Finding my way in the chessdevelopment- and training jungle in order to improve my rating.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
How does a grandmaster finds his way through the thickets?
To bell the cat
The difference between a good player and a bad player is the ability to calculate well in complex positions. Difference in knowledge plays no serious role since you can obtain any knowledge within weeks or even days. But the difference in calculation ability can't be overcome in a short time.
Yesterday I asked myself "How does a grandmaster finds his way through the thickets of variations in a complex position?" What I tend to do myself is clear: I make a list of nice looking candidate moves and by means of trial and error I try to reach a definite conclusion. Say, I see 5 reasonable moves. And my opponent has 5 reasonable answers for every move. Within 3 ply I have to investigate 125 reasonable possibilities. Even a grandmaster wouldn't be able to work this way.
And thus he must approach it differently. This is my take. He recognizes the first tactical motif. That limits his own possibility to one move. There are only very few possibilities to answer a tactical motif. Say two moves are related to the tactical motif. The rest can be neglected since that are random moves, which don't give an answer to the actual threat. That way you can hop thru a list of 9 tactical motifs (based on yesterdays problem) with usually 1-2 choices for yourself and 1-3 choices for your opponent.
So that eases the task considerably since all random moves are out of the equation. I know, I know, this is a very ridgid way of reasoning. But with a little goodwill you understand what I mean. You have to know your tactical motifs extremely well, so that you can be confident that you have treated all relevant moves.
Writing down narratives helps me to see a complicated position in a much more simple daylight. But will it be enough?