Sunday, November 7, 2010


I've just come across an interesting remark made by a supposedly non-competitive chess player in that you will need "need the tools of developed judgement, understanding and advanced thinking skills" to come up with possibilities to save yourself when you are in trouble in a game. 

This is under the scope of Technical Evaluation. Highly interesting because I am still trying to fathom the author's intent in the previous statement, as he has often renounced the importance of having the technical knowledge but rather the need of maintaining the right emotional balance to solve problems on the chessboard. What I find issue here is that much of the emotional stress that is generated is often in the player not having found the solution to his problem at hand in the first place. This can be address through good preparation in the realm of analysis of the players own games by discovering his faults and actively correcting them.

After following the TV series "House", I've come to realise that the gruff and eccentric Doctor is purely a man with a good logical deductic set of thinking skills to arrive at his diagnosis. In the panel of doctors with him, most of them will have the knowledge he has but what distinguishes is his cool, calculating ability to remove the possibilities one by one till he zeroes in on the cause of  the problem. He will investigate even domestic living patterns of the patient to sieve out behaviours which may cause an ailment. So the detective in the Doctor often solves the mystery rather than just having tons of medical knowledge. But then, its still the knowledge required to eliminate the right possibilites.

Developed judgement comes in chess through the huge amount of analysis of games where the object is to find the correct solution to any problem in the position at hand. What matters is the thinking process of selecting the right set of moves played and responses by the opponent to arrive at a plausible outcome. The thing that separates the amateur from the master in this regard is the EVALUATION of the final position when all tactical possibilities are exhausted. The master is able to use his vast databank of outcomes he has experienced from analysing similar positions to know what would be the outcome of his position after analysis is done. As to the ADVANCED THINKING SKILLS, it is nothing more than the derivation of moves based on a move-selection algorithm which all top-players will have developed. Perhaps the reader can refer to Charles Hertan's move selection process outlined in the chapter " The Hertan Hierarchy" in the book The Chess Instructor 2009, a book I have persuaded my learned friend across the Causeway to read but to no success. Perhaps I have better luck with you, dear enlightened readers, to try.

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