There are 30 tactical themes and 28 mating themes. These form our database of patterns. What we want, is to recognize these patterns in the actual position at hand. We seem to have problems with our cues, though. In the cloud metaphor, we have stored a series of animals in our database, yet we fail to recognize them in the clouds. We have not enough cues that trigger the retrieval from memory. If there is someone next to us who whispers in our ear "kangaroo" we would recognize the pattern immediately.
A tactical theme like the skewer of the previous post, can appear in a position in a zillion different forms. For long I believed that a verbal reasoning process should provide the cues to trigger the retrieval of the right tactical theme. But any verbal reasoning process is taking way too much time to complete. Before you know it, you are a few minutes further in time. That cannot be what we are after. We want it in seconds, not in minutes.
Due to some experiments, I get the impression that the cues should be visual cues. What exactly is the geometrical characteristic of a skewer, pin, deflection etcetera? I found that it is important to see the roles and the status of the pieces. It is not not enough to see just a knight, but you need to see both its role and its status. I haven't made a complete list of roles and statuses just jet.
- under attack
To a certain degree, squares can perform a role and have a status too.
These roles and statuses of both pieces and squares tell you a lot about of what is going on in the position. They provide clues and maybe even cues.
One of the problems I encountered was over-focussing on a piece, which leads to blindness for other pieces far away. Like the picture below, where yellow dots disappear when you focus hard on one of them.