In the previous posts you could see my initial struggles with the matter. High time to formulate what the real problem is. If we find an answer to this problem, we have found what seperates the masters from the amateurs, the men from the boys.
The idea's about invasion squares are already pretty familiar to me since I've been thinking about them for months. The idea's are already crystallized to a certain degree. I realize that this subject is new to the readers of my blog. What I now want to talk about is new to me too. This means that my thoughts haven't crystallized yet. That will it make it even harder to you to follow me. I hope you will bear with me. You will find much overlap with previous posts too.
I encountered the problem for the first time to the full extent in a position you are already familiar with:
Black to move and win.
For 12 days in a row I'm struggling with this position.
I have written down the total tree of variations with moves that weren't illogical. That consists of over the 200 moves. I found that there are 3 ways to prune a tree:
This is the most common way. Since you have to make a move every now and then you have to gamble when you play a promising line. In my last two games I gambled on the right continuation. One I won, one I lost. I don't think that gambling has much future in chess. But if you lack the skills it is often the only method.
I have been too harsh in my judgement about my intuition in this position. I dismissed 1. ... Bxe4 as a bad way to take on e4 if you compare it to 1. ... Nxe4 and 1. ... Rxe4. But it is indeed the most bad way, even when the counter attack from Rg1 is ruled out.
Which raises the question "how do you improve your intuition?"
I can think of no other way than doing lots of problems and formulating lots of narratives.
This looks the most promising method. My study of the invasion squares was meant to make backwards thinking possible. In the position above you get something like:
If you invade whites position with Qa2, the white king will be mated (plan gamma). The invasion square a2 is guarded by the knight on c3, which has to protect e4 too (plan bhèta). The other protector of the invasion square e4 is Ng3. With the exchange sacrifice on e4 I can deflect Ng3 which enables the knightfork e4 against the queen and the protector of a2 (plan alpha).
If my idea's about invasion squares are correct, then the only moves to consider in this position are the 3 moves that effect the invasion square e4: 1. ... Rxe4 1. ... Nxe4 1. ... Bxe4
This are the only possible moves that can lead to a viable forcing attack. Other moves are only to look at for accidental tactics. But forcing lines have to go along the invasion squares.
Actually my investigating of duplo attacks in the past was meant to introduce backwards thinking in accidental tactics. When you can identify two potential targets, you can think backwards to find out if there is a tactic to attack them both at the same time.
My ideas about invasion squares are just that. Logical looking ideas. The ideas haven't been put to the test seriously. Yet.
The pruning potential of backwards thinking is tremendous. Yet there is another nut to crack. I wrote about that in paralysis by analysis.
Even when there are only 3 candidate moves left my mind easy paralyzes. The alternating moves (white/black), the counterattack of white which interferes with blacks attack and the bookkeeping of values I tend to do all at the same time. Thus causing a short term memory overload error. Even after 12 days looking at the position my mind shuts down easy. All side-issues are solved and clarified, yet the heart of the calculation remains confusing for me. I'm quite sure that this is the biggest difference between me and a good player. I have seen people do such calculations in less than a minute. I'm in trouble even if I have 12 days to try.
Only if I'm able to solve this problem, if I learn how to do this calculation in under a minute, I have a chance to become better at chess. This is the real problem. And I have still no idea how to crack it.
Building a Strong Foundation
12 hours ago