Sunday, November 30, 2008
The logical and the psychological approach
There are two area's where both my knowledge and my skills are substandard: middlegame and endgame. There are two approaches to fix these omissions. The logical approach is to start with endgame play and to work your way backwards to the middlegame. Because you can only steer the middlegame towards a favourable ending if you know which ending is favourable and which is not.
But there is a downside to this logical approach. Knowledge of theorethical endings bears much similarity with an encyclopedia. Nobody has ever mastered the knowledge in an encyclopedia by starting to read it from letter A to Z. Unless you are an idiot savant, maybe. The acquiring of knowledge without immediate application is experienced as dull and is prone to forgetting. If you know which endgame is favourable but you don't know how to steer the middlegame towards such endgame, your knowledge is impotent.
So for psychological reasons, it is better to start with the middlegame. In order to overcome the lack of knowledge which endgame is favourable and which not, I have to postulate some premises.
For the time being I will have to work with presumptions about what a won endgame looks like in stead of the real thing.
There is another problem that I should mention. When studying positions, my computer tells me which ending is won or drawn. But the one-eyed kings of this world get other results. Because they play against humans and not against computers. So I need some statistical information about how often certain endgames are won or drawn in practice. Is there a source where I can obtain such information?