Monday, September 27, 2010

Another question for the technical analysts

Was called away. So while I try to catch up, I would like to pose this question. Here is Jimmy's analysis of Mok's game here.

Now in this scenario, can we say that Mok probably know the technicalities involved in resolving this end game problem? Say if he was given it as a puzzle while he is having coffee at home?

I want to now invite the readers to participate. In any one tournament, how many lost games would you attribute to a lack of technical knowledge? What I mean is that you do not have the knowledge to solve the problem. And how many games would you attribute to a "slip of the mind"? Be honest now. No one can see your thoughts apart from yourself.


  1. Raymond,

    I don't think you understand the intricacies of chess-playing at competition level vs casual playing with no pressure from the clock.

    If one has no time limit and can move the pieces, I am sure it is not difficult to derive the solution of the position at hand. However, with the clock ticking, much depends on the player's experience, knowledge of the positions that he can steer the game into his advantage vs his opponent's opportunities to do otherwise.

    As opposed to chess puzzles where there is usually 1 forced sequence of moves, I would say that the position Mok faces is not so clear cut. There may be rules to govern the dos and do nots but calculating this to a win takes some time in formulating a strategical plan to win. This is where humans tend to do better than computers. The computers may not give a definite answer as well when crunching numerous possibilities, let alone a human with a fix time period to do it.

    I do not understand what you mean by a slip of the mind. In the case of the game, the endgame winning position has to be pictured in the chess-player's head and what he has to do is to make use of his knowledge to derive the path leading to the winning position.

    World Champion Jose Capablanca had that gift - he can schematically see the right squares for the pieces to derive the winning position. His talent is of course immeasurable. Lesser mortals like us will need to plod on in search of that know-how and try to derive answers to any chess problem from calcuating possibilities, tap on our inherent theoretical knowledge to get the answer.

    If the position was a theoretical win then one can surely demonstrate the win if he knows it.

    An example : One of Singapore's female players was made to play an endgame of Bishop,Knight and K vs lone K and won it within 50 moves. Credit does go to her and the coaches who taught her that. In this scenario, not knowing what to do will mean that the opponent will get a draw as the winning party will not be able to execute the win within 50 moves.

  2. Thank you John. I will attempt to answer you but in my main postings. Try to maintain an open mind.

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  4. Thank you for a good evaluation. It is my believe that a deeper understanding into how the mind works and the correct training can increase the chance of the player seeing these possibilities.

  5. Of course. All this is obvious. For better understanding, please read Kasparov's "How Life Imitates Chess". One of the best chess books I have read.

  6. Do you realise that you are behaving like a petulant child? Try reading the inner child work. You may find it helpful.

  7. No need for personal attacks. I see your main advice is to get others to keep their minds open but somehow, I am not sure if you are keeping your mind open to what people are saying. You can read it, but you are not understanding the message. I can understand why Jimmy is so frustrated. But Kasparov has explained whatever that you said very clearly in his book. If I may assume, I believe Kasparov is a much better expert at how a chess player's mind works compared to you. You may be a mind trainer for the general mind, but Kasparov is one of the greatest chess minds and I am inclined to believe that what is says is "truer" than what you say.

  8. Nobody is attacking you ninja. I am merely pointing out that in an adult discourse we articulate our points of view as best as we understand it. A child refers to someone else because he has no opinion he can express with confidence. I would like to listen to your reasoning.