Forcing Sequences

I’m trying to make this my new style, and it’s practically straight out of the MDLM pdf.

It’s working well, this latest fad try. I just had to post because who the heck dismantles a French Exchange var, as Black, in 18 moves? It’s not right, I tell ya. šŸ˜‰ Tactics triumphing a typical vanilla strategy by White. It’s not always best play, but I feel it is most important for me to improve tactically/calculatorial than any other, so I’ve adopted this style.


Below is a comment I wrote down yesterday, I’ll post it here:

Title: Move selection process

First, check your moves, can you or your opponent single-attack? Can either player double-attack, particularly after your own candidate move? Do this first because it saves time and is less likely to lead to distractions or flights-of-fantasy.

Everything that you “know” about chess should have been intuitively absorbed already, so this isn’t part of the process of checking your moves.

The reason to check for tactics first is that it’s natural for the human mind to superimpose strategy (order) over the “chaos” on the board. When you super-impose strategy, it’s actually more of an artificial, abstract, overlay concept than the direct threats and tactics at hand. The human brain naturally wants to superimpose order, and use intution and subconscious knowledge to guide and give meaning to what is happening on the board. BUT a knight-fork is a knight-fork, and a check is a check, and a double-attack is a double-attack, regardless of the themes (theme being a human invention) of what is occuring at the board.

My landlord is an engineer; he told me read that when babies are born, they do not have much depth perception, it is actually something the brain learns. IOW, the brain naturally tries to super-impose meaning. In this case, the meaning is quite useful. They have done tests with kids and monkeys in regards to learning. Monkeys learn what is actual, what is real, only do something if it makes sense. Children will actually retain useless/irrelevant information that they are taught (probably because they know they are subconsciously trying to please the teacher, not just do the thing). People naturally super-impose meaning, but I think chess is really mainly about spotting the tactics that are there, and then calculating them. And yet, it is true that you can “guide” yourself into a win using knowledge, particularly when you have more knowledge/understanding than the other player, and neither of you are playing tactically superior to the other.

If you wonder why I came up with this post, it’s importance, the other day I was playing a “1988” player on FICS at the time (he disconnected, so I won afterwards), but he hung a rook. I knew he had to move the rook initially, but began thinking about the move he actually made. About 2 minutes later I needed to know where his rook was going, was it going to attack or defend, it could not do both. Then I realized, wait a minute, whose move is it?? He never moved his rook, I can simply take with pawn. Funny because even when I was analyzing I was thinking, “well, he has to move his rook since it’s under attack”. Doh!


5 thoughts on “Forcing Sequences

  1. I teach my students to use this little thoughtproces:

    1. Am i in check? Can he put me in check the next move?
    2. Are any of my pieces attacked? Are they defended well enough?
    3. Can i capture any of my opponent pieces for free? Does it allow my opponent a combination?
    4. Do i have a combination?

    If no on the above questions one develops a (undeveloped) piece to a better square.

  2. That’s another good way of putting it, Chesstiger.

    My FICS rating is picking back up, going with simple attacking schemes. It’s funny how even when I’ve hardly or never played a simple attacking variation, I seem to win much more easily than something overly sophisticated which I have much knowledge of.

  3. Yes, simple stuff should be first. Strange, that we see right away the stuff like back rank mate, even 2-3 moves, not one, but miss other things. That back rank mate is imprinted in our brains, I remember my kid doing it momentarily and winning the playoff and first place. So, the rest should be the same, we can’t advance without it. I agree with you, it seems ridiculous to think about some strategic plan, like blockading or attacking an isolated pawn and then miss a simple strike.

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