When there are thickets of variations in a position, there are parallel lines and serial lines. I always thought that parallel thinking would be the most troublesome in terms of overload of the short term memory. Since the short term memory is made for sequential work. In my last post I surprised myself by saying that it are the long serial lines that intertwine the basic tactical elements that cause the problem and not the short parallel lines. After two days of investigation of this statement I more and more become convinced that it is true.
When you call a basic tactical element a word, then the line is called a sentence. You have to learn to read the sentence. The grammar dictates how the words are intertwined.
What are the topics while attempting to read a sentence?
When there are 9 basic tactical elements in a row, you must be able to see how the position will look like at the end of the line. That will take considerable exercise.
The moves from one tactical element tend to interfere in the mind with the moves from a previous tactical element. In fact that is a visualisation problem. This serial interference is far worse than parallel interference.
Another form of interference is that you know what has to be accomplished, but that you have trouble with the move order.
You must recognize all tactical elements in the sequence.
The construction of narratives helps to formulate to which tactical element (pin, fork, skewer etc.) the moves belong. This makes that it becomes conscious, which is crucial for learning and this eases the unconscious pattern recognition in the future.
The patterns have to be so familiar that it isn't necessary to count to know how much you are ahead in material.
A tactical element must be forcing to a certain degree. If it is not forcing, the opponent can do anything as an answer. You must be very aware of the limited moves your opponent can answer, since that are the moves that needs investigation. That way you get rid of a random list of candidate moves, which is characteristic for the amateur, in favour to a shortlist with moves that must be investigated.
If you end the sequence with two pawns up plus the bisshoppair for the exchange you must know if it is worth it.
I can't get rid of the feeling that there must be something more. I hope to find out.
Black to move and win.
I will not treat all lines, it's just to give you an idea what i'm talking about. The basic tactical elements are red.
The first thing that catched my eye was the pawnfork at d4. To avoid the loss of wood, white has to move Nxd4 as an answer. All of a sudden a discovered attack with Bb7 and Ne4 against g2 shows itself. Since the knight on f4 is hanging anyway, a knight sac as decoy for the king to g2 as preparational move arises.
The move order has to be corrected:
1. . . . Nxg2
This should be the first steppingstone for visualisation (Tisdall).
If white does the "normal" move 3.Nxd4 then 3. . . . Nxc3 restores the material balance by good position for black.
In stead of default natural reaction you have always to be alert by more forcing counterattacks. In this case 3.Nd5 or 3.Nb5. I just treat
This second temporary knight sacrifice prevents the loss of the exchange by the skewer 4.Bxb6 further saving d4 and b6
4.Qxe4 Rxe4 discovered attack against invasionsquare e2, pinning knight f3
5.Qh4 Re2+ invasion with double attack
6.Rxe2 Rxe2+ forced trade
7.Rf2 Rxb2 exchange sacrifice
8.Rxb2 Bxf3 trade
9.Kxf3 Qc3+ double attack regaining material.
Black ends with two pawns up and white's king is vulnerable.
I have not treated all lines but in these lines alone you can count 14 basic tactical elements. It took me 3 days to work everything out. I hope it's just a matter of exercise to learn to do this within an hour or less.
The question is, how far did the grandmaster look ahead? In the openingsposition blacks knight is hanging and it cannot escape, really. So the first move Nxg2 is not so difficult to find. After move 3 black has his knight back, so that is a natural steppingstone. But in order to decide between 3. ... Bxd5 and 3. ... Rxd5! all the lines must be worked out till quiescence. I can't come up with a narrative why Rxd5 is better other than the concrete variations.
This is a peek in the grandmasterly world of calculation and I will continue to study problems in a grandmasterly way. Did I already mention that it is very demanding?
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