Theory: Making decisions in chess

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Theory: Making decisions in chess

Post by Blue Devil Knight on April 15th 2009, 11:23 pm

I just finished the article 'Making Decisions in Chess' (MDC). It is really, really good. The best of the first four I've read so far. The stuff on the qualitative values of pieces is very helpful, the bit on creating localized pockets of increased force, and even the bit on space was very good. Rather than lists or rules with no explanation or justification, this seemed to really get at underlying principles.

I'm sure we'll talk more about MDC but I also wanted to point out that the article on evaluating positions of material equality (PME) is essentially the same topic, but it was almost as if it was written by a different author. It's almost like they went to two masters, said 'Write your thoughts about evaluating a position when material is equal', and one of them produced PME, the other produced MDC. MDC wins. cheers

It would be interesting to think about the relationship between the two articles (this and PME). PME does include more focus on piece coordination that you don't find quite as explicitly here (though it is here implicitly), while MDC does a wonderful job of getting at how to evaluate individual pieces.
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Re: Theory: Making decisions in chess

Post by HangingKing on April 21st 2009, 4:30 pm

I think it's good to have PME and MDC together, it helps integrating the information. Same thing, presented with 2 different ways, i found out it was conforting.

Something i still have difficulties to understand, is the commitment to get high quality placement for the pieces and the next move (in the studied games or diagrams) the piece is going to disapear !

So much efforts, and finally the piece is used right away. In this conditions, the concept of "stability" of outposts is quite unclear to me.

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Re: Theory: Making decisions in chess

Post by Blue Devil Knight on April 21st 2009, 10:32 pm

I see outposts not as an all or none thing, but as having degrees of stability. For instance, a Knight on e5 when the opponent's Knight is on f6 is an outpost, but not guaranteed outpost because if he moves his Knight he can move f6. However, if his f pawn is on f5 (and d pawn on d5), then an outpost on e5 is much stronger.

Further, the e5 square is black, so if his black bishop is gone, your outpost goes up a notch. Finally, if he has neither knight (say it is your knight against his light bishop), then you have what is essentially an absolute outpost on e5. Nothing is knocking him away.

This have been very useful for me in practice.
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Re: Theory: Making decisions in chess

Post by chesstiger on May 5th 2009, 8:09 am

The stability of a square is low if the square can be attacked by a pawn of the opponent.

The stability is reasonable if the square cannot be attacked by a pawn but can be attacked by a piece of the opponent of lesser or even value.

The stability of a square is high when it cannot be attacked by a pawn or a piece of the opponent of lesser or even value.

This is the same for 'stability of an outpost' in which we see an outpost as safe square for one of our pieces (mostly a knight) to have activity/threats in the position of our opponent.

The most important piece of information i found was that the 'qualitive value' of a piece is measured by 'mobility, positioning, role and stability'.
Positioning and stability i could have guessed, even mobility is something one can come up by oneself but not the factor role, atleast i didn't do so in my 20 years of practising chess.
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Re: Theory: Making decisions in chess

Post by Bilbo on May 5th 2009, 12:04 pm

Seeing as you are talking about outposts here, has anyone noticed that several times in the course the ICS guys refer to 'foreposts'?

Are outposts and foreposts the same thing or is there a subtle distinction between the two?

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Re: Theory: Making decisions in chess

Post by fanat on May 5th 2009, 12:29 pm

I think it's the same thing. You have to keep in mind that people who are putting together this notes are not native English speakers and there are typos and grammatical errors pretty often. Not anything bad but once in a while.
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Re: Theory: Making decisions in chess

Post by Blue Devil Knight on May 5th 2009, 2:42 pm

I think their malapropisms are sort of cute Smile They are easy to understand, but just wrong enough to be sort of funny.

In some ways, the idea of 'forepost' is more accurate than 'outpost', as we want a secure post in opponent territory, ideally!

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".

Post by hoopy on May 5th 2009, 3:50 pm

Blue Devil Knight wrote:I think their malapropisms are sort of cute Smile They are easy to understand, but just wrong enough to be sort of funny.

In some ways, the idea of 'forepost' is more accurate than 'outpost', as we want a secure post in opponent territory, ideally!

I think there is an issue of consistency in the proof reading. "Forepost" versus "outpost". Similarly is a rook = 5 pawns and N or B worth 3.5 as per "Piecevalue" or is it 3 and 4.5 as per "making decisions". Whilst this does not affect the quality of the chess training it just gives a level of professionalism & integration that maybe the product doesn't quite have. I may sound like a bit of a moaner but that is just me looking for perfection I suppose!
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Re: Theory: Making decisions in chess

Post by Bilbo on May 7th 2009, 7:55 pm

Ok I've done a little research on the outpost vs forepost conundrum and I think I have found the answer in a book of Efstatios Grivas.

I'll just type here what it says with a little bit of paraphrasing.

A forepost is an outpost on an open file on which we can place a minor piece.

With the use of a forepost we achieve the blocking of a file that we are not immediately able to control. Behind the forepost we can double our rooks or manoeuvre them with complete freedom. At an appropriate moment the forepost can be removed, allowing our rooks to spring into action. If necessary, the file can be blocked again in the same way.


That's from Vol 1 of his Chess College series of books, which I bought at a booksale at my last chess congress and have never read Rolling Eyes

So it seems the key distinction is that a forepost is an outpost specifically on an open file, and where the real intention is to build up pressure and gain total control of the file on which the outpost resides, rather than use the outpost as a springboard for the minor piece which sits on that square.

Now I'll have to go back over the games where ICS use the term forepost and see if they are indeed using the term in such situations.

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Re: Theory: Making decisions in chess

Post by Blue Devil Knight on May 7th 2009, 8:18 pm

That's useful, thanks Bilbo.

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Re: Theory: Making decisions in chess

Post by chesstiger on May 8th 2009, 12:37 am

Ah, so there is more chess terminologie them i could even imagen Thanks for looking it up!
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