The past investigations made me hypothesize that the prodigy in chess has learned some tricks how to prune the tree of analysis. My remedy based on this hypothesis, making a good habit of looking for the convergence squares of the second order when you are stuck, does certainly work. But not in every position! I will give an example of a position that needs another way of pruning.
|Diagram 1 black to move|
The title of this post is the adage of Tal concerning the pieces he left hanging. This adage tells me that he had a way to prune the tree of analysis in a drastic way. That must have made his calculations a lot easier for him. If you don't worry about things that don't need worrying, then the mind will be fried for more constructive work. I'm going to try to find out what his pruning method comprises. What does his adage mean in practice?
Feel free to comment already, I will update the post later.
Mutual captures are difficult to assess. For long, I'm looking for methods to simplify the thought processes involved. The capture is the standard move here. I'm looking for moves with a duple function. Captures that capture an attacker. Captures that capture a defender. Captures that attack a new piece. That kind of stuff. So I made a provisional list with extra functions that can be performed besides the actual capture. It are the moves with duple functions which play the decisive role.
The move 1. ... Bxc1 performs a double function. It captures the rook, and it saves the attacking function of the bishop, which otherwise wouldn't be preserved due to 2.Nxa3, which is a duple functional move too: it saves the white knight and captures a black attacker thus saving Rc1.
There is another move that has a double function which does roughly the same:
1. ... bxc4 captures the knight, and it saves the attacking function of the bishop, which otherwise wouldn't be preserved due to 2.Nxa3
The problem with 1. ... bxc4 is that is allows 2.Rxc4 which is a duple function move:
It saves Rc1 and Nb3 with one move. This duple function is not yet found in the scheme though.
So I haven't found anything substantial yet, but at least you now know in what direction I'm looking. To be continued.
It took quite a few days of struggling, but finally I have seen the light. Let's see how we can apply the adage of Tal here. "Both you and your opponent can take only one hanging piece at the time."
Black has 3 pieces under attack. i.e. 3 white pieces are hanging.What is the most likely outcome of that situation: Black can round up 2 pieces, while 1 white piece will escape.
- First ply: black takes a hanging piece
- Second ply: white saves a hanging piece
- Third ply: black takes another hanging piece
That is, when normal moves are played.
What are normal moves? I call single function moves normal moves. When a move accomplishes exactly 1 thing. In opposition to special moves, which are duple function moves. A duple function move accomplishes 2 things.
In fact it doesn't matter which piece is taken first by black, since after 3 ply, he will have taken 2 pieces, while white has saved 1. But only when normal moves are played.
In this position, white has a few special moves up his sleeves. That makes the choice of the first piece to take not indifferent. In two of the three lines, white can save two pieces with one duple function move:
1. ... Rxc6 2.Nxa3 the last white move accomplishes two things with one move:
- it saves the white knight
- it captures the attacker of Rc1
- it saves the hanging Rc1
- it captures the attacker of Nb3
2. ... Rxc8 and now white cannot both take the black bishop on c1 AND save his knight with one move.
I'm pretty sure that Tal has used this kind of simplification in his thinking.