Thursday, August 30, 2007

Continuation of the previous post.

I have two big weaknesses in my play: endgame and complex tactical positions.
With the aid of Hansens book I expect to make great progress with my endgame.
A far bigger problem though is calculating complex tactical positions.
For improvement in this area I need to improve my visualisation skills and my reasoning. Visualisation is in the backseat. Right now I focus on reasoning.

For reasoning I used depend on the trial and error method. According to this method I generate random nice looking candidate moves. The downside of this method is I generate way too much candidate moves.

Formulating narratives reduces the amount of lines to investigate drastically. This is an example of my previous post:

I have found:
  • g7 is the most vulnerable invasion square.
  • the queen is (can become) overworked since she has to defend g7 and e6
So the task to accomplish is to clear the long diagonal. In order to reach that we have to step up the pressure against e6, to remove the blockader of e5.
There are only two moves which accomplish this: 1.Rxe6 and Bh3

This way of reasoning drastically reduces the amount of candidate moves. If you look at the narratives of the whole position there are about 29 moves that remain to be investigated in total. It is quite due to the method of reasoning that it are only so few moves. The total time for reasoning was about 8 hours for this position. That is of course way too long. In a game you usually has 30 minutes time at maximum. That means that I have to learn to do it 16 times as fast. Of course that takes considerable exercise, but it doesn't look impossible. Besides that I have to work on my visualisation skills, since I must be able to see those 29 moves without problems, of course.

I'm very happy with the fact that I have discovered 3 tactical motifs that are the building blocks in a whole lot of positions.


  1. "With the aid of Hansens book I expect to make great progress with my endgame."

    If you come across any advice for Rook & Minor Piece vs Rook & Minor Piece with pawns, please let me know. That's such a common ending but it's barely covered by most books. Knowing the result with either the rooks or the minor pieces traded off is necessary, but not sufficient, to play these endings accurately.

  2. Hi - I am mostly focusing on visualization these days (as far as tactics go) but I like your additional focus on reasoning - as a way to find hidden ideas but also as a way to conserve time. Sometimes I burn a lot of clock on variations that others reject out of hand.

    Good stuff.