Thursday, April 19, 2007

A new twist on an old slogan

"If you see a good move, look for a better one," is often attributed to Fine.

I need to remember an even more obvious slogan, "If a move looked good when you imagined it N moves ago, look for a better one on the board in front of you!"

Heisman, it turns out, has already discussed the phenomenon of making a move really quickly just because you thought about it on earlier moves. Here's a snippet (I only include the first two reasons why this is bad):
“If A implies B, and B implies C, then A implies C.”

True in logic and chess, but does this also mean that if you calculate, “If I play move A and he plays B, then I can play C,” then you should quickly play move C following moves A and B?

No!!

Except in special situations, like severe time trouble, playing a move quickly just because you calculated it on the previous move is almost always a big mistake. Here are three reasons:

1. Visualization. No one can visualize a position that is yet to occur as well as they can visualize the position on the board. Good players are almost always perfect, but not quite.

2. When you thought about playing move C earlier, it was just hypothetical. The entire game did not depend on how good C was, only A, since that was the move actually played. If A was a good move but C was bad, then there is no harm done if you have not played C yet. But if you quickly play C just “because I was planning to do it,” then it can cost you the game.

4 Comments:

Blogger Cratercat said...

Thanks BDK. Good things for me to keep in mind for this coming Saturday's tournament.

4/19/2007 03:17:00 AM  
Blogger The Rise and Shine Good Knight said...

Very true

4/19/2007 01:35:00 PM  
Blogger XY said...

"Heisman, it turns out, has already discussed the phenomenon of making a move really quickly just because you thought about it on earlier moves."

I don't do that. I have the opposite problem: I check everything too much (with time trouble, headaches and more as a result).

4/19/2007 05:44:00 PM  
Blogger chessloser said...

great philosophy, very zen. live in the now, the past, while there is evidence of it, is the past, only now matters....

4/19/2007 11:35:00 PM  

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