Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Elaborating on the pictures

Robert said:

"Diagrams 2 and 3 did not map easily to the Tree of Scenarios. I could see the connections to different scenarios, but not easily map them to specific questions:
  • B.A.D. – Add attackers with tempo
  • PoP – Clear a blocked LoA with tempo
  • Is of 2nd order
  • Capture defender –
  • Target can be saved with tempo?
  • Can defender be recaptured with tempo?
I’m not suggesting a rigid one-to-one correspondence is necessary or desirable, but in the initial stages of applying the Tree of Scenarios and seeking outside comments, it might be more helpful to show a direct connection (at least for those of us who have not been privy to all of your thought processes)."

 I already expected to be asked to use more than 1000 words to explain the pictures ;)

The pictures are compacted, and contain more than one idea.

The two adjacent squares with T(arget) and D(efender) represent the idea that a target and a defender have a lot in common. A defender is a potential target with limited mobility due to its function. De target and the defender are connected. Whenever you see a target, you have to look whether there is a defender, and when you see a defender, you have to be aware of the target.

The red arrows represent the duplo attack. The initiative is based on duple function attacking moves which must be met by duple function defensive moves.

The green arrows represent the discovery I made in the tit for tat department: capture with additional threat to maintain the initiative.

I should add another idea concerning the initiative: capture the defender. This saddles the opponent with two obligations: recapture the defender, and save the now outnumbered target. There are three defensive options:
  • recapture the defender with tempo
  • save the target with tempo
  • recapture the defender while redefending the target
There are other duple function moves that might deserve a separate picture: move an attacker with a defensive function to a line of attack while preserving the contact with the piece that is to be defended.

It is a work in progress of course, and I don't want to complicate matters too much at the moment.

The picture above is a combination of 3 pictures. From right to left:
There are 3 ways to handle a defender:
  • +A = attack it
  • X = capture/exchange it
  • -D = deflect it
The middle of the picture is about the target. The balance between the amount of attackers and the amount of defenders tells you whether a piece is hanging or B.A.D. (Barely Adequate Defended)

The scenarios concerning a hanging piece are:
  • Neutralize the counter attack and take the piece OR
  • Take the piece and defend against the counter attack
These scenarios are not represented in the picture. They are not solely bound to a hanging piece, so it is not quite clear where to put those.
  • +A = add attackers
  • +D? = ask if you can outnumber the amount of defenders
The red left part of the picture represents two ideas:
  • The filled red arrow is a clogged up line of attack which needs clearance (geometry motif)
  • 2nd = when your investigation of the targets, defenders, box and initiative has been inconclusive, you have guide your attention to the points of pressure of the second order. The squares where two or more of your attackers converge.
I consider immodestly my logical thinking to be my forte. It never seized to surprise me that I don't think logical during solving problems. The reason for that is that my mind is easy mesmerized by the amount of possibilities. Due to my habitual trial and error approach, I simply forget to apply some basic logic. The tree of scenarios is a set of training wheels which should help me to prevent confusion by helping my mind to focus on simple basic chess logic.

But I'm talking too much and training too little.


  1. Tempo

    Could you provide at least a few examples to show IN PRACTICE (real chess positions) what are the applications of your ideas?

    I am not saying you are wrong or you do not know what you are talking about, but I definitely lack more real examples of how your chess theory WORKS in practice. This way I could understand the concept much better (or at least it is my expectation).

    What I discovered some time ago was the "priority of threats". In other words whoever has BIGGER (more valuable or harmful) threats - wins the battle. I think it is one of the keys to understanding the concept of initiative much better. And from my recent tournament practice - I discovered that the side with more ACTIVE pieces usually wins the battle with the use of tactics. And the FUNCTION of the piece is another fuel to the engine we can call "tactics and its application". You CANNOT exploit (apply) tactics to any positions as the position has to contain some elements you can hang on your tactical concepts.

    The simplest picture is to see the Knight fork concept, but your Knight is too far away from the action. And the same is with pawns - unless they are close to your opponents "hot conflict area" - they cannot be used to create tactics.

    And I do not want to sound rude or ugly, but recently I have read in NM Dan Heisman's bible ("A guide to chess improvement - the best of Novice Nook") that adults are often TOO much focused on theory instead of practical things. I do not mean to postpone theory, but if it has to be a valuable tool - it has to be tested on practical examples (from simple to complex ones).

    What you can think of is the idea (concept) of limiting the mobility and destroying the pieces' functions! (coordination between important pieces and squares). This way all the combinations and tactis work!

    I hope it helps. Let me know if these ideas are of any value to you!

  2. Sorry, I wasn't asking for a long-winded explanation but for a stronger tie-in between the logic diagrams you are developing and the Tree of Scenarios. I think we are in agreement that the more text that is used as explanations, the more obfuscated the relevant ideas become. The diagrams should carry the weight of the ideas by themselves.

    Back in the days when I was doing a lot of modeling, I coined Crazy Bob's Laws of Modeling. Here are two of them:

    (1) The value of a model is what is left out of it, not just what is included in it. (Less is more, especially visually.)

    (2) You know you have reached the boundary limitations of a modeling language when you have to resort to text to describe what is intended in the model. (The model language should be sufficiently comprehensive to convey whatever meaning the model is designed to convey. Text should be used sparingly, if at all. A model that must rely primarily on text to establish meaning is a poor model.)

    Speaking of modeling, are you developing the diagrams in ad-hoc fashion or are you using a particularly modeling language/tool? If you are using a specific modeling language, please identify it so I can become familiar with the relevant components and meanings without bothering you for an explanation.

    I've used the IDEF family of models a lot, and began transitioning toward UML toward the end of my programming/analyst career. I used Oracle Designer and CASE*Method to design some really large Oracle databases. I love E. F. Codd's Third Normal Form "law" (formulated by Bill Kent):

    "[Every] non-key [attribute] must provide a fact about the key, the whole key, and nothing but the key, so help me Codd."

    Memories from the "good old days!"

    1. "Speaking of modelling, are you developing the diagrams in ad-hoc fashion or are you using a particularly modelling language/tool?" I use paint, from windows :D

    2. May I suggest PAINT.NET as an enhanced alternative?

      Link: PAINT.NET

      It is FREE and (somewhat) compatible with MS-Paint. It has considerably more features and flexibility.

      As an example, lines have the capability of being "bent" using either splines or Bezier curves. You drop a line on the canvas, and then you can move it around, as well as change the curvature.

      I've been using a set of programs to create instructional chess diagrams. I set up the piece(s) I want using Fritz 11's New->Position capability. It allows illegal board positions to be set up (without the Kings, for instance). I then use the Snipping Tool to capture the basic diagram and copy it to an image in Paint.net. There I can add text and other drawing symbols as needed. When finished, I reduce the image size by 50% (so it is not so large) and save it. I then bring it into either Ms Word or Anki as needed.

  3. I would start a training with an aftermath(?) classification of tons of puzzles until the classification can be done in "no time". It might be necessary to give each of your 23 classes a nice name first.
    With the windows snipping tool ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvA2BNyzK1I ) you can copy the puzzle from the screen and insert it into a front of a card of anki ( and eventually you may even copy the solution this way into anki as question too). The answer to this "question" ( classify this puzzle+solution ) would be the right classification at the backside.
    I suggest to store the puzzle number/link too. That way you create a database of classified puzzles for further use.
    If several people work on such a project ( sharing anki-decks ) you can speed the process up and find flaws easier.

  4. The Image Occlusion Enhancement add-on provides some useful capabilities to basic Anki that ease the task of creating occlusions on an image (and automatically generating as many cards as there are occlusions). Parts of the "front" (question) can be selectively occluded (hidden) and parts of the back (answer) can be selectively exposed. There separate fields for a Header (title/name), Image (question), Question Mask (denotes the area[s] to be exposed or occluded for the question), Footer (answer), Remarks (elaboration on the answer), Sources (problem number/links), Extra 1, Extra 2, Answer Mask (denotes the area[s] of the image to be exposed or occluded for the answer), and Original Mask (defines the area[s] to be occluded). The Image is shown on both the question and the answer, with appropriate areas masked out. Setting up an image to be masked and made into multiple cards is very fast.

    Count me as a very interested party in helping create Anki chess decks!

  5. Off topics

    a interesting link about the history of chess education : https://books.google.de/books?id=4y7RDgAAQBAJ&pg=PA16&dq=historical+overview+kalinin&hl=de&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi7vM3u8_vUAhUGsxQKHUeLBbYQ6AEIJzAA#v=onepage&q=historical%20overview%20kalinin&f=false

  6. @ Aox:

    Thanks for the link! Another book to add to my "Most Wanted" list! Lasker's ideas are given a rather high position.