Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Kinetic Linking

Kinetic linking is the way in which a boxer plants his feet and makes you feel the force of the ground in his punch. I was recently talking to a mentee and mistakenly thought the term was "chaining". I have not always been a fan of studies and problems. Of course I usually recommend Chess Tempo and Reinfeld's 1001 Winning Chess Combinations and Sacrifices. The positions look normal. To add the element of composition tends to create an artificial feeling and a sense of impracticality to over-the-board play. However, as a chess player, I recognize the need to improve my calculation ability. I usually use the computer as the gold standard with its full width-depth search and evaluation. Of course, we humans have a much slower and less thorough engine and it has been argued that we were successful at playing chess before the engine even existed. Why emulate it? Still, in the matter of perfection of analysis, it is now easy to see where humans miss things that the computer sees. Hidden resources. So I tend to reference Charles Hertan who tries to get us to calculate with Forcing Chess Moves using what he calls "computer eyes". In 1925, Leonid Kubbel published his collection of 150 Endgame Studies. They had no computers, but they did have sheer human grit and imagination. The endgame study often shows surprising resources and I believe it helps me to increase my imagination and therefore my breadth of vision on a given ply. It also helps to train my depth of calculation, especially if I try to solve the initial diagram without moving the pieces.

I didn't find Kubbel initially. A. J. Roycroft has a book called "The Chess Endgame Study: A Comprehensive Introduction." In it, diagram 13 on page 34 shows the following diagram which is #150 of Kubbel's book and also serves as the front cover:

The process of solving this study involves chaining together idea after idea until each side has played 6 more or less forced moves. Then the hard part is allowing Black a fairly safe looking formation only to break it open with a wild tactical possibility that actually works out. I think this study trains both depth and width and epitomizes my current search for clarity in my calculating ability. I'm probably missing out on complex tactics while I avoid Chess Tempo, but, oh well, this is what gives me fun at the moment.

SOLUTION: 1.Ne3++ Kg3 2.Qg4+ Kf2 3.Qf4+ Ke2/e1 4.Qf1+ Kd2 5.Qd1+ Kc3 6.Qc2+ Kb4 7.Qb2+ Nb3 (7...Ka5 8.Nc4+ Ka6 9.Qb6#) 8.Qa3+!! Kxa3 (8...Kb5 9.Qxe7) 9.Nc2#

1 comment:

Todd Bryant said...

This Qb2-a3 idea is pretty sick!

I calculated the same as you, after getting stuck in the dead end of 1.Ne5 for a long time (I was sure for a while that the final position would be black Kc3, white Ne5 Qb2). I missed this Qa3 shot, but I think I found a more boring solution:

7.Qd2+ Kb5 (7...Ka3/b3 8.Qb2#) 8.Qe2+ and OMG as I am typing this I realize Black can save the game by 8...Nd3!!

Dude I am playing my first tournament in several months tomorrow (US Team East). Wish me luck!!!