Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Chess is a trap

In this post I will take a few huge steps that may be hard to follow. Or swallow. But I feel the intrinsic logic behind it allthough I don't spend much time to write it down clearly. Don't let that keep you from commenting though. I hope you can bear with me. I will try to clarify matters later.

In a previous post I defined the following triptych for what to do when there is nothing to do, I found:
  • a bipolar goal to strive for. Decline the possibilities of your opponent while improving your own.
  • A hierarchy of moves based on the amount they attribute to the optimal position and the amount of tempo's needed.
  • A hierarchy in piece move vs pawnmoves.
I looked close into this and realized that you are actually trying to trap your opponent by denying him possibilities. Mate is just the ultimate trap. Unfavarouble moves arise as the only options when trapped. I wrote about traps as one of two tactical methods here. Now I found out that the trap is the basic of chess. Even of the duplo attack.

To identify the elements that are involved in a trap I start with looking at simple positions. In the hope to derive more complicated laws from it. Take the following position.

Diagram 1

Investigation of the relationship between space and tempo's.
  • The rooks have to take away space of the black King. From a limiting point of view, the move Rh6 comes to mind. But you can't mate a king in the middle of the board. Why not?:
  • An uncovered rook can only take away 3 squares of a King. Two rooks can take away 6 squares. But to trap the king you should take away 9 squares. Where do the last 3 come from?:
  • The edge of the board is able to take away another 3 squares. In fact you can treat the rim as a piece, when it comes to write an algorithm of mobility. The corner even is able to take away 5 squares.
  • The King needs tempo's to attack a rook. You have to put your rooks out of reach, in that way you add tempo's to the counterattacking King.
  • On a board with 3x3 squares you can't mate the King since your rooks cannot be placed out of reach.
These are the key ingredients of a trap. Every move that isn't driving the King by force gives the opponent free tempo's. Tempo's he can use to prevent the trap.

From this point of view the duplo-attack is a special case of a trap.

Diagram 2

Black to move.
The black King cannot go to the 6th rank due to the double attack Rf6+
So the double attack limits the posibilities of the black king. Thus adding to its trap.

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