Friday, April 06, 2012

Seeing the invisible

Green = target
Orange = attacker
Bright yellow = focal point 1st order (route from attacker to target).
Dark yellow = focal point 2nd order (route from attacker to target).
Blue = piece that causes the weakness of the bright yellow squares.

The topology of the board, which square is weak and which is strong, is caused by the the position of the pieces. So there is a certain relation between the patterns of the pieces and the patterns of the weak squares that are derived from it.

White can outnumber black on the bright yellow squares within two moves. The pieces on the blue squares prevent black from defending these squares within the same amount of tempos. Bf8 is not only standing in the way, it is bound to the defense h6 for at least one tempo, so it is immobile too.

I read somewhere in a scientific paper that the eyes of a gm rest more often on an empty square during calculation than on a piece.

With conscious thinking, you can calculate which squares are bright yellow. You can find by thinking how the topology looks like. But during the game that is a tedious and blunderprone process. Energy and time consuming. What we are looking for is to automate it. To see it in stead of to reason about it. And that can only be done by learning how the weakness of the squares derive from the position of the pieces at storage time. During study, that is.

It might be not so difficult to make a little program that creates diagrams from pgn's like the diagram above. It must be possible to calculate these colors mathematically.

Since I'm an advocate of NO DIY, it looks logical to write such program. Or is there a better way?


  1. I'm thinking that h6 should be colored. If after 1.Rg1, Black tries 1...Be7 to meet 2.Qg2 with Rg8, you have 2.Qxh6#. I was tempted to suggest highlighting d6 as well, but that would have been a factor a few moves prior to reaching this position.

    BTW, thanks to you and other bloggers, I'm now using Chess Tempo. I'm not certain if I'm happy about it yet. I'll be writing about some of my frustration with CT in Sunday's "Training Log: Day by Day."

  2. If h6 should be colored is arguable. I didn't since white cannot force to outnumber black on h6.

    We have become members of CT, which gives alot of extra possibilities.

  3. I would say, first you should erase the pieces wich are not involved.
    (You can erase them and see if PV1 is still the same.)

    The next steps seem to be more complicated.
    Squares wich are used for moves are of some importants,....