Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Chess is war

After playing for years opportunistic moves as a headless chicken in reaction to what happens to be on the board accidentally, finally some structure in the game emerges. The resemblance to war is striking!

The structure that I discovered in winning complex middlegame positions is as follows. A primary front is set up against the enemy king (gamma). Since the king position can be defended, this is usually not enough. In stead of trying to press thru anyway, it is better to setup a second front at another part of the board (bhèta). The idea is to deflect the defenders of the king position by luring them into the defense of the invasion square that forms the second front. The preliminary struggles with the other defenders of the invasion square at the second front is called plan alpha.
Any problem I'm studying at the moment obeys this scheme. Sometimes plan alpha isn't necessary, or both alpha and bhèta are missing. But then still gamma remains. It is all very logical. This scheme is a quantum leap forward, since I can now study everything in the light of this scheme. This gives coherence to my study and makes it way easier to remember important topics. In stead of studying quite seperate positions without a clue how they are intertwined.

I mean, how often have I tried to set up a second front while not even realizing I have to setup a primary front first? How often have I got into time trouble while pressing against a well defended kingside? It seems to be unbelievable that I have played so many years without even the slightest idea what I had to try to accomplish!

Vukovic' book is mainly about plan gamma, the direct attack against the enemy king. I'm at chapter 8 of 12 and there is a lot useful information for me too in the book. Allthough 90% is already familiar.


  1. I love the pictures you put in with your posts! The chicken one is great! Sometimes I feel like I'm playing like a chicken with my head cut off. Or perhaps like the blind squirrel who managed to sometimes find the nut.

    I will sit down and read some of your ideas more carefully when I have a chance. Right now it's a little more complex then I want to think about at the moment. The sun is out, and it's a beautiful and warm autumn day. A nice walk beckons!

  2. I am feeling that the chopper removing my chicken's head, in most cases, is the plan of my opponent that refutes my own beautiful plan. Or even worse, the plan of my opponent that I fear for nothing because I could easily refute it, but making silly defense moves instead.

  3. Polly,
    thx for the cheering

    When the head of the chicken aches, you can be sure it is phantom-pain.