars middlegame brick again, but now highly motivated. I continued where I left it, and now I think of the above diagram as an awesome opportunity to master complexity.

The main lines are beautiful. You sac the knight on f3 and if white takes he gets mated. If white doesn't take the knight there are 3 possibilities: Kf1 leads to mate, Kg2 loses the queen and Kh1 loses a piece. Now all these lines are good to follow, except the last one (1. ... Nf3+ 2. Kh1)
The last line leads to a lot of possibilities and the short term memory is immediate overloaded. There are a lot of possible trades and the bookkeeping of all those subvariations is impossible to me.

And that is how I intend to use the Polgar book. I'm going to try to find a method to handle the complications and to do the bookkeeping. The quality of the book is very high.

For those who are interested, this is one of the two exercises of PCA that is flawed (pg 61 and 62)


  1. The author neglected to mention that 29.Ng3 is a bad move, instead 29.Qf2 would be more tenacious (Rybka 2.3!).

    I would not call this exercise flawed, because the lesson to create another weakness on c4 is valid.

  2. Fier,
    with 29.Ng3 black wins the pawn. A weakness is only weak when you can attack it. But with correct defense, you never get the pawn. The lesson might be good, but the author didn't check the line. The next exercise: exactly the same. So he spills my time by letting me search for something that isn't there.