From a documentary I learned that Susan Polgar has hijacked her Fusiform Face Area (FFA), a brain area that is dedicated to face recognition, in order to use it for the recognition of chess positions.
There are about 30 tactical themes that are commonly used when talking about tactics. These themes appear in an infinite amount of different shapes on the chessboard. Pattern recognition is the ability to recognize those shapes, and map them to one of the 30 themes. How did we learn that?
Most of us have learned the tactical themes from a book, and by doing a few hundred exercises with related positions.
When we look at the problems at CT, it is easy to see that there are much more tactical themes. Themes of maintaining the initiative, themes that are subthemes from the 30 commonly known themes, themes that connect two different themes, themes around captures etcetera. It is impossible to say how many unknown themes there are. For the time being I say 70, since that gives a nice total of 100. I intend to explore the CT database for the most frequent occurring new themes. After that, only a few hundred exercises with the themes will do.
Below you see an example of a subtheme of the removal of the guard theme. Often it is not sufficient to exorcize a defender from a square, but you must deny him a whole rank or diagonal.
|Harassing the defender. White to move|