Sunday, January 28, 2007
Beware the greeks bearing gift.
I remember now why I wanted to study positional play. I mean I studied it at first by pure chance. But after I've completed the circles, I turned my attention to openings and positional play. I didnt just turn my attention to it without reason. There was something I noticed that made me do it. Namely playing chess using pure tactical chances was really double edged. There are two main points regarding this:

a.) One false move and its over:
When you succeed in creating complicated tactical tricks, a great danger accompanying it is that you have to be very precise. One false move, the wrong move order, the wrong variation is almost always fatal.

The margin for error is really that low.

b.) The creation of tactical chances:
I've posed this question before - Where does tactics comes from? Without understanding the answer to this one cant consistently create the situation where combinations exists.

I think I may have a little inkling now of where it comes from.

I am talking about creation of tactics from a balanced position alright. Tactics can come from blunders, or the opponent just not seeing the tactical idea being aimed at him. These requires no thought, only luck. But from a balanced position, and you want to create a position rich with possibilities, what does one do?

This is what you do:

The easiest way to create of tactical opportunities involves a sacrifice somewhere.

When I say sacrifice I'm not talking of a piece sacrifice, or even a pawn sacrifice. But rather I'm talking about the idea of capitulating something in return for an attack. It could be a pawn, or a piece, but it could also be a wreaked pawn-structure, a strategically lost game, a dangerous mutual attack. Something.. If you want fire on board, then be prepared to get burned yourself.

Imagine the City of Troy. The siege lasted for long, long years. The Greeks couldn't break through. They are in a state of balance. So they gave a "gift" to upset the balance and win the war. But the Trojan horse maneuver itself is full of danger. For example, were I the Trojans, I would have burned that horse on the spot - So as not to taint the city with a gift from the hated enemy. So see, there is danger there. They won of course but they could have died a fiery death too.

In a balanced position where the two of you both have a solid structure continuing playing "solidly" will not make the tactics appear. There aint no such thing as a free lunch. One should be prepared to give in order to recieve.

Now, this style of play really wreaks havoc on ratings. I was able to blow 1900 players one day and lose to 1400 players the next. When the tactics works, boy do it works. But when it doesnt, you go down in flames. You get roasted along with your horse so to speak.

So I looked for a way to be consistent in my play. To flatten the sine wave so to speak: This drove me into the arms of positional play.

However, now that I understand somewhat the risks involved, and now that I'm a little ready to sacrifice my rating to try and ditch positional play in favor of pure tactics, I am going back and will try to hone my ability in the "path of pure tactics" so to speak.

(Of course if an outpost, or some positional advantage is staring me in the face, of course I'll take advantage. Flexibility of thought and all that)

So come my enemies, come, I bring gifts for you. My table is ready. Come and partake upon my meat, come and partake upon my drinks.

Come.. come..

posted by Nezha at 8:53 AM | Permalink |