## Friday, December 23, 2016

### Not for veggies

 Black to move

1b1r1r1k/1p4qp/p1pBn3/6p1/2P1P3/Q6P/P1B3P1/3RR2K b - - 0 1
[solution]

Encircling
d6

Geometry
d8-d1
b8-h2
f8-f1
g7-a1

Function
a3 protects d6
d1 protects d6

Error
1. ... Bxd6 take with cheapest piece. But that's just an exchange. Misleading variant:
1. ... Bxd6 2. Rxd6 Rxd6 3.Qxd6 Qc3 double attack

Why
Why does 1. ... Rxd6 work?
At first sight, I thought that d8-d1 was the most important line of attack (LoA). But the only important point of it is d6, the point on which you try to mount a superior force.
The most important LoA is b8-h2 though.
The exchange of the rooks diminishes white's influence along the LoA.
1. ... Rxd6 2.Rxd6 Qe5 builds up a battery along the LoA, at the same time outnumbering the defenses of d6 and pinning the rook.

1. This is an interesting position. The White Bd6 can be considered a B.A.D. piece: attacked twice, defended twice. First and foremost: IS THERE ANOTHER BLACK PIECE THAT CAN ATTACK d6? YES! The Black Queen can (ignoring for the moment that the White Bishop could simply capture it if 1. ... Qe5 is played; for purposes of "seeing," legal moves and consequences are unimportant). It also doesn't matter (initially) if 1. ... Qe7 is considered as another potential attacking square, but there is a constraint that should be considered: it is (generally) better to move to a square that accomplishes two o(or more goals) at the same time; this is the underlying mechanism of the duplo attack. Since the Black Queen has two potential "targets" on e5, and only one on e7, e5 is the better square WITHOUT DOING MUCH IN THE WAY OF CALCULATION. All that is needed is the idea of using multiple pieces working together toward multiple goals.

There is a constraining factor on White: Black's attackers on d6 have less value than White's defenders. BUT, when "seeing" the possible interactions, the relative material values do not "count" (pun intended). The exchange motif might be applicable on d6: exchange on the target square in order to have a more amenable target on d6. After 1. ... Rxd6, the White Rook must recapture because the White Queen is too valuable (material DOES count at some point); this is a function "hint" that constrains the White response. ANY CONSTRAINT MUST BE CONSIDERED UNDER THE FUNCTION MOTIF! The "strange" battery occurs because there is a White piece in the middle of the battery; not the usual location for an obstruction. There being no square on which the White Rook can utilize the "desperado" motif or on which White can generate an Equal or Stronger Threat, White loses the Rook because of the threatened mate on h2.

Now we have to perform some concrete calculations. White can obviously "protect" the Rd6 after 1. ... Rxd6 2. Rxd6 Qe5! 3. R(e1)d1 (encircling d6, with the help of a "pin") but then there is the obstruction/line cutting theme/device of 3. ... c5, cutting the defensive line of the White Queen. 4. Qd3 temporarily restores the defense but then Black cuts the defensive White line again with 4. ... Nd4, and resistance is futile; the White Rook on d6 will be assimilated into the Box.

"Seeing" the LoA b8-h2 is a vitally important aspect of understanding the position and the likely direction of play. It again emphasizes the importance of "seeing" the "auras emanating from the line-moving pieces all the way across the board, irrespective of any obstructions. This is a great example of the various motifs and themes/devices blending into a coherent line of play.

And the answer is "YES!" to the question of whether this is how I actually thought about the problem as I tried to solve it. I make no attempt to order the sequence in which I try to "see" the potential motifs and possible themes/devices. Which ever motif "pops" into sight is more than sufficient to get the ball rolling in the right direction. Generally, the order in which the motifs become apparent is irrelevant to the cuing mechanism itself. Just grab the ball and QUICKLY run with it!

1. I wonder if there are other readers who recognize what we are so excited about.

2. I see no reason why there would not be many of excited readers and followers.

In my case I try to think on my own and take your discoveries into account. And I ask a lot more questions than you express and always try to refute what you have written so far (no matter if it is in an article or in the comments).

If you want to have a look what I mean - just try to see this:

1) What was the reason d6 square was important. Why not f1, h2, e5 or any other?
2) Why the exchange took place at d6? What was the reason for that?
3) How do we know if the action (first move) gains an advantage?
4) What are the possible refutation to the evaluation and calculation process?
5) What are possible final positions after each variations? What are the difference between these?
6) Is there any real change in the position if Bc2 was placed at f3?
7) How deep do I have to look at the position to get to the "quiesence"? (the point I can stop counting variations)
8) What is the relationship between Qa3 and Rf8? Is it important at this position? If yes/no - why?
9) What would be the idea and position evaluation after 1...Qe5, Qd4, Qe7 or Qc7? Is any of these moves winning? Why and why not?
10) What is the reason behine 1... Nd4 or 1... Rf2? Are these moves better then the other ones?

Of course there are more questions in my mind, but these are the ones that comes to me without any deeper insights. I do not claim I am better than you, but for sure I want to know much more about the core of the position and I ask a lot of "stupid" (irrevelant to others) questions.

Anyway I really appreciate your great work and comments - no doubts about that! Keep up good work!

To show you one simple "refutation" of your ideas (or comments). Up to now NO ONE point out the necessity to recognize MATING motif Q+B working together at the diagonal. And "no one noticed" the importance of King's position. If it were at g1, there could (would) not be the same variations. Of course it is just the idea of how my refutation radar works, not a criticism to your work. I am following my own path ;) :)

3. Hmmm, I too have noticed a distinct absence of comments from others lately. Let's charitably assume that the others are busy with the holiday season, or are mulling over the ideas and trying them out before commenting. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before there will be more thoughtful comments.

I am certain that several of the regular commentators "see" and understand the ideas under discussion. (I do not mention names, because there are so many thoughtful people who have contributed significantly to the discussions previously.) The difference (I think) is in the relative importance that we each assign to these concepts. I was so excited by the "Gestalt" experience when I finally grasped the significance of these fundamental concepts. Surprisingly, I then found many different authors (many of whom I had read years ago) describing the same concepts, just using different terminology. It's somewhat like being unaware of a particular thing, and then, when you become consciously aware of it, you then "see" signs of it everywhere in virtually anything. For example, there is a common thread (but using different terminology) between mister Lasker and mister Weteschnik (the emphasis on "seeing" the motifs FIRST), as well as common threads between mister Rowson, mister Beim and mister Weteschnik (the concept of performing a "survey" or "investigation" of the position allowing "cues" to trigger, BEFORE searching for tactical themes/devices that may be applicable, much less searching for an overall combination). I work hard to find common ground between multiple authors on any subject of interest to me. I get very excited when I see this commonality, because it means that the concepts involved are very important to understand and to remember. I am particularly excited when I can trace concepts back to a "root" document, such as Lasker's Manual of Chess. "Study the old masters" is excellent advice given in many different fields, but especially in artistic endeavors (such as chess). I know I've heard that many times, but in a somewhat different form: "Don't study the old masters; study what the old masters studied." I think that sums up the current idea of "seeing" the fundamental cues BEFORE "looking" for the tactical themes/devices to realize what the cues have pointed out. The combination then flows organically and harmoniously from the overall investigation.

I know that I "breezed over" mister Lasker's insights initially (and for a long time afterward) because I was looking for immediately applicable concepts for merely winning more games, i.e., specific things that would boost my playing LEVEL (rating), not necessarily concepts that would improve my playing SKILL. As you noted before, (about each person having to do the hard work required, even if having a coach to point out those difficult things needed for improvement), each person must do the HARD WORK himself to grind the concepts into memory with appropriate cues. Some will not want to expend the effort required; others may question the validity of the approach; and so forth. Our excitement (hopefully) will be contagious, and draw some others into commenting on the investigation currently under way.

Merry Christmas!

4. @ Tomasz:

I think it is possible to miss things when we are using different "languages" (even though, in this case, we are all using one language: English) for describing our views of what is happening.

A case in point:

You wrote (excerpt):

"To show you one simple "refutation" of your ideas (or comments). Up to now NO ONE point out the necessity to recognize MATING motif Q+B working together at the diagonal. And "no one noticed" the importance of King's position."

Temposchlucker wrote this:

"1. ... Rxd6 2.Rxd6 Qe5 builds up a battery along the LoA, at the same time outnumbering the defenses of d6 and pinning the rook.

I don't think you have shown a refutation. The "battery" referred to is the battery of Qe5+Bb8 aimed at the square h2, with mate as a definite possibility, if White should move the Rd6. That's why the White Rook is described as "pinned." Perhaps it is the indirect nature of the comment that obscures the fact that the battery in question implicitly addresses the mating question. Perhaps Temposchlucker assumed that the target (mate on h2) was obvious, and so did not require explicit reference. Since the discussion is about "seeing" cues that trigger the appropriate direction of subsequent thought, perhaps giving explicit variations was not considered necessary.

In any event, it seemed clear (to ME) that he WAS referencing the mate threat on h2 when he referred to the "battery" (But then, I have a strange way of "seeing" things, sometimes even things that are not there: what IS the "sound" of one hand clapping?!?)

Yes, there are a lot of "unanswered" (and unaddressed) possibilities in the position. The salient issue currently under discussion is NOT exhaustive concrete calculations, but what constitutes useful "cues" which trigger the most useful (and QUICK) line of thinking toward the best solution (if there is such a thing). Focusing on exhaustive considerations AFTER the "cue(s)" have triggered does not aid the search for the initial triggering mechanism(s) and training methods for recognition of those "cues." I think the idea is to try to avoid being distracted by other (side) issues (which, while important, are not germane to the central issue at the moment). As Temposchlucker pointed out to me, the detailed concrete calculations and the possibilities beyond the cuing mechanisms (as at the end of the given main variation) is of little interest if we cannot "see" the forest for the trees of concrete calculations. CUE THE FOREST, CUT THE TREES!

BTW, I do not intend to speak for Temposchlucker; I simply give you MY opinion of his possible motive(s). Perhaps I seem unnecessarily antagonistic; I do not mean to be antagonistic at all. I'm sure everyone reading this blog enjoys reading your comments; I know I certainly do!

Merry Christmas, my friend!

5. Robert is quite right about my motives. Yet I'm going to attempt to address the (randomly generated) questions of Tomasz. Just to check if I did not prune too much in my approach.

6. 1) What was the reason d6 square was important. Why not f1, h2, e5 or any other?
So far, all positions I have analyzed with the aid of the three motifs, had all a clear PoP (point of pressure)
The PoP is the piece against which you have (almost) a superior force piled up. The piece is immobile to a certain degree due to lack of space, lack of time or having a function which can't be abandoned.
Strange enough, in all six positions that I have analyzed all had an obvious PoP, and in all six positions it play a crucial role. The piece on the PoP is usually immobilized by lack of time.
That has probably a lot to do with the way these problems are generated. It are blunders, so the opponent made a crucial mistake. Now it is your turn to move, and the opponent lacks a tempo to correct is blunder.
So he has always a lack of time.

There are of course other squares that play a role, like h2, but that is another type of square. h2 is a goal square which connect two different tactical themes (the double attack Qe5 and the M#! on h2)
But the already existing pressure is against the piece on d6

2) Why the exchange took place at d6? What was the reason for that?
The bishop on d6 has a few direct targets in view, so it isn't immobile. You can't catch a piece that isn't immobilized. What is more, the bishop on d6 has a bad influence on the LoA b8-h2

3) How do we know if the action (first move) gains an advantage?
The popping up of the three cues PoP, LoA and Fun(ction) gets you on track

4) What are the possible refutation to the evaluation and calculation process?
I don't care at the moment.

5) What are possible final positions after each variations? What are the difference between these?
I don't care at the moment.

6) Is there any real change in the position if Bc2 was placed at f3?
I don't care at the moment.

7) How deep do I have to look at the position to get to the "quiesence"? (the point I can stop counting variations)
I don't care at the moment. Is it really possible that grandmasters calculate everything untill quiesence? I doubt it. They calculate to the next steppingstone.

8) What is the relationship between Qa3 and Rf8? Is it important at this position? If yes/no - why?
The interesting thing about this method is that you can prune a whole lot of this kind of questions. The opponent has to take care of M#1 or loss of rook.

9) What would be the idea and position evaluation after 1...Qe5, Qd4, Qe7 or Qc7? Is any of these moves winning? Why and why not?
All moves loose a queen or a rook. Perhaps you mean 2. ... etc? In that case: I don't care at the moment.

10) What is the reason behind 1... Nd4 or 1... Rf2? Are these moves better then the other ones?
I don't care at the moment.

7. Thanks a lot for your reply! Now I know what direction you are striving for! I really like a new term - PoP! If everything goes correct you will be able to write a small chess book in a half of a year - based on your discoveries and findings! It would be awesome! :)

2. In Dan Heisman's excellent The Improving Chess Thinker, Appendix A, he gives the protocol of Dr. Max Euwe in analyzing the de Groot A position (given below).

FEN: 2r2rk1/pp2bp1p/1qb1pnp1/3nN1B1/3P4/P1NQ4/BP3PPP/2R2RK1 w - - 0 1

Dr. Euwe spent 15 minutes thinking about this position, while describing what he was considering as he thought about it. I'm not going to include all of his protocol, simply because it covers two pages, and I don't have the time (nor the inclination) to type it all in. I recommend checking out mister Heisman's book; it's well worth it!

Dr. Euwe opens with this statement [my emphasis added]:

"FIRST IMPRESSION: an isolated pawn; White has more freedom of movement."

Wow. That certainly seems vague and general and based on the obvious. No candidate moves, no variations, just a simple IMPRESSION ("cue"?) of the position. Then he continues these same general remarks with only a few "look ahead" possibilities, until we get to his final summary statement.

Dr. Euwe:

"Is there some intermediate gain? 1. Bxd5 exd5 looks bad for Black. PROBABLY SOME MORE ACCIDENTS WILL HAPPEN. MUCH IS STILL UP IN THE AIR. One plays, for instance. 2. Qf3. Defending the Knight on f6 is not so easy: 2. ... Kg7 looks very unpleasant.....Yes, I play 1. Bxd5."

Yes, there is SOME analysis of concrete variations in-between the starting and ending paragraph BUT he does not attempt to determine everything in-depth to quiescence that could possibly happen; that, incidentally, would be humanly impossible in the given position. This supports Temposchlucker's assertion above:

"Is it really possible that grandmasters calculate everything until quiescence? I doubt it. They calculate to the next steppingstone.

This also is the recommendation of GM Tisdall in Improve Your Chess NOW, where I first encountered the concept of "stepping stones."

Hmmm. . .food for thought, n'est-ce pas?