"During that time, I also solved a lot of combinations to sharpen my tactical skill. I had developed my own little routine. Whenever I thought I had discovered some mechanism or characteristic of a position, I started taking notes. The work on thousands of positions grew first into a collection of unsorted tactical insights, but finally resulted in a structured overview of tactics. Over time, seemingly unconnected information, turned into a coherent concept."
Since I left the salt mines at march 26th, I have done exactly the same. I analyzed 174 positions in 124 days.
At the moment I'm looking at the different types of tempos I encounter. It turns out to be a whole zoo of different types. I look at the moves from the winning side from three perspectives:
- What does the piece leave behind
- What happens when the piece lands on a square
- What threat is the piece exerting when landing
In short: an empty space. Clearance that is called when there are pieces around who can make use of the emptied line or square.
What happens when the attacker lands on a square?
It might block a few pieces if the square was empty (the opposite of clearance).
If the landing square is not empty, it is a capture. We measure the effect of the landing by the piece that is captured.
- What is its value?
- Is it a defender?
- Is it protected?
- Is it protected by an overworked defender?
- Is it a recapture?
- Is the capture designed to be recaptured by another piece that will be a target?
- Is the landing square an attacking square of a duplo attack?
- Does it avoid a check?
- Does it avoid a capture?
- Does it avoid a threat?
What threat is the landed piece exerting?
- This is about what the next move of the landed piece might be.
- Does it threaten to capture?
- Does it threaten to capture a defender?
- Does it threaten to capture a piece that is defended by an overworked defender?
- Does it threaten to move to an attacking square of a duplo attack?
- Does it give a check?
- Does it give a double check?
- Does it threaten mate?
- Does it attack a pinned piece?
- Does it attack a target that is defended by a pinned piece?
- What is the value of the threatened piece?
As you see, it is by no means simple to tell the story of the tempos that make the combination work. Yet I belief we have to learn a few standard patterns concerning the story of tempos.