Thinking patterns and methods


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This is a guideline I created and found very helpful in helping developing chess players in honing their tactics. I hope you'll find it useful too...

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Thinking patterns and methods

  1. 1. Thinking Patterns andMethodsBy Coach NM Roland Joseph Perez"When there are no tactics, followprinciples as best possible, but if thereare tactics, principles are almost bestforgotten"Guidelines in Tactics1. Consider the Aims in Choosing aMove.2. Look for Key Moves (moves that createtactical possibilities) According toForce. These moves in descending orderof force are: [a]check, [b] capture,[c]threat (with an idea of mate ormaterial gain) [d] maneuver and[e] waiting move.3. Think of the different tactical ideas(pin, double attack, fork, etc) that willhelp speed up the solution.4. A sacrifice is involved in tactics most ofthe time.5. Reorder the sequence of moves to getthe correct solution.6. Always look for your opponent’scounter chances against your chosenmoves. Make sure your analysis is notbiased. Blunders occur often due tocarelessness.7. Recheck if your solution is the best one.Look for a better move even if you’veseen a good one. We sometimes foregoa mate when we get contented in gainingsome material advantage in our analysis.Your analysis should have the followingcharacteristics:• Optimum Choices – thenumber of moves to beconsidered should be not somany or not so few. Moveswith greater effect should beprioritized.• Right Depth – variationsshould be examined as far aspossible until the position hasa clear evaluation (i.e. whiteis winning, black is better,position is playable, equal,etc).• Unbiased Scrutiny – thevariations should consider theopponent’s idea, not justyours. Look for refutationsin your analysis as if you areplaying against yourself.• Proper Timing – the speedof calculation and evaluationis crucial. The moveshouldn’t be too fast or tooslow that might result intoblunders or time trouble.1
  2. 2. Aim, Key, Ideas, Sacrifice, Sequence,Opponent, RecheckRemember: A KISS OR …Aims in Choosing a Move(Must be in order)1. MATE or Mating Net.2. Material GAIN.3. Positional ADVANTAGE throughprinciples.4. PROPHYLAXIS or Prevention of youropponent’s idea.** Remember Mate GAP **Diagram 1.1. White to move and wins2. Black to move and winsWhite to move (aim # 1)1. Qxf8+ Kxf8 2. Re8# * (This is called aBack Rank Mate)Black to move (aim # 2)1... Ng3+ 2. Kg1 Nxe4 3. Rxe4 Qxc1+ *Key Moves According to Force1. Check - a direct attack on the kingwhich must be neutralized at once.2. Capture - is the removal of an enemypiece off the board.3. Threat - is a move with the intention ofinflicting mate or material or positionalgain against the opponent.4. Maneuver - is a move that intends toimprove the position or activity of apiece or pieces.Diagram 2 White to move winsShort – Timman ,Tilburg 1991See how the White King maneuvered tomate the Enemy King. From Diagram 2, thegame continues…32. Kg3! Rce8 33. Kf4 Bc8 34. Kg5 ( nextmove of White is Kh6. The game isover)1-02
  3. 3. See Diagram 3 for another example. See ifyou can mate the enemy king usingmaneuvers only. The fastest mate is 6moves.Diagram 3 Black to move5. Waiting Move - is a move that is noncommittal with the intention of lettingthe opponent reveal his idea or forcinghim to commit to an inferior or losingposition.Diagram 4 White to move and winsAlekhine – Nimzowitsch , San Remo 193030. h4 [a waiting move] h5 31. Kh2 g6 32.g3 * White wins. Any Black move losses.Black is in Zugzwang (a position where anymove is fatal). If 32…Ke8 33.b5 winsDiagram 51] White to move & wins2] Black to move & wins3
  4. 4. Let us consider Diagram 5 using theGuidelines in Solving Tactics.Waiting moveManeuver for positioningManeuver for waiting(90127) Lombard,Andre -Kortschnoj,Viktor [E45]Switzerland, 1978[Wells]1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 b6 5.Nge2Ba6 6.Ng3 0-0 7.e4 Nc6 8.Bd3 e5 9.0-0?[As a consequence of this game theory nowpoints out that 9.d5 is not just logical, it isnecessary too.] 9...Nxd4! The start of thetactical sequence, at the end of which blackhas wonderful compensation for a smallmaterial investment. This is the move whichisolates the doubled pawns!! 10.Qa4 Bxc311.bxc3 Ne6 12.Ba3 [12.Qxa6 Nc5-+]12...Bb7! Of course. To exacerbate whitesstructural deficiencies, he is obliged toexchange off the minor piece which couldhave contested some of the most vulnerablesquares. 13.Bxf8 Qxf8-/+ 14.Qc2 Nf4 15.f3Qc5+ 16.Kh1 Ba6 17.Rfe1 Nxd3 As I havesaid before, however ugly it may be, the badbishop can provide defense to the weakpawns, and it is important not to be toosqueamish in converting types of advantage.18.Qxd3 Bxc4 19.Qd2 Be6 20.Nf5 Bxf521.exf5 d6 22.Rab1 a5 23.c4 Re8 24.Qb2h5 25.Qb5 Qd4 26.Qc6 Re7 27.h3 h4 28.c5Qxc5 29.Qa4 Qf2 30.Rf1 Qg3 31.Rb3 Qg532.Re1 Nh5 33.Qg4 Ng3+ 34.Kh2 Qf635.f4 e4 36.Qg5 Qxg5 37.fxg5 Nxf5 0-14