Monday, June 11, 2007

What if

Today I spent another few hours at the same position as I showed you yesterday. I asked myself, or Rybka to be precise, what if I make this minor adjustment to the position? What if I remove this pawn? What if I take back with Nc6 in stead of Nd7 etc.?

The answers of Rybka showed me a whole lot of details which influence the evaluation of the position. It's hard to believe the amount of motifs that I missed! Now I understand why someone who does see all these details can crush me time and again. For instance I totally missed the importance of e6, which gives white extra mating possibilities under certain circumstances.

With the aid of Rybka I could find out what the bishop sac on h7 actually accomplishes. It's main effect is to prevent h6, which would shut off the white queen from h7.

With such semi-total chess blindness, it is evident where the focus of the study must be. So 4 hours of study for such "simple" positions as this is way too little, as DK already pointed out.


  1. Tricky hobbit. Those are tough problems.

    It is a very interesting question of how to optimize study time (i.e., time spent per problem, fraction of time playing versus studying, etc.).

    I am about to drastically change my study plan (not the circles, but playing) just to mix things up.

  2. Blue,
    Tricky hobbit. Those are tough problems.

    In comparison to the average problems of Polgars book this position is rather simple. But yes, even this one is much tougher than I thought beforehand.

    About optimizing study time, I'm a person who likes it to take methods to the extremes. As you might have noticed:)
    Since that is the fastest way to find the middle.

    From extremes you can draw conclusions, from a balanced approach the results will always be "mixed".

  3. I think that using a computer is a fabulous way to experiment with a chessboard. In seconds it can try everything. It can give you tactical clarity, and help even with positional understanding. This wednesday, it may even be better at that, as 2.3.2 will have received a major overhaul of valuations, which should improve positional judgement and close tactical issues.

    And by asking the questions, pushing the pieces around, it helps reduce the scales from your eyes. It can challenge your prejudices, and it opens the possibilities.

    It can help you to learn. It is going to change the game. It already has.

  4. thank you for the inclusion. hard to go back and find it, but the comment i think you are refering to is this one:

    nice to see you back in action, just like old times!

    im SO glad Aaronian is in!
    im so glad Gelfand is in!
    real chess!!

  5. DK,
    yes, that's right. There used to be a method to link to individual comments, but I didn't manage to do so.

  6. watching rapid playoff R2 now--2 of 4? wow. grischuck vs. rublevesky... game