Look at the right spots.
Ideas tested at the club.
Friday I tried my scansystem against an opponent against whom I have never won a single game over the years. He has about 200 ratingpoints more and my score is +0 =12 -3, which is actually quite good.
For some reason our play doesn't match. I cannot get grip on his pieces and he cannot get grip on my pieces. Our latest encounters were all draws.
Although the scans are still time- and effortconsuming I managed a few times to do the full scans during the game. That showed me that the amount of elementary tactical motifs was way below the average in a masterlevel problem. There were a few knightforks now and then, but then I had to put my knight on a square which it couldn't reach because it was solidly protected.
No tactical shots.
The scans told me with certainty that there were no viable tactical combinations around. (The game became a draw again.) That brings me to the next point. I'm very happy with the scans and I'm quite sure that it will get me lots of points once the habit is fully settled. Yet there are situations that there simply is no combination around. No matter how good your scans are. For this situation a positional scan must be invented.
I'm sure that a positional scan will sound as trivial as the tactical scan after developing it, yet I must take the pains necessary to go through the process of formulating a positional mnemonic and testing it. The positive side of triviality is that it is the best way to keep things secret. The items, however trivial, are carefully selected from a bunch of irrelevant trivial items. The fact that the application of a mnemonic is subject to subtility and it needs considerable efforts to establish the habit is sufficient guarantee that my ideas will remain "secret" for the mass.
With a tactical approach the elementary tactical motifs seem to come out of the blue. A scanmethod is only invented to detect them once they arise accidentally during the game.
This raises the positional question: how can I put my pieces so that the tactical scans start to deliver positive results? In other words, how can I inflict my opponent with double attacks, batteries, pins, overloaded pieces and convergency squares?
First I need a strategy to do so. There is no doubt that a lot of it can be found in positional books. But before you can decide which positional path to go you must scan the features of the position at hand. That is where the yet to invent positional scans come in. In the coming time I will elaborate on this. Next to my daily tactical scan-drills.
Just a coïncidence?
I have done a vast of amount of experiments the past 3.5 years. It always surprised me that none of the exercises yielded any interest. You never get something extra for free. A positive side-effect which you had never thought of. There was always a direct relation between your efforts and what it brought you. While I'm solving masterlevel problems with the aid of the mnemonic, all of a sudden my intuition begun to work. The killermoves started to rise up in my brain and I didn't know where it came from. Just an urgent feeling to make the right move came up. I wonder if that is a coïncidence.
A few questions.
Likesforests wrote the following comment on my previous post:
Dabattpinolc, dabattpinolc, dabattpinolc. It seems like it can't be THAT easy but you have extreme experience studying tactics so I will also try this mnemonic out as I study tactics and report back my success or lack thereof. I have a feeling this will speed up my process, but won't be able to solve some positions, that have say a queen that can be trapped or somesuch that's not a DA BATT PIN OL C. What about the traditional checks, captures, and threats? Do you try that first? That sequence seems to crack simpler problems very quickly.
I understand the doubt that it can't be THAT easy. The difference is made by the following:
You can't educate your autopilot while you are on autopilot. The conditions are consciousness and an active attitude. You don't focus on the solution of a problem but on the scans that trigger the pattern recognition.
Some tactics are not included, like a queen trap. I have focussed on the bulk. Initially I had included traps in the mnemonic. Since I usually don't miss a queen trap, I dropped it. Feel free to include it yourself. I'm rather pragmatic and try to avoid any ballast. It is difficult enough as it is.
The scan for checks, captures and threats is designed to narrow down on the candiate moves. It is in fact a kind of an heuristic. The scans I suggest have another goal. In stead of narrowing down your view, it is widened. The used method is guided pattern recognition. Just make sure you look at all important spots and your pattern recognition will take over. I have tried CCT myself but it yields to much irrelevant moves.
That sequence seems to crack simpler problems very quickly.
I need no aid to crack simple problems.
Blue Devil asked:
Do you think what holds you back in chess is not finding the right move in complex tactical positions? E.g., is missing such things the reason you aren't 2000 rated?
Partly. The other part is the positional side of the story, as I explained above. The solution for both problems is the same though: guide your pattern recognition. Both tactical and positional.
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