Saturday, January 13, 2007
Art Of Calculation II
I was watching the corus tournament just now, and I find the pace of the game really slow. Its been over an hour and most of them are only on about move 20. Now, what are these people doing. In Kramnik's case, he's thinking of going to the john, but for the others? Maybe they're thinking "Maybe he'll get bored and drop a piece if I move slowly. Choo Choo!". Or perhaps like me, they think about sunny beaches and girls on bikinis when they go to work? And chess is their work right?

Well they might be doing that. Who knows. When I look at Topalov's eyes it reminds me of someone who spent 500,000 hours on the beach memorizing all the bikini brand known to man.

But just a wild guess, maybe for at least a fraction of that time, they're calculating variations?

Anyway - analyzing some of my games there are a lot of factors why I lose. Passive play, positional bungling, etc. But the greatest hindrance to my play is "Not Checking" for opponents tactics. I mean sure I pay attention to it. But if I see that it seemingly doesnt threaten anything, I disregard it and play my move.

However, most of the time a seemingly safe move was just the pre-requisite to a particularly nasty tactic. Its funny because, I myself play such moves. Lots of times I go "You thought that move had no purpose eh!? Well, I've got your purpose right here! QxH7# - Ahahaha!! Cho choo!!"

If I can just see the simple threats of my opponents I suspect I'll add that mythical 400 points to my rating. But figuring out the opponents intention is hard work. Its done by being concrete. By stepping into the tree of analysis. There is no escaping it. General principles can only get one so far. But no matter how good I am positionally or tactically, if I cant see my opponents threats(via calculation), I wont get anywhere.

Now as I've said I've been trying to train this via playing long games. But I find myself wandering. I want to think chess, but my mind goes to the sea, by the bay. Sigh. I hope I can maintain my concentration more and more. I will be happy even if its only about 80% of the time.

And even in my best days I still miss things. Yes its true, the mind is not built to see everything. Even some GM we know falls into 1-move mates, who am I to surpass that? But still, one does what one can to assure the probability of success goes high.

Trying to win by trying to calculate everything is like trying to win the lottery by buying as much number as possible. Youre still not guaranteed to win, but you have the guarantee that you have the most chances of winning.

And having the best chance possible is all I can ask for.

Thats like real life. With our carefully laid plans we steer the future towards our visions. But in the end all one is given are chances.


Just give me one.

Choo Choo..

posted by Nezha at 6:58 AM | Permalink |


  • At 10:30 PM, Blogger Temposchlucker

    I want to think chess, but my mind goes to the sea, by the bay.

    Impressive. You must have a very fast mind. My mind is so slow that there is no time to think about anything else. Are there more fellow bloggers around who think less than 100% of the time about chess during a game?

  • At 4:14 PM, Blogger generalkaia

    I certainly don't think about 100% chess throughout the game, because half the time i'm also doing my homework. but i do my best to concentrate as much as possible on the game. :)

  • At 6:12 AM, Blogger Fierabras

    Strangely enough one of the fastest moving GM's, Anand, is the one who seems to be thinking of other things because he looks around a lot. I watched them play the first 2 rounds and they seem very focused, in deep calculation mode.