Friday, December 31, 2010

Pattern recognition

"If you were to visit a chess tournament and watch a grandmaster in action, you would be able to observe a surprising range of emotions. Sometimes, in apparently simple positions, the grandmaster might lapse into lengthy periods of concentration, where ten minutes or more might be spent on a move. At other times the moves will come very quickly, even in complicated positions. You might even be shocked if the grandmaster suddenly wins the game with a lengthy and brilliant mating sacrifice - after thinking for just a few seconds. Clearly the analytical process is not always directly related to how complicated the position is on the surface.
The reason for this is pattern recognition. If the grandmaster can recall similar positions encountered in the past, the same themes and concepts might be applicable to the game in hand. This makes it much easier and quicker to analyse a position. It especially applies to the most basic attacking formations around the enemy king. Once a known motif is spotted, the moves of the potential combination are analysed to check that it does indeed work in the particular position on the board.
It is clear then that chess analysis is a mixture of calculation of individual moves and pattern recognition". (Murray Chandler, How to Beat Your Dad at Chess)




Chess Tactics for Kids 
Book at Amazon   PDF excerpt 

How to Beat Your Dad at Chess 
Book at Amazon   PDF excerpt
Understanding Chess Tactics     
Book at Amazon   PDF excerpt        
A video about pattern recognition:                   


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About me

I played my first chess game in December 1977 and was lucky to hold draw. I continued to play chess and joined a chess club in September 1978. I'm still enjoying playing chess. I like to do many other things than playing chess. Long walks, some jogging, cycling, reading books, listen to music, watch movies, writing and much more. Life is fun!