Monday, January 18, 2010

Reassessing my Chess (Part 3)

PART 3: Calculations and Combinations

Introduction:

Promises to introduce Kotov’s method of calculation and a system that allows you to understand when combinations may or may not exist.

Chapter 1: Calculation

How many moves ahead does a GM see? Reti says one move but examples from Alekhine display many, many more. The trick is “you only bother calculating once the correct plan is clear and once you settle upon a plan that helps your plan come to fruition.” Normally you need to at least calculate at least a couple of moves ahead to make sure everything is in order and sometimes you have to look much deeper. Silman uses a couple of his own games as examples and then shows the famous Reti-Alekhine 1929 game. I followed the game in one of my databases with Kasporov’s along with Silman’s analysis. One thing Silman mention that I hadn’t considered before was that in a game with one player attacking queenside and the other kingside, a trade of queens usually helps the player attacking queenside. This seems obvious but the Reti-Alekhine game is an exception.

Silman suggests two things to improve calculation:
1. Go through a GM game collection looking at possible candidate moves and writing down all your analysis in a notebook.
2. Read Kotov’s book “Think Like a Grandmaster.”

Chapter 2: Rules of Combination

For a combination to exist one of these factors must be present:
1. Open or weakened King
2. Undefended pieces