Due to the acquisition of a database with 178 diagrams from high rated problems in memory my OTB tactical vision has become pretty sharp again. Time to take the next step. We talked a lot about relevance of chess positions and improving the speed of finding the moves. A position is relevant when the chances that you encounter it in your own games are high. From this perspective it is logical to keep score of the time you need per move in an OTB game. The moves which costs an unreasonable amount of time indicate the positions where you can gain the most improvement in speed. This is an old idea of mine which I have never put into practice since my tactical ability had to be sharpened first. I almost forgot about this until a conversation with mr. Z about my losses the past year and a half. Yesterday at the club I had the chance to put it into practice.
This position took me 21 minutes to decide upon a move:
What on earth have I been doing those 21 minutes? I'm always so focussed that I don't notice that time passes by. Which is a problem in itself.
White has delayed castling and I will try to break open the game in order to make use of that fact.
In this position there is the obvious exf2+. But in that case white has no problems whatsoever after Nxf2.
The point is that my pieces are not quite ready for the attack. They are standing in each others way. The queen can go to a5, h5. The rook belongs on e8, but at this moment the knights are hindering my bishops. If I sacrifice e3, that gives me a tempo to organize my pieces. The immediate Ng4 is not good due to f3 and e3 will fall later.
After 21 minutes I decided to Re8. Which happens to be the second choice of Houdini (after exf2+).
Since there are no winning tactics, the decision must be made purely on positional considerations. Why has that to take so much time?
The Life and Chess of Anatoly Karpov
15 hours ago