Thursday, November 01, 2007

Captures, attacks and threats (part I)

This is my first attempt to unite our new formula for beancounting with the law of conservation of threats.

My formula in short:
  • Take the sum of the value of the attackers. From as much attackers as there are defenders.
  • Take the sum of the value of the defenders. From as much defenders as there are attackers.
  • If the value of the defenders exceeds the value of the attackers then you will gain wood. But not more than the value of the victim (due to the fact that the opponent stops retaking when you threaten to gain more than the value of the victim)

  • There is no queen involved which is standing in front of her rook(s) or her bishop.
  • The victim is not a pawn defended by a pawn.
The most clear definition of my formula is stilll under construction, so please bear with this description, please.

The power of this formula is that you get rid of the element of sequence and order. There is no longer need to see the whole sequence before your minds eye. I have the feeling that it must be possible to give this formula a broader application than just a trade sequence on one square. I hope I to stretch this idea so that it will be possible to use it for multiple capture-sequences on different sides of the board.

I am a bit uncertain about the best word to use, threat or attack. In the past I used the word threat, but attack might cover it a bit better. For now I think I settle for attack.
An attack is one move before capturing.
Before you can capture a piece you must attack it first.

Now let's see how that works:

White to move.

White can with every move attack the black bishop. But black can withdraw his bishop after every attack. This can go on to eternity (move 50, that is). Only when white can make a duplo-attack, he can gain wood:

White to move.

If white moves 1.Qc6, he will gain wood. With 1 move white creates 2 attacks simultaneously. Since black can only parry 1 attack at the same time the next move he will lose a piece. All elemental tactical motifs are based on either a duplo attack or a trap.
(In the position above 1.Qg2 would trap the knight.)

A counterattack only postpones the execution of a duplo attack (unless one of the attacked pieces is involved in the counterattack):

White to move.

If 1.Qc6 then black can postpone the execution of the duplo-attack by 1. ... Bf4+. But when the white king has moved to a save place, the attacks are still waiting to be executed. That is what I called (half tongue in cheek) the "law of conservation of attacks."

In order to get rid of a duplo attack the move that accomplishes that must do something "double" to. Must do two things at the same time:

If white starts a duplo-attack with 1.Qd5, black can escape from this duplo attack (for the moment) by 1. ... Ng3. This move has two effects: It withdraws the knight from the attack and it defends the bishop.

In general: a duplo attack can only be parried by a move with a "duplo-effect".

An "ordinary move" with no such duplo effect can only lead to postponement of the execution of the duplo attack.

To be continued. . . .


  1. just awake from what has now become my rare but previously regular naps... and i find this, click, and you are there.

    im listening to NPR, and while id never join facebook despite samuraiPawns kind invitation, and long ago walked away from mySpace when i was an early adopter, long before it was known, they said they talked about the influence of 'social networks' and it hit me, like *BAMB*

    that in our circle we are also a social network, but i dont see teenagers or teeniebopers worldwide talking up our discussions. :)

    congratulations on your rating. not a surprise to me--by your steep accomplishement--but no less sweet the joy.

    in my essay on Blunderprone, i had said that i wished that he was my neighbor. with you, i only wished that you lived in my city or area, but would not like the traffic jambs here, but the mountains, beer and coffee... is much better.

    we hope this day finds you most well, and i was typing or finishing comment at at your last post, when i opened another view to check something at your last post, first, and decide to post the comment here first.

  2. Chess Tactics for Advance Players

    If you have not read it, I think you must. I believe I've seen a paperback version available cheaper somewhere...