Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Initiative redux

All scenarios that win a tempo have two targets involved.
  • T = Target
  • D = Defender
  • A = Attacker
  • C = Capturing attacker
  • PoP = Point of pressure
  • Green = enemy
  • Yellow = winning us
  • Arrow = attack or defense
  • Lightning = gained tempo

The initiative group has two families, the captures and the double attacks. There are four scenarios of defense:
  • Recapture with tempo (additional threat)
  • Save target with tempo (desperado)
  • Recapture with defending the other target
  • Save one target and defend the other target in one move


  1. I am not sure if it is helpful for you, but anyway I want to share it with you. You can use it to explain your theory/system at real chess example.

    [4b2r/Rrp2k2/4pqp1/1pPp1p2/1P1P4/4PPQ1/4BKP1/R7 b - - 0 34]

    And now Black played: 34...Bc6? and white gained a decisive advantage:
    35. Rxb7 Bxb7 36. Qxc7+ Qe7 37. Qxe7+ Kxe7 38. Ra7 Rb8 39. c6 wins a piece.

    In a few moves played we can say such motifs like: double attack, pin, destroying the defender (guard), etc.

    Good luck in your future discoveries and findings! To be honest I cannot understand your ideas without having chess examples. Anyway it does not mean they are bad or not valuable! I keep the fingers crossed on you!

  2. I hear what you say. The diagrams have more meaning for me than for you, because for me there are all sorts of memories and emotions connected to the diagrams. For you it seems theoretical, for me it is highly practical. Since every diagram is related to a series of failures at Chess Tempo, and they are designed to address these failures.

    The most important part of the current tree of scenarios for me, is probably the initiative. I have been blind for the subtleties of the battle for tempos. With the use of the diagrams in this post, I'm able to think more logically about the initiative. I haven't found all there is to know about the battle of the initiative yet, nor have I internalized it completely. Yet I'm making progress in replacing trial and error with instant scenarios.

    I'm gathering example positions for every branch of the tree of scenarios. Just as one would gather suitable pictures of birds for the composition of a field guide for bird determination. That is a time consuming process.

    About 1/3 of my failures at Chess Tempo are initiative related. 1/3 is about not finding the invasion and or the mate. The last 1/3 is related to the shenanigans around promotion.

    The seven scenarios around the box should give a clue about mate. I haven't tested if the diagram of the box with the seven scenarios is actual helpful. I'm working on that. I'm gathering a series of failed mate and invasion problems.

    I haven't written anything about scenarios that are related to the promotion until now. Right now, I'm gathering relevant positions which I can use for the extraction of promotion related scenarios.

    As you see, there is a lot going on. But it is difficult to write a coherent and readable post about it at this stage.

  3. I think the addition of colors and symbols help clarify the intent of the diagrams.

    I'm going back through Momir Radovic's blog posts and comparing to Averbakh's concepts regarding the Theory of Contacts, looking for additional insight. Radovic left the promotion (queening) contact out of his taxonomy (Attacking, Blocking, Restricting [Controlling], Protecting [Defending]). Averbakh includes Promotion (queening threat) and Stopping (the queening threat) as the final two categories of the six elementary contacts.

    I share Tomasz' desire for examples directly related to chess diagrams. AS you have noted, the abstract diagrams work best for you but not necessarily for others. I understand the concepts embodied in your diagrams, but because I don't have the memories and emotions to give them meaning, it is hard to use them directly as a "coat rack" to hang my own mnemonics on.

    I've got a couple of ideas in work, but it may take some time to get them to the point that I want to share them. (I'm sure you can understand!) It involves using GIF files with chess diagrams that change, showing the same ideas you have used in the more abstract diagrams with multiple scenarios per diagram. I'd love to do some graphics programming to create a dynamic tool that would extract the appropriate information for tutorial purposes, but that doesn't seem likely, given my lack of time to learn an appropriate language and then do the programming itself. In another lifetime, perhaps. . .

  4. I should post some problems from Andrei Volokitin's "Perfect Your Chess". Those are the hardest ones I've ever seen, and I don't believe the lines are as short and tidy as Chesstempo.

    Right now, I've been going through CT-Art 6.0 here and there, mainly for the pattern recognition, and I believe it has helped, though only going through the easy section so far, haven't completed it yet. The stronger players do spot the hanging pieces more quickly than the lower-rated players, I've found that consistently to be the case.

  5. Okay, the first problem from Perfect Your Chess. Find Black's 31st move, it's a drawing combination. http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1164838 It's a good example of initiative. :-)

  6. That was a fantastic visualization of various line of attack! Thanks!

    Here's another example of maintaining the initiative using the assault motif:

    5rk1/pppqb2r/2np3p/7Q/3P2Np/2P5/PP1N2P1/R4RK1 w - - 0 1

    This is position 781 from Dave Couture's book Progressive Tactics - 1002 Progressively Challenging Chess Tactics. The positions are from his own games.

    I thought about the position a lot, and could clearly "see" (in my mind's eye) the intermediate positions but had problems evaluating the merit of various alternatives as the attack progressed. I put it into Fritz 11 (Stockfish), and then found different suggested alternatives, depending on which move I plugged in at each stage. It's disconcerting to find Stockfish re-evaluating the move order once it is given the position part of the way through the combination, especially since I set the search depth to 23 ply to start with, and let it run!

  7. PART I

    In the interest of continuing the discussion, I'm going to circle back to an earlier topic involving chess improvement, based on re-reading GM Jonathan Rowson's Chess for Zebras.

    GM Rowson introduces the topic of chess improvement in Part 1: Improving Our Capacity to Improve.

    "How can I improve? . . . Improvement begins at the edge of your comfort zone."

    I previously referenced the excerpt from GM Nigel Davies' article on Chesscafe.com titled The How and the What in Chapter 1, What to Do When You Think There is a Hole in Your Bucket, pg. 25:

    'The HOW [SKILL] is more important than the WHAT [KNOWLEDGE].' . . .It really doesn't matter WHAT you study, the important thing is to use this as a training ground for THINKING rather than trying to assimilate a mind-numbing amount of information. . . . The reality is that you've got to move the pieces around the board and PLAY with the position[independently explore concrete IDEAS in the specific position] . Who does that? AMATEURS DON’T, GMs do...

    GM Rowson continues:

    “. . . If you want to get better at chess you need to place much less emphasis on ‘study’ whereby you increase your KNOWLEDGE of positions, and place more emphasis on ‘training’ [SKILL], whereby you try to solve problems, play practice games, or perhaps try to beat a strong computer program from an advantageous position.”

    “In any case, I believe this distinction between knowledge and skill gets at the heart of the matter concerning why younger players tend to find it RELATIVELY easy to improve. . . . Paradoxically, the problem seems to be while junior players tend to put what they learn into practice WITHOUT ANY REAL CONSCIOUS INTENT, and thereby improve steadily, ADULT PLAYERS STRAIN IN AN EFFORT TO UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY ARE LEARNING, and this leads to all sorts of problems because rather than gaining in tactile skill, this skill is adulterated by our attempts to formalize it into knowledge. It seems that the gap between knowledge and skill is somehow smaller for juniors than it is for adults. But why is that? This is harder to explain, but it probably has something to do with younger players having greater neural plasticity and fewer prejudices getting in the way. In any case, once you grasp the significance of the distinction between KNOWLEDGE and SKILL, the ground is clear to ask WHY adult improvement is so elusive.”

    “ To my mind, the problem can be distilled into two main parts:”

    “1) MOST PLAYERS SEEK TO INCREASE THEIR KNOWLEDGE BY LEARNING NEW POSITIONS, and tend to study by “reading and nodding” as Nigel Davies put it. WHAT THEY SHOULD BE DOING MORE OFTEN IS HONING THEIR SKILLS, however meager, by forcing themselves to think ["think" has multiple shades of meaning; System 1 or System 2?] through training and practice.”

    “KNOWLEDGE often gets in the way of SKILL, because it is not ‘innocent’—and has to be CONSTRUCTED. This means that there will be limits to what you can learn by passive absorption and that you are more likely to make progress by unlearning some of your existing ideas through the honest and rigorous analysis of your own games.”

  8. PART II

    Pg. 26:

    “Consider that at any given moment, our five senses are taking in more than 11,000,000 pieces of information. . . . Our eyes alone receive and send over 10,000,000 signals to our brains each second. . . .The most liberal estimate [of our CONSCIOUS CAPACITY] is that people can process CONSCIOUSLY about 40 pieces of information a second. Think about it: we take in 11,000,000 pieces of information a second but can process only 40 of them CONSCIOUSLY. What happens to the other 10,999,960? . . .”

    “. . . one of the reasons it is so difficult to improve at chess is that it is impossible to know precisely what you are thinking during a game. You can have a rough idea, based on memory, but even during the game you can’t really know what you are thinking, for two main reasons: First, when you stop to think about HOW you are thinking you are no longer thinking in the same way. Second, we have introspective access to the CONSCIOUS PRODUCTS of thought, which we have to construct, but we have absolutely NO ACCESS TO THE PROCESSES OF THOUGHT, and it is only when these PROCESSES start to improve that we become better players.”

    “Improvement comes about through improved thought processes.”

    Pg. 46:

    [I think the following statement has important implications for training to “see” from the vulture’s eye viewpoint. It gives a clue as to how to go about “looking” at a position WITHOUT PRECONCEPTIONS.]

    . . . images observed long enough will cease to be random or disconnected and will [SELF-]organize into symbolic dramas, narratives, or PROBLEM-SOLVING PROCESSES.

    “. . . think and try to decide what to do. . . . the main thing is to get into the habit of sitting down, selecting a problem, setting it up, setting the clock [for about 20 minutes], THINKING, stopping, comparing your analysis with the source analysis … and keep doing this. It will be hard, and you will not really be “learning” anything through this. But, as I’ve said before, CHESS IS ABOUT SKILL—WHAT YOU NEED IS N-O-T ‘KNOW-THAT’ BUT ‘KNOW-HOW’.


    Well, that’s certainly a lot of “word salad”! What the heck is the point of all this verbiage?

    We all have taken in a considerable amount of KNOWLEDGE in the form of solving tactical problems exhaustively in large quantities (perhaps 50,000 or 100,000 or more?). We have (to a large extent) been UNSUCCESSFUL in improving our SKILL level (perhaps measured by rating).

    Are those positions lurking (unrecoverable) somewhere in our unconscious? I speculate that the answer is definitely YES! As Tempo and others have pointed out, the problem is NOT getting the information IN TO memory; it is getting the information OUT OF memory. But we have NO CONSCIOUS CONTROL over the retrieval process from our subconscious System 1 . It either recalls the relevant information (cues, patterns, whatever) or it doesn’t. And if it doesn’t, there is nothing we can do CONSCIOUSLY to force the retrieval.

    As Tempo began his interlude, working on the Tree of Scenarios, I went to work trying to CONSCIOUSLY solve tactical puzzles using the PoPLoAFun approach. I tried to CONSCIOUSLY and conscientiously think using the elements to bring into mind what I should be looking for as a solution. Perhaps not surprisingly, if I didn’t force my CONSCIOUS thinking to consider ALL possible elements, I still missed “obvious” clues as to what should be done. While re-reading GM Rowson’s book, something about this passage (repeated for emphasis) kind of “jumped off the page” at me:

    . . . images observed long enough will cease to be random or disconnected and will [SELF-]organize into symbolic dramas, narratives, or PROBLEM-SOLVING PROCESSES.

    Perhaps I was wasting CONSCIOUS effort! Perhaps if I just looked at the image of the position, without trying to force any process CONSCIOUSLY, the “image(s)” I needed to solve the problem would get thrown up into the conscious by a hidden System 1 process. So, I stopped trying to follow a CONSCIOUS thought process and just looked at the position, without trying to do anything particular with it. In a sense, it was almost like meditation. Think of it as BEING rather than DOING.

    I just started this approach a few days ago, and (so far) it has been simply amazing! Rather than getting stuck trying to force a solution (and often CONSCIOUSLY picking the wrong initial “clues” and then getting stuck in a cul-de-sac trying to “make it work”), I just patiently wait for the “clues” to bubble up from System 1. It only take a short amount of time, and then System 1 WILL begin to make sense of the position based on what has been stored in memory. Instead of rushing into CONSCIOUS thought at the first sign of an idea, I wait for the position itself to “tell its story.” I only begin to “calculate” after waiting for System 1 to sort out and present the significant parts of the position. The best part is that (usually) it eliminates from consideration those things that are NOT relevant.

    It’s not about following a well-thought out formal process, which we already know does not give us access to the hidden System 1 “knowledge.” It’s about trusting that the marvelous system that can store bazillions of pieces of information CAN recall the relevant items when needed IFF we do not try to force the process. Given that System 1 operates in massively parallel mode, this “wait and SEE” approach is an extremely fast process.

  10. my thought about improvement is at the moment along this route

    we want to improve in chess
    chess is a sequence of moves in a sequence of positions
    so we have to improve on the very large set of "relevant" positions ( millions, billions..)

    we do a training on a small set ( thousands )
    and even there we fail to improve

    i used the last 7 months the software strategy 3.0 with ~1100 exercises. every exercises starts with a position of a master-game and usually explores several lines int the type of "guess the move". I did start with 5+ repetitions of each exercise in ~2 weeks. Now ~7 months later i check my improvement on these exercises... its small, very very small.

    this paper http://chessok.com/?p=21207 is talking about 3 time hours of training 4 days a week ( but several courses?? ) and an improvement from 40 to 55% in strategy. I do 4 hours a day, 7 days a week and my improvement is from 40 to 51%( ? test just started ) . My learning speed is way slower, therefore my forgetting speed faster. I think we reach our plateau when the learning quantity equals the forgetting quantity. Skills don't get forgotten, so the trick is, to make knowledge skill. But how?

  11. PART I

    I think the answer is: skill is not easy to acquire. As adults, we focus on acquiring knowledge (KNOW-THAT), (incorrectly) assuming that a sufficient quantity of knowledge will (eventually) equate to or translate into skill (KNOW-HOW). It doesn't. Skill lies in USING available knowledge but is NOT the same thing as simply RETRIEVING stored "facts" (knowledge) from memory.

    I'm sure that you are familiar with the concept of the opposition in the endgame. Given a knowledge of the "rules" of the opposition, you still may be unable to USE that knowledge to play a particular endgame requiring application of that knowledge. Why not? Because your thoughts may be focused on some other aspect of the position, and you may not even attempt to recall and use that knowledge until it is too late. Let's take an example from GM Rowson.

    4b1k1/1p3p2/4pPp1/p2pP1P1/P2P4/3B4/1P6/1K6 w - - 0 1

    GM Rowson devotes pgs. 69-74 with a dialog between himself and a student regarding this position. He notes that it is a difficult position to analyze, even for GMs.

    There are 4 "ideas" involved:

    (1) The White King must be activated. (Obviously)

    (2) A sacrifice of the White Bishop for a Black Pawn may be necessary at some point. (Obviously)

    (3) Black must be prevented from creating a fortress, stopping any invasion by the White King. (Not so obvious)

    (4) The eventual "solution" MAY involve the opposition and Zugzwang. (TOTALLY OBSCURE! It's too far in the future to calculate concretely.)

    You can SEE the contours of the first two ideas "on the surface", so to speak.The third idea takes a bit of time to grasp, usually after trying some "obvious" moves, and finding out the the way into the Black queenside has been permanently barred to the White King.

    It's the fourth idea that is the key to the solution. So, how do we "SEE" it at this stage of the game?

    It is a Capablanca-inspired "technique" (skill, if you will) of simply removing pieces or rearranging the pieces (mentally) to a desired position without regard to legal moves. It does NOT entail calculating moves (at least not in the initial stages of arriving at the right overall idea).

  12. PART II

    Let's jump directly to idea (4). What changes would you make in order to make this position dependent on opposition and Zugzwang? First of all, chop off the Bishops and all a-file and b-file Pawns for both players, with White still to move. How do you gain the opposition? 1. Kb2 Kf8 2. Kb3 Ke8 and what MUST White play to win? If you know the "rules" of the opposition (both direct and distant), you know that the correct move is 3. Ka4! But that contradicts the idea of trying to rush toward the opposing King to set up the direct opposition. If 3. Kb4? Kd8! and Black now has the distant opposition and will be able to draw. If you cannot "see" this without calculating, then I suggest that your skill in UTILIZING the opposition is deficient.

    FWIW: I prefer Euwe and Hooper's method for determining distant opposition. It is easy to apply to virtually any position without calculating moves.

    Back to the drawing board. The Black King is confined to the square d7-d8-h8-h7 as long as the White Bishop remains on the board AND there is a possibility of sacrificing it for either the g6 or e6 Pawn when Black is unable to capture with the Black Bishop or when that Bishop is not on e8 square. Again, this must be “seen” rather than calculated. Why? Because the f6 Pawn could then advance to promotion. So the Black King’s movements are restricted, whereas the White King is unrestricted. More freedom of movement offers more possibilities for winning. That dispenses with idea (2).

    Let’s look at idea (3), building a fortress. If the queenside can be rearranged in such a way as to prevent the entry of the White King, then the Black King can be utilized to prevent entry on the kingside, establishing the fortress. Knock off the two Bishops, and rearrange the Pawns on the queenside to prohibit the White King’s entry. As the position is initially, there is already a blockage in place: the a5 Pawn and d5 Pawn prevent the entry of the White King. All Black has to do is maintain that blockage and White cannot penetrate via the queenside with the Bishops removed.

    That leaves us with idea (1), activating the White King. One try is to get the White King in on the kingside. Ain’t gonna happen with the Black King over there! So, White must figure out how to combine all these ideas and penetrate via the queenside with his King.

  13. PART III

    Timing of the various "strikes" must be exact, so it's not good enough to just play any old moves. This is where concrete calculation comes into play.

    Without going any further, what conclusion would you now reach?

    If you “guessed” 1. Bb5?, you would be in good company! BUT, that allows Black to set up the fortress with 1. … Bxb5 2. a4xb5 b6 and the fortress has become impregnable. An eventual b4 will be met with … axb4 and the fortress holds.

    I’ll cut to the chase here, and just give the initial moves: 1. b4! axb4 2. Bc2! And White prevents the fortress, activates the White King (advancing to recapture the Black b4 Pawn), eventually either forcing off the Bishops or putting Black into a position where White can sacrifice the White Bishop for a Black Pawn at the appropriate time when Black can no longer protect all of the various points because he has insufficient running room and/or he loses the opposition and is in Zugzwang.

    So after all that verbiage, what conclusion do we draw? SKILL involves connecting the various pieces of KNOWLEDGE into a coordinated plan of action. Some of the ideas enable and some constrain what is possible. It is the PROCESS of “seeing” ALL of the potentialities AND meshing them together coherently that represents skill. IMHO, this can only be done by (1) acquiring the KNOWLEDGE and then (2) APPLYING that knowledge repeatedly in various positions until the processes involved (NOT THE SPECIFICS OF ANY GIVEN POSITION) become subconscious (second nature). Until that occurs, we have knowledge without skill. It's not what we know but what we know that we can use that is important. This is a large part of why I have opined previously that memorizing 50,000 or more positions will NOT ever result in skill beyond a certain minimal level (certainly NOT master level or above).

  14. Here about the training-improvement-method of Silman : https://www.chess.com/article/view/getting-past-plateaus
    500 games in say 20 h, that are 25 games an hour, that are less than 3 min per game, thats bullet speed.

  15. The key is System 1 (the subconscious):

    ". . .the hundreds of positions, structures, and patterns were drilled into my subconscious and began percolating quietly, until the time that everything would suddenly make sense!"

    If you cannot move the knowledge from conscious to subconscious, you will NOT improve in skill. In spite of the heroic efforts (Silman and MdlM, for example), there has to be something more than mere exposure to a huge quantity of games going on. Why? Because there are any number of people who have accomplished the exposure, and still not improved in skill.

  16. yes , i think the same. I wonder if something like conscious thinking really exist.. i guess its just a focus of attention. So i am not sure if we really need to understand anything consciously first. Skills often cant be "explained".
    What irritates me most at the moment, is the learning speed of better player. They learn ( memorize ) chess related things faster. Subconscious can only work on things which are still in the memory somehow. When i watch Chess masters like Ben Finegold at youtube i am always astonished how many games they know.
    I hope to improve my learning speed by learning game-fragments sorted by (strategic..) themes and keep this knowledge active for a long period of time.
    Silman did learn "master chess" with many signals but only short duration of each signal, i try the opposite, small amount of signals long duration ( = many repetitions ).

    An other shocking example of learning is https://chesstempo.com/chess-statistics/cmuroya17
    He did start as an 1800, now his performance is 2700, but he "solves" the problems he learned now at hyperspeed.. he simply learned all puzzles at chesstempo. He almost never fails a puzzle twice. His speed at new puzzles is slow but his performance is now very high at them.

  17. "I wonder if something like conscious thinking really exist.. i guess its just a focus of attention. So i am not sure if we really need to understand anything consciously first. Skills often cant be "explained"."

    You certainly have a few good points here. What we call conscious thinking mainly consists of simple associations brought to mind by subconscious processes. The key is indeed the focus of attention which is the narrow keyhole through which we look to the world.

    I don't think that acquiring skills is the problem. Since that is a process that happens just magically since unconsciously. We might even have acquired already enough skills. And if not, acquiring the omitting skills is not a problem.

    What I see that the problem is, is revealed by measuring my time usage while solving problems. It lies in the realm of the focus of attention. There is nothing wrong with tunnel vision, as long as you have entered the right tunnel.

    The problem seems to be twofold: entering the wrong tunnel and overloading the STM.

    The tree of scenarios is a help to find the right tunnel. Overloading is prevented by pruning the tree of analysis. That pruning is based on the tree of scenarios.

    The knowledge we need isn't rocket science. It is actually very simple, and even a child can understand it. The problem is that the area is so vast, and the mind is so easily overwhelmed. I have unearthed a few ideas about the initiative. And already I feel I'm better at problems that revolve around the initiative. Before my latest distraction, aka break, that is. But then I get a series of problems that need knowledge of promotion, and I'm lost.

    It takes time to plug the main holes in my tactical bucket. The main holes are: initiative, promotion and mate. There is a lot of systematic work needed to unearth the relevant knowledge. But once unearthed, it isn't rocket science. And the transformation to skill happens before you understand what you are doing.

    Guide the focus of attention.

  18. my pass 2 at "Strategy 3.0" is frustrating. it seems as if i found a new non-improvable ( for me ) set. i suspect that any set ( of chess puzzles any types ) is non-improvable if it is just big enough.

    I did experience "non-improvability" now at 3 sets : very large set of mate in 1, 4000+ simple ( rated<1800 ) checkmate in n, and possibly(??) 1100 tasks of strategy 3.0.

    Definition:: non-improvability of a set ( of puzzles/tasks): Its possible to improve at a small subset, but after a while ( days, weeks, months ) the improvement at such a subset vanish to 0!. No matter how the training is organized: there remains always a large subset ( not tackled for a while ) without measurable improvement.

  19. Perhaps we rush too quickly to choose which tunnel to run down.

    1. @ Takchess:

      Definitely! System 1 will throw up an answer (ANY "close" answer, which may or may not be exactly what we should be looking for) for System 2 to examine more critically. However, System 2 is somewhat lazy, and (unless focused attention is brought to bear) will just run with the System 1 "suggestion" without any deeper consideration. Think of the aphorism, "Good enough for government work."

      I've often thought about why GMs take so long over moves IF they can (almost instantly) "see" everything through the lens of pattern-recognition. The only conclusion is that they have learned NOT to trust System 1's first impression, and they wait for all System 1 "suggestions" to occur before focus their attention (using System 2) on exploring ALL options thrown up for consideration. In this sense, it corroborates GM Kotov's "thinking process" of FIRST listing ALL the candidate moves BEFORE diving down into a specific tunnel. Only when System 1 s no longer tossing up impressions do they note all of the possible suggestions. It's NOT a totting up of all possible moves, but a complete acknowledgement of ALL System 1's "suggestions" instead. In this regard, my excerpt from GM Rowson above makes sense. Just "looking" at the position and allowing the process to unfold naturally without rushing to judgement:

      . . . images observed long enough will cease to be random or disconnected and will [SELF-]organize into symbolic dramas, narratives, or PROBLEM-SOLVING PROCESSES.

      I can state quite clearly that waiting for System 1 to make appropriate "suggestions" can be nerve-racking. It occurs quite quickly but it seems (at least at first) that it is taking a long time.

      I'm finding that my first impression may cover SOME of the right stuff, but (usually) it does not cover ALL of everything that needs to be considered. I still have to consciously override System 2's "rush to judgement" (i.e., the tendency to dive down into the first available tunnel that consciously opens up). It's getting easier to "hover" longer over the scene like a vulture, but it's still not EASY (meaning: it's not YET a skill).

  20. Promotion (some random thoughts)
    Two connected pawns always can promote (I heard this said, Valid?)
    A pawn nearing promotion demands attention and causes immobility
    A pawn promoting causes a imbalance in power and sacrifices of material often occur to
    make it happen. (often on the eighth rank with a pawn recapture)
    The pawn movement toward promoting is often a form of initiative
    when a puzzle has a pawn on sixth rank promotion may be a factor
    special cases
    -pawn which promotes with check
    -pawn which promotes with double attack
    -pawn which promotes with a pin of a piece to the king
    -pawn which promotes whose capture removes a guard
    -Pawn which under promotes to a Knight