Thursday, June 7, 2012

Seeds of Tactical Destruction

I am putting together a chess class for this summer of 5 sessions with the ambition to cover all of chess tactics.

No, really, I want to explain it all.

At least a way to classify it all.

One three hour session will be built around Dan Heisman's "Seeds of Tactical Destruction", which he has talked about in a few Novice Nook articles. Seeds are indicators that a combination may be available. This is his list from one article:
  • Loose (unguarded) pieces - "Loose Pieces Drop Off" = LPDO
  • Pieces that can easily be attacked by enemy pieces of less value
  • One or more pieces than can be attacked via a "discovered attack"
  • Weak back rank
  • Pinned or "skewerable" pieces along the same rank, file, or diagonal
  • Pieces (or squares) vulnerable to Knight forks
  • Overworked pieces (pieces guarding more than one piece or square) 
  • Inadequately guarded pieces
  • Falling way behind in development (overwhelming opponent forces)
  • Pawns nearing promotion
  • King uncastled or lost pawn protection with Queens on the board
  • Open enemy lines for Rooks, Queens, and Bishops to your King
  • Pieces that have little mobility and might easily be trapped if attacked
  • A large domination of one side's forces in one area of the board
I have been working on organizing and distilling this list and concept. I particularly wanted to reinforce the idea of targets (King, material, squares). Some of the seeds mention pieces or king when the idea is generalizable to targets.
  1. Forkable targets--be sensitive to all fork geometries
    1. Knight
    2. Queen
    3. Pawn
    4. Bishop and rook
    5. Even the king
  2. Targets (yours and his) in a line 
    1. Pins
    2. Skewers
    3. Xrays
    4. Discoveries
  3. Un/Under guarded targets
    1. LPDO-loose pieces drop off
    2. King is always unguarded
    3. Removable defenders
    4. Overworked pieces point to underguarded targets
    5. Zugswang is overworking of all your opponents pieces
  4. Exposed high value targets make for forcing moves--check them
    1. Exposed king
    2. Early queen development
    3. Targets attackable by lesser value
    4. Weak back rank
    5. Weak 7th rank
  5. Exposed targets with little mobility
    1. King always has little mobility
    2. Pinned pieces have little mobility
    3. Overloaded pieces have little mobility
    4. Squares cannot move
  6. Domination of force
    1. Development advantage
    2. Domination on one of three sides of the board (kingside, center, queenside)
    3. Three plus pieces pointed toward king
  7. Advanced pawns
  8. Your piece in trouble may make a good desperado
I intend to update this post as I refine my list

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