Thursday, September 13, 2012

Chess Thinking Processes

When you play games it's a good idea to analyse your thinking processes afterwards. I mean, it's easy to get a computer to check the moves for blunders, but the 3000+ rated silicon tactic master can't correct the way we think about our moves. I played a game on Monday in the MCC Open, and have analysed some of my thinking processes. Take the following position:

White to move

As white in this position, I had 3 candidate moves:

I analysed the most forcing 19.Bxf6 first seeing 19..gxf6 [19..Qxf6 20.Qxf6 gxf6 21.Nd5 seemed good for white] 20.Nd5 winning a pawn by force.

19.Nd5 tries to exploit black's pinned knight, but I looked at 19..Nxd5 20.Bxd8 Nf4 21.Bc4 Qg6.

19.Bc4 Qe5 then seemed to me similar to the first line.

So based on this artificial analysis, I chose 19.Bxf6, winning a pawn in the most forcing way and I went on to win the game. But really, my thinking processes were flawed in a number of ways:

1. I was overly attracted to the most forcing lines which clouded my judgement.

2. After 19.Nd5, I analysed lazily, again taking the forcing line to be gospel.

3. I made assumptions not based on analysis, such as 19.Bc4 being essentially the same as 19.Bxf6.

How can I correct these problems in my games?

Well, identifying problems is the first step. Secondly, I must not make assumptions about positions without doing the work. And finally I must put in the work. Analysing some difficult tactical positions and analysing games generally needs to be something which I undertake more often. And I need to make myself work harder during the games, and not be blinded by the most forcing lines of play.

If any of my thinking problems resonate with you, then try to work out what was wrong with my analysis of the line starting with 19.Nd5? (from the diagram above: 19.Nd5 Nxd5 20.Bxd8 Nf4 21.Bc4 Qg6). What did I miss?

No comments:

Post a Comment