I'm not quite sure how to proceed. So I will just give it a go, and see what I end up with. I'm a bit cautious with reacting to your comments, as you might have noticed, since usually it is easy to start a whole new series of posts on any subject you come up with. I want to stay focused on the faint thoughts that circle from high above through my head, like barely visible vultures. I don't want to let these thoughts fade away into oblivion by the bombardments of thoughts that reacting to all your comments would trigger.
Identify the sitting duck
Starting to look for the piece that is the most restricted in mobility is a good start. There is no doubt about that. It prunes a whole lot of branches from the tree of analysis from the very start. Sofar, I have never seen it failing. In the sense that I never have pruned a branch too many.
Some positions seem not suited
Some positions seem to be more suited for the plf-system than others. I called that the holes in my bucket. Every time I plugged a hole, I discovered that I just didn't apply the system rigorously enough. I just lacked the precision and the ausdauer needed. But never the system let me down. The final solution could always be explained within the boundaries of the system. Even the other motifs like promotion and assault can be described in terms of the plf-system.
While plugging along the holes in my bucket, I couldn't help to get the impression that the amount of scenario's is fairly limited. Maybe the amount is vast, I don't know, but it seems to be finite.
Three types of moves
There are three types of immobility.
But then again, sometimes it is easy, and sometimes it is difficult to envision the next move.
A move will always be designed to exploit the immobility of a target or defender. Since there are three times of immobility, it might go without saying that there are three categories of moves. Each type of immobility will have its own methods of exploitation. Its own set of scenario's.
I want to investigate this further, and I'm going to use a position that is provided by Takchess. So that I answer to at least one comment. Since I don't know what I will find beforehand, I cannot predict whether the position will be suitable for this investigation or not. Anyway, we will find out.
|Diagram 1. White to move|
r1b2rk1/qp3ppp/p3p1n1/8/4N3/1B5R/PP2Q1PP/3R3K w - - 10 23
Sitting duck: black king
Surplus attackers: 3. One to break the fortress by a sac, remaining 2 pieces to deliver mate
Potential king flee: Re8, Kf8, Ke7
We are going for mate, and are happy too when the opponent must give up a piece to prevent it.
points of pressure h7, f7
Of these, h7 is already under attack, and defended only once, while f7 is not under attack yet, and has two defenders.
|Diagram 2. PoPs = yellow. White to move|
lines of attack
- diagonal b3-g8
|Diagram 3. LoAs. White to move|
The main defenders of the black fortress are f7,g7,h7, Ng6
The black knight looks a bit clumsy. Yet it defends h8 and the g-file. We might be able to play around the knight.
After the initial inventory-taking of the main characteristics of the position, we need to identify the secondary target by asking the second question: which defender is the most vulnerable? (the first question, who is the sitting duck?, revealed already the main target, and the main intention of our attack (mate))
g7 is definitely the most important defender. It has two functions:
- In order to keep the h-file closed, h6 must be played at some time. g7 becomes then the defender of the h6 pawn, and is hence responsible for keeping the h-file closed.
- g7 defends f6 against the white knight.
List of candidate moves
So far, we didn't need to calculate anything yet. The important characteristics of the positions are revealed to us by guiding our attention with the plf-method. The question now is: how to exploit the overloaded g7 pawn? Two moves spring to mind:
Qh5 threatens mate in 1, and forces black to push the h-pawn. Thus saddling the g7 pawn with its second function. The g-pawn is now overloaded, and can be exploited.
Here went white astray.
What kind of move is Qh5?
The Q is placed on the line of attack against the point of pressure h7. It is based on the fact that there are not enough pieces to perform the function of defending h7. In stead it must flea into the protection of a low valued defender g7. Adding an extra function to the pawn, and in doing so overloading the g pawn. It is the motif of encirclement.
In a way, the h-pawn seems to suffer from another type of immobility. It is not immobile by itself, but it is cut off from its potential defenders. Blockading pieces prevent defenders to protect h7. The defenders lack space. The queen move exploits that.
|Diagram 4. White to move.|
r1b1r1k1/qp3p2/p3ppnQ/8/8/1B5R/PP4PP/3R3K w - - 1 26
In order to proceed, we must draw the lines of attack again.
|Diagram 5. White to move|
There are two points of pressure (the yellow dots). Which one is the most favorable?
To conquer h7, the black knight must be eliminated. By Bb3 or by Rd1.
4.Bc2 and the black knight can be shielded from the bishop by f5.
Rd1-d3-g3-g6 is too slow.
So white must focus on the point of pressure f7.
f7 is attacked once (indirectly, by the white bishop), and defended once. How can white build up the pressure? White can triple the pressure on f7 by Qh7+ and bringing a rook to the f-file.
Now blacks position starts to crumble. f6 is going to fall, f7 is going to be pinned which gives black the impossible task to defend both its knight and f7, and keep the f-file closed.
Yusupov failed to find the only winning move here (4.Qh7+) and played 4.Rg3. Which is giving away the initiative, and his best hopes now are to draw with an eternal check. Which happened in the game.There is no justification for 4.Rg3 in the plf-system.
From a description of Aox about a certain problem a few posts back, I concluded that his trial and error is much faster than mine, and that that is the reason why he is higher rated than me.
From the fact that a grandmaster could not find the win here, I conclude that he didn't rely on a kind of chess logic like I do here with the plf-system. That might imply that he uses a faster trial and error than I do, and not a superior chess logic. That is why he is grandmaster and I'm not.
When I become better in chess by applying the plf-system, will I be better in the same way as a grandmaster is?
When I wrote about improving in Troyis, I identified two ways to become better.
The first way is by frantically play the game without further thinking about it.
The second way is by inventing a new strategy for Troyis.
The first way was the inspiration for the salt mines. It didn't work out as hoped for, and in the biographies of grandmasters we can't find any indication of grandmasters that improved this way.
The second method, inventing a new strategy, is in fact my inspiration to develop a new strategy for tactics.
The rationale of my idea, is that it takes about 50 lessons of an hour to learn a complex motor skill like driving a car. Somehow, the unconscious needs very little time to work its magic behind the scenes.
Has a grandmaster indeed internalized chess logic at a young age, which he has forgotten he did? In that case the failure of Yusupov is due to the internalization of incomplete chess logic. In that case, there is no difference between my method for adults to become better at chess, and the youngsters method of chess improvement. Or are there two different methods, one for young people and one for adult people? In which case we have still not the slightest clue how young prodigies do it.
The plf-experiment will give us definite clues on this subject.
To be continued after the break.