Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Wouldn't it be nice?

Still working on the same position. I'm now researching the very effect of every move. The effects of a single move can be divided in two parts. First the effects of leaving an empty square behind, second the effects of occupying a new square.
King of the Spill has an elaborate post about this subject here.
His idea's have to be simplified though to make them suitable for practical use. That's what I'm trying to accomplish now.
What is the effect of a single move on the potential invasion squares where your pieces converge?

As it is now, when I play a game, the subsequent positions happen to me. To a certain degree, every position is new to me. Just as this neuroscientific research showed as being the difference between a patzer and a grandmaster: the patzer sees everything as new. When seeds of tactical destruction arise, I have no idea where they come from. For me, they come out of the blue.

I can only hope that when such seeds do arise, no matter on which side, that I recognize them. You can hardly call this conducting a chess game. I'm totally dependant of the coincidences of the game, and can do no more than to hope to recognize these coincidences in time.

Now wouldn't it be nice if I could be aware of all important changes with respect to the seeds from move 1? Especially my newly invented seeds:
  • Squares where piece activity converges.
  • (Overworked) pieces that defend those focal points.
  • Impediments beteen pieces and the focal points.
The beginposition has no focal points. Or you have to consider f7 to be a focal point of the second order. In that case 1.e4 can be seen as removing an impediment for two pieces which via the newly opened diagonals are 1 move closer to the focal point f7.

When you can keep track of the impacts on focal points every move, winning sequences no longer appear from out of the blue.


  1. It is a pickel. Chess is very complicated. To make a list and consciously go through it would take too much time. What's the solution?

    Could it be actually biting the bullet and going through the list in correspondence games until your module runs through the list automatically for you? I have no idea.

    At the very least, going over one's own games slowly, and seeing what elements of the list I tend to forget and mess up. That makes my module take notice.

  2. Blue,
    It's a difficult situation indeed. It is either admitting that chess is innate indeed or chugging along. I have spent about 16 hours at this position and I still have not the feeling that I see the complete picture. If I even can't do it slow, how can I expect to do it fast?

    Every reasoning I write down goes around in circles. Even the readers seem to be tired to comment. But going around in circles means that I must be close. Since all logic points in the same direction time and again.

    After a few months thinking some time ago, I could summarize almost all positional play to one concept: piece activity. And indeed this insight has improved my play already. You might not have noticed, but my latest posts have brought me one step further. The highest positional goal is invasion.

    Right now I'm stumbling thru the mist. But I'm not prepared to admit that chess is only innate. Yet.

  3. It ain't innate. People develop such a good module which does so much so well, but unconsciously, that they forget they had to learn these things.

    I see it in myself, when trying to explain something from biology. I'll start with "So the action potential has a longer latency ..." before someone says "What is an action potential? What is latency?" and I have to consciously work on trying to explain things in a language I don't even use anymore for brains (i.e., ordinary English). That's also why GMs are not necessarily the best teachers: things are not explicit, they have not had to work on making things explicit. They'll make a great move, and there is soo much behind it but it is all in their module so they just shrug and say "This is just better."

    The key is whether quality or quantity. You have certainly done a lot of quantity. Now you are going overboard with quality. It will be very interesting to see where you end up.