Often I tend to deny the solution of GM Milos from PCT. Usually after a few repetitions my resistence starts to break down and I begin to appreciate the idea which is shown in the exercise. I think this is a normal reaction of the mind when it is confronted with a very alien way of thinking. The mind just needs some time to adapt. To give you an idea which problems I face while adapting (and to help me in the process) I show you a few problems that feel very counter intuitive to what I'm used to think.
White to move
While I'm thinking about queenside expansion and creating a passer PCT comes up with move g4 and adds the following comment:
g4 seems to me to embody all that is ugly in a move:
- played at the wrong side of the board
- weakening the king position without reason
- creating ugly holes like h4 where I imagine a black knight or a bishop
- inviting moves like f5 to counterattack
Rybka awards it with +0.28 while the best move is +0.34 (Bg4) so it isn't an ugly move in any case. I must conclude that I have prejudices against the move. In certain positions this kind of move would be wrong, but here black presumably can't make use of the downsides of the move so the advantages outweight the disadvantages. Very good from an educational point of view, but will I be able to play it in a game? Probably more adaptation is needed:)
Black to move
I would have played here b5 without much thought anytime, opening a file against the white king. PCT comes with the surprising pawn sac f3
To me again a move that embodies all that is ugly:
- opening a file against my king which would work very well with a bishop on c3
- playing at the wrong side of the board
- saccing a pawn for no apparent reason
Initially Rybka sees f3 as the best move too. But at ply 14 it all of a sudden appreciates Nh5
f3 = -0.48
Nh5 = -0.02
b5 = -0.45
What to make of that?
White to move
PCT suggests a5 with the following comment:
PCT often refers to b6 as a weakness, but initially I had difficulty to see what he meant. b6 is weak since there are no pawns on a7 and c7. But can it come under attack? The only piece I can think of is the king. If a few pieces are traded, the white king will appear on d4. From there the invasion of the King via c5 - b6 is a serious threat. That means that there are two weaknesses in blacks position, d5 and b6, which often proves to be decisive according to the "principle of two weaknesses". That's the only explanation I can think of.
White to move
I was considering h4, but I doubt if a kingside attack will be forcefull enough due to lack of space. PCT suggests a4, with the following comment:
Again a weaknes on b6! GM Milos doesn't seem to care about ruining a safe king position.
On the other hand, after some thinking the words from GM Danielsen came up: attack where you are strong and your opponent is weak. It's evident that white is stronger at the queenside than the kingside. But pushing pawns in front of my king while there is no opponent king which can be chased is not something my mind already is adapted to. But then again, maybe that's why they are grandmasters and I'm not.