Monday, January 31, 2011

Integrating strategy and tactics.

In search for microdrills that could enlighten my thinkprocessess I started to write down the time I needed to make a move during a game (hattip to Uwe). In one game I used 34 minutes for 1 move. Finally I made a positional move that changed the computerevaluation from plus 0.88 to minus 0.87. What happened?

In search for a macho-move I continued to search for a forced tactical continuation which wasn't there. In stead I should have simply looked to the CCT's of my opponent and make a move that adressed his threats and that was positional good. In the end I played a move that was positionally good but that didn't adress his threats.

This story revealed that I'm used to make such forceful moves that I can neglect the threats of my opponent. But if such forceful move isn't there, I continue to neglect my opponents threats. Or I continue to search for a forced combination untill I'm in time trouble.

So my thoughtprocess must be adjusted. If the situation is too complex tactically that a forced continuation can't be found, I must look for the threats of my opponent first. Only then I can look for a positional move. That is what Nimzowitch meant by prophylaxis. Make a move that neutralises the threat of your opponent while being positionally usefull to you.

So I didn't find new microdrills but I did found common sense. I lost the game, btw.


  1. Thoughtproces, where so many of us need to work on.

    Or, we already know how to think but when playing chess we forget about it.

    So i guess its best you play over games of books like Understanding move by move and grandmaster chess move by move of John Nunn. At some point in the game you stop reading, close the book and start thinking about the position. After x amount of time write down all the variations you thought of and then compare them with what is written in the book.

    Good luck!

  2. thoughtprocess is very important. I think first we have to think about our oponents move and see: how does it influence our plan, what does it tell about our oponets plan, how is the position/tactics changed. The move to find makes our plan work and nullify the plans of our oponent.

    Complikated tactics are dangerous, they might be wrong. A winning positional move is usually better than a complicated tactics ( i think thats from Silman ?).
    I am looking for positional and strategic improvement and dont search for tactics. I hope my intense tactic training let me see tactics while i search for positional improvement.
    If i feel "there has to be a tactic" then i look for it of couse.

    But i still wonder: What should i do while my oponent is to move? 5h is a long time, i do a lot of walking then, to get my blood circulate...

  3. Your comment reminded me of this which is cut and pasted from Josef Dobias bio in

    I hope you post a game for us.
    Good luck with your studies.

    <... IM Dobias was famous for trully fantastic time-pressures; such time pressures where we was forced to make only short moves and, as much as possible near the clock, so that he would not loose much time. But in those time pressures he played well. I faced him once, perhaps still as a junior, and he was again in his severe time-pressure. My position was a bit better and I certainly had the initiative. With a great effort I always conjured some 2-move threat, attacked something, Dobias retreated or sidestepped it, and it appeared that our game would continue like that for all of those fifteen or so moves my oponent played with his flag up. Untill I got an idea to try to go at it differently: At a point where I had some three different "attacking" moves on the king-side -- and moves of the same type, put something under the attack or threaten something -- I interrupted the rhythm of the play by a look-warm move a2-a3. I did not attack aything, I did not threatten anything, I just moved a pawn on the other side of the board by one square. The result was immediate: My oponent had no prepared repply, he stopped to think for a moment and -- his flag fell.

    In a time-pressure a player thinks more about moves than about problems; he just tries to have a ready-made lightning answer for every move of his oponent. The worst is to press the oponent in a time pressure by tiny 1- or 2-move threats. Those are realy the easiest to foil. ...> Jiri Vesely, "Psychological Guide through a Chess Game."

  4. To Uwe's point I'd add:
    if you can mate in one don't worry about your opponent's threats and plans. :)

    That's a great quote Takchess.