Saturday, December 10, 2011

Positional chess

The checklist for tactics has now 37 points. Today I did 30 difficult problems at CT and I was able to describe them all with those 37 points. Which is of course the other way around. But applying the chechecklist to problems seems to work too, though.

I'm trying to do the same with positional chess. Does anyone have an idea where I can find a database with high  level and computer checked positional problems?


  1. @Aox,
    Interesting site. Maybe usefull. But I was more thinking of a site or program a la Chess Tempo. Maybe with annoation, even.

  2. Since years, i try to convince owners of tacticsservers to do something like a positional server. At least a "not tactical" server should be "easy". Till now, there is none ( as far as i know, but i was looking very intense ).
    There is Strategy 3.0 from Convekta but thats about strategy, the strategy-part of chessimo is more about positional play. I checked some books about positional play with Houdini.. very much "errors".
    I think the best available AND computerprove training is Silmans HTRYS 4.

  3. I always use positional play and strategy as mutually interchangeable. In fact I never use the word strategy. What's the difference?

    HTRYS 4 is probably the best bet. Maybe there is someone as made an effort to type in the positions in chessbase or so.

  4. I finished PCT (Now Chessimo) in the past. I don't have it anymore.

  5. A Strategy is a ( general) long term plan and/or Maneuver. For Example: You have a space advantage at the Queenside, so you decide to play and attack at the queenside (strategy) and chose as method ( tactic ) a majority (or minority) attack.

    Positional Play is "smaller" ( less moves ). Your knight is bad and you look for a better space for it. Maybe you even "create" a forepost for it. Positional Play is in military: where to put your Artillery ( on a Hill and not in a Swamp )

    To have a Strategy is important in chess because the average error at each move of a long sequence of moves is "minimised". If you can "easily" follow a plan, than your "errors" at each move of the plan are low. Even if the plan is not the best of all possible plans you "lose" at average less centipawns (each move).

  6. Hm. Even though beeing good in tactics is not everything, everything is nothing without beeing good in tactics.
    I think point 1 & 2 of aoxomoxoa's hypothesis is spot on:

    So, once I achieved the ability in tactics like a master, then I am willing to work on non-tactic matters. Since guidance training is at the ende relevant for tactics, too, it makes sence to do this kind of training, too.

    However, there is some comfort in a tactical training (for those who would also like to become better in positional play):
    I noticed in my own games an improvement in positional play by better judgement of what kind of position I am seeking for favorable tactical positions.
    I have a better feeling for where to place my pieces and their coordinance. This kind of positional judgement does not cover every favourable plan. It cant cover a "minority attack" on the queenswing in the orthodox queens-gambit. But I spot pretty fast a "hole" in the opponents structure, or have quite early a feeling where these "holes" are going to be soon, and what piece I would like to have there. I often "dream" the tactic far ahead before it happens. It might not even happen, but the threat of a threat of a threat can influence the flow of a game, too.

    Or for instance: it can happen that the positon OTB reminds me of an puzzle I memorized from CT. But it has one difference: instead of winning the queen for a rook, I simply win the active rook for my passive rook. It does not result in a material gain, but in a slightly better position.

    I remember when I sighed and said how I wished for "pawn winning tactics". Aox said, that pawn winning tactics are simply piece winning tactics. And I found out that this is very true.

  7. @Munich,
    For the moment, you have convinced me. I have used this weekend by attempting to copy my succes with formulating a checklist for tactics to positional play. But I have not been very succesful. It's different.

    I'm not too bad at positional play, as long as I don't let fall unprotected holes in my pawnstructure.

    So I'm going to make my live more easy and will only continue with tactics training for the Tata Steel Tournament. Still 6 weeks to go, should be enough.

    After the tournament I will evaluate matters.