"...a Chessmaster should be a combination of a beast of prey and a monk."

Friday, January 31, 2014

My System Chapter 6

This is an endgame strategy guide.  I think the thing I noticed here are that these really are more strategic concepts.  They aren't for the most part teaching the technique to win in a given position.  The closest he comes is he does discuss the basic idea of what Silman calls the Lucena position.  Basically, building a bridge with your rook to shelter your king and pawn from the enemy rook.

Some of the ideas are in such common circulation that there's not much surprise.  You would be hard pressed for instance to find a chess player who *doesn't* know that the king should be centralized in the endgame.

The other concepts presented are interesting too though.  I thought he did a good job with explaining what it means for a rook to be active or passive and that it's often good strategy to sacrifice a pawn rather than be forced into passivity.  He also gives some clear examples for the knight and the bishop as well.  We also have an explanation of the dictum that the rook belongs behind the passed pawn.  He also gives an explanation, somewhat brief, of the idea of coordination.  Again these are things that are sort of in the air in chess circles and I hear commentators using these terms for instance but it's good to have a bit more definite idea of what they mean.

I think the idea I had the most trouble with was the idea of the "materialisation" of the rank and file.  I'm not quite sure what he means here other than maybe just the exploitation of these things.

The examples in the text seemed quite clear, the games at the end were quite opaque to me.  Again, I think there are things about these example games that are getting through to me, but many of the moves just don't make sense to me.  Some of them I try to analyze and sometimes I will get somewhere but other times I am still left mystified.

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