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Showing posts from August, 2018

### The battle for the initiative

The previous posts showed us that the battle for the initiative is the nec plus ultra method for pruning the tree of analysis . We must feed our vulture with simplified knowledge about the initiative. System I must assimilate the chunks that are related to the battle of the initiative. We must develop a sense for moves that give up the initiative. The following diagram is a copy from a post of Apr 28, 2017. We discussed it there. Can you describe what is going on in this diagram in terms of the initiative? Diagram 1. Black to move r3k3/p4p1p/4p1r1/2p1n3/4nN1Q/P1PqP2P/3B2P1/2R2R1K b q - 1 1 [ solution ] UPDATE move 1 Bishop d2 is hanging. What is the problem if black takes it immediately? Rg6 is hanging too Ne4 is abandoned by the black queen What is the problem if black doesn't take Bd2? Qd3 is hanging Rg6 is hanging too Can the capture of d2 be postponed? Postponement moves have the following characteristics: They solve the problems They leave the ini

### REDUX problematic initiative

This diagram is a re-post from June 16, 2017. It shows exactly why I don't make progress in chess. Back then I have pondered about this position for days. Now I tried it again, but I have forgotten almost all the details. Meaning that I don't learn anything by the way I treat such position. I pondered about this position until system II was satisfied. System II is a logical thinking fetishist. It is satisfied with a theoretical explanation of the how of the position. That is of no use for system I, though. For system I you need a deeper understanding of the position. The how is not enough. You need an understanding of the why of the position. Why does it work? What can I learn from this position so that I can see the solution in the future within seconds? It doesn't make sense to do other puzzles when I haven't fully grasped the essence of this position. The how is totally clear by now. System II is totally satisfied. But there is still a whiff of magic hanging

### Simplifying the tree of analysis

Dismissing the king as a viable target was easy, of course. Let's see if we can do the same for the queen. The queen is the next in line in the hierarch of value. White to move 3r2k1/5p2/1p5p/p1qb4/5R2/P1N1p1P1/1P2P2P/2Q3K1 w - - 1 1 [ solution ] A point of pressure must be in contact with two targets (immobility due to lack of time ) OR it must be in contact with an immobile target (due to lack of space ). Otherwise, your opponent has a free move. In this position, only the points of pressure f5 and d1 meet this condition. Which one of them is best? The answer to that is fairly simple. Rf5 adds one attacker to the point of pressure d5 that means that d5 is not outnumbered yet. That gives black a free move to save its pieces. Qd1 adds two attackers to the point of pressure d5, since it unpins the knight. This analysis adds a whole new dimension to the simplification of tactics. You just do not look at a potential point of pressure , but you look for a point

### Quiescence

How do we know if we have reached the end of a specific branch? When we reach quiescence. When there are no captures and no threats anymore in that specific line . In real chess we talk about the evaluation of a position after quiescence has been reached. But we are not talking about real chess here. We are talking about tactics, and the outcome of a puzzle will always be definite. Let's have a look at the same position. What can we discover about the end of a branch. White to move 3r2k1/5p2/1p5p/p1qb4/5R2/P1N1p1P1/1P2P2P/2Q3K1 w - - 1 1 [ solution ] The target is the black king. The most obvious point of pressure is g4. So let's suppose 1. Rg4+ Kf8 is there any capture or threat left against the king ? 2. Rg8+ is simply taken, and another attacker against the king isn't around. So the black king is of the hook. It is not a viable target. Up to the next target. We definitely can prune a branch, based on the fact that there are no  more captures and t

### REDUX Educating the eyes of the vulture

REDUX I originally posted on Oct 28, 2017. It had 55 comments. I have done a few exercises in "vulture mode", lately. It gives a clear idea of what the problem is. White to move 3r2k1/5p2/1p5p/p1qb4/5R2/P1N1p1P1/1P2P2P/2Q3K1 w - - 1 1 [ solution ] I circled above this position for a few hours. I have dived into a few tunnels now and then, but I always managed to get back to circling again. So I could avoid to get stuck in a tunnel. Yet I wasn't able to guide my attention into the right direction. I totally missed the zwischenzug. That perfectly cuts out my work for me. During the flight of the vulture, my attention must be guided by the tree of scenarios . Apparently, almost nothing of the tree has been internalized, so far. Maybe the culprit for that is that I tried to do two things at the same time: developing the tree of scenarios and internalizing it. Now the tree of scenarios has reached some maturity, I can focus on the latter aspect alone. UPDATE

### Slaughtering the vulture

The flight of the vulture seemed such an elegant and neat idea. I tested it extensively, but it didn't show any measurable progression in practice. Apparently this logical idea is a creation that is invented by and for the thinking mind. The gain in quality of analysis, if any, is annihilated by the consumption of extra time. The longer the flight of the vulture, the more the thinking mind is filled with new insights and ideas. The more the thinking mind has to chew on, the easier it is stalling. A stalling mind tends to repeat itself over and over again, and the progress it makes in the actual line of thought that is necessary can easily take hours. Dwelling in tunnels by means of association is possibly the right way for the unconscious mind to do its job. If so, the task for the thinking mind is only to take care that the right tunnel is entered in the first place. The conscious thinking mind makes lists, and is consequently hindered by the items on those very lists which te

### REDUX Developing a sense for the initiative

Originally posted at Dec 13, 2017. REDux added in RED. Now the ToS is simplified, it is time to get a sense for this way of looking to the position. To describe it in those terms. Black to move r3kb1r/2qn1pp1/p4n2/4pNB1/1p3P2/6N1/bPPQ3P/2KR1B1R b kq - 0 1 [ solution ] In terms of the tree of scenarios : Diagnosis: Target: The king and queen look juicy point of pressure :  c2; b3 line of attack : c-file function : c2 defends king and b3 (overworked) immobility: King has Lack of Space; c2 is pinned; K and Q are at a knightforks distance REDUX I I devoted a lot of time in the past with describing the advantages of the flight of the vulture. But is it really so beneficial as I have always advocated? Practice has shown no significant advantageous result. Since I have become allergic for everything that causes the overwhelming of my mind, we maybe must reconsider this. The initiative offers enough handles to prune the branches of the tree of scenarios . Do you really

### Analyzing the analysis

Today I could finally devote a few hours to chess. This is the plan I concocted. I devoted 2017 to unearth the tree of scenarios and the PLF (PoPLoAFun) system. These two things tend to improve the quality of analysis. At the expense of the use of extra time, though. So at the end of the day I didn't get the result I was looking for. The holy grail of chess improvement is the transfer of chess thinking to the unconscious. There are quite a few area's where I managed  to make this kind of transition happen. When it does, the unconscious kicks in and works its magic. For this transition to happen, I needed somewhere between 50 hours and 25 years, depending on the area. Usually there is no relation to what you study and the result the unconscious will come up with. I learned in about 50 hours to drive a car. The magic my unconscious came up with, was to estimate how fast I could go through a bend in the road just by listening to the noise of the engine. I certainly didn&#