Sunday, June 13, 2010

Too much uncharted territory

Yesterday I read my blog posts of the past half year. There is really a wealth of knowledge in them. If I look at my recent games, I simply forget to apply that knowledge though.

How come? A few reasons:
  • Old habits are strong.
  • The area covered by the knowledge is too broad. There isn't simply enough time to evaluate everything. What you don't do automatically you can't do at all during a game. Due to lack of time and short term memory overload.
  • On the other hand there are area's in the game that aren't covered at all. Examples are openings and dynamic positions.
Let's talk about the opening. There is quite a bulk of so called openingtheory. For some reason I always have difficulty with the word theory here. I can't see a tree of variations with an assesment at the end as theory. To me it is not connected to the knowledge I mentioned above. It remain variations.

I play the Polar Bear. That sometimes means that I play 10 or 12 bookmoves in a row and then all of a sudden a weak diagonal (c5-g1) has befallen upon me. Where did that come from?

Actually it is the first move (1.f4) that already weakens that diagonal. Since most theory puts the black bishop on g7, the weak diagonal is usually no problem. But when black doesn't know the theory he often puts his bishop on c5. "Theory" of the Polar Bear doesn't take this into account. So I'm on my own. Maybe a Stonewall renders this bishop useless, but I'm not very familiar with that type of positions.

What I don't like in this scenario is that I make openingmoves that lay the seeds for future characteristics of the position while not knowing the moment I do this. It simply can't be good to start to play chess at move ten. It should start at move one!

Today I started to think about the first move. If the knowledge I have formulated the past half year is any good it should be applicable to the opening too. Indeed it is, but it took me about 6 hours to formulate the answer to 1.e4 f5. To find a narrative in concord with my theory that gives the best reply.

If it takes 6 hours to formulate a move, the theory isn't ready for application yet. So it isn't very strange I don't apply the new knowledge in my games.


  1. See this very useful tutorial of Polgar Chess Academy:

  2. Yesterday I looked at all the pictures you used over the past half year. They really do make you feel like you're using LSD.

  3. I thought that everybody who actually reads my posts already knew that.