Friday, February 03, 2017

MeatLoAf LoAving LoAfer

In the following diagrams the crucial LoAs (Lines of Attack) are highlighted.

Diagram 1. White to move

r3r1k1/2qn1pb1/p5p1/6P1/2p5/1N2B2Q/PPP4P/2KR1R2 w - - 0 1

On both PoPs (Points of Pressure) are B.A.D. (Barely Adequate Defended) pieces.
It is a common scenario. You can take a hanging piece, but you have to defend against the counter attack. The white queen has the Function to defend e3, and is partly immobilized because of that.

Diagram 2. Black to move

2q2bk1/R3r2p/6p1/3nB3/8/1p3N1P/5PPK/Q7 b - - 1 1

The white bishop is partly immobilized because its function is to defend the LoA b8-h2.
The white queen is partly immobilized because its function is to defend a7.

Diagram 3. White to move

3rrk2/p1R1Nppp/8/3b4/4n3/P5P1/5PBP/4R1K1 w - - 1 1

Both the white knight and the black knight look B.A.D..
But the LoA e1-e7 happens to cover both.

Diagram 4. Black to move

2r2qk1/6pp/Q1Np4/4p3/P5b1/8/1r3PPP/3R1RK1 b - - 1 1

A scenario that happens time and again. White can take the exchange d1 for free, but must at the same time protect c8 against the knight fork. The black bishop is partly immobilized because of its Function to protect c8. Is there a LoA that defends rook c8 with preservation of the initiative, so that the black bishop is relieved from its Function with tempo? That leads to a move which would otherwise be incomprehensible.

Btw check out the ratings of the problems.


  1. Not so good this time: I could only solve the first problem, and it took nearly 5 minutes. However, I wasn't too surprised by that result: the average rating for the 4 problems is 2176.7! Given my current rating, I should NOT have been able to solve ANY of them. All it tells me is that I need to continue working along the same path using the same approach as outlined here in order to improve. Will it eventually enable me to "see" more of the hidden possibilities in most positions? I think the answer is an obvious "YES!" - because it already has done that!

  2. In thinking through WHY I missed the solutions of the last three problems, I came to the conclusion that the proposed order of PoPLoAFun is more important than it appears at first glance. When I looked at the problems, I did NOT look at the PoPs first, but jumped right in with the LoAs as marked. As soon as I "failed" to solve each of the problems and got tired of trying to "see" the solution in terms of LoAs), I went back through PoPLoAFun, ignoring the "hints" of the LoAs marked on the diagrams. It took some time, but as soon as I "saw" the implications (especially the B.A.D. status of the key pieces), the solutions readily PoPped into my consciousness.

    As Socrates (perhaps Plato putting words in his mouth) is reputed to have said, "Follow the argument wherever it leads!"

    Maybe it's just me. . . but, I'm willing to follow the process as it is developed, since IT WORKS!

  3. I really like the diagrams with arrows. This way I can understand what is going on (or what may happen) even if I do not get the idea (concept) you are explaning.

    This article is the most valuable to me - of the last 15-20! If you can make (create) such diagrams I would be very grateful.

    I am happy to hear Robert's success is based on your great articles! Maybe one day I will got the idea you are talking about? Who knows? ;)

    1. I'm a bit surprised to hear that. My latest 3 posts were especially designed for you. Clear and simple, with tons of examples from actual problems. Trying to explain every detail step by step. I don't get what you don't get. Or are you expecting something difficult and can't you belief this is it because it is too simple?

    2. Take easy my friend. I will try to get it many more times. There is no need to hurry. I have my own concepts and I am going to work on it... and maybe after that (work is over) your articles open my mind.

      Please do not make me wrong. If I am dumb or lazy enough to get your articles - it does not mean they are rubbish! Quite the contrary! They are excellent, but I (and my mind) am not ready to comprehend these! :)