Long view process enables response to technology forces in
The page reviews how complex systems can be analyzed.
The resulting analysis supports evaluation of system
The analysis enables categorization of different events into
The analysis helps with recombination of the models to enable
The page advocates an iterative approach including support from models.
In the complex
The complex adaptive system (CAS)
nature of a value delivery system is first introduced. It's a network
of agents acting as relays. environments typical
of business, measurement systems are limited, so rapidly
changing situations appear chaotic provides an explanation for the apparently random period between water droplets falling from a tap. Typically the model of the system is poor and so the data captured about the system looks unpredictable - chaotic. With a better model the system's operation can be explained with standard physical principles. Hence chaos as defined here is different from complexity. .
With the environment changing dramatically from
The critical nature of hub agents and the difficulty of altering
an aligned network is reviewed.
The nature of and exceptional opportunities created by platforms are discussed.
Finally an example of aligning a VDS is presented.
time to time the most effective
response is a
Carlo Rovelli resolves the paradox of time.
Rovelli initially explains that low level physics does not
- A present that is common throughout the universe does not exist
- Events are only partially ordered. The present is
- The difference between past and future is not foundational.
It occurs because of state that through our blurring appears
particular to us
- Time passes at different speeds dependent on where we are and how fast we travel
- Time's rhythms are due to
the gravitational field
- Our quantized physics shows neither
space nor time, just processes transforming physical
- Fundamentally there is no time. The basic equations
evolve together with events, not things
explains how in a physical world without time its perception can
- Our familiar time emerges
- Our interaction with the world is partial, blurred,
- The ignorance determines the existence of thermal time
and entropy that quantifies our uncertainty
- Directionality of time is real
but perspectival. The entropy of the world in
relation to us increases with our thermal time. The
growth of entropy distinguishes past from future: resulting in
traces and memories
- Each human is a
unified being because: we reflect the world, we
formed an image of a unified entity by
interacting with our kind, and because of the perspective
- The variable time: is one
of the variables of the gravitational field.
With our scale we don't
register quantum fluctuations, making space-time
appear determined. At our speed we don't perceive
differences in time of different clocks, so we experience
a single time: universal, uniform, ordered; which is
helpful to our decisions
This page introduces the complex adaptive system (CAS) theory
frame. The theory provides an organizing framework that is
used by 'life.' It can be used to evaluate and rank models
that claim to describe our perceived reality. It catalogs
the laws and strategies which underpin the operation of systems
that are based on the interaction of emergent
agents. complex adaptive one.
John Holland's framework for representing complexity is
outlined. Links to other key aspects of CAS theory
discussed at the site are presented.
Chess has a small set of rules, a limited environment and
constrains each participant to moving in turn. However,
until the analysis by Aaron
Nimzowitsch of why he lost certain games led to a
new theory of the nature of a Pawn blockade he could find no
consistent body of theory effectively explaining the forces
acting on the central squares of a chess board. Advancing
theory and practice must be understood by the player. An
understanding that is developed and refined over time as new
Agents use sensors to detect events in their environment.
This page reviews how these events become signals associated
with beneficial responses in a complex adaptive system (CAS). CAS signals emerge from
the Darwinian information model. Signals can indicate decision summaries and level of
uncertainty. associations are made and others
become questioned. Examples include: Vukovic's analysis (SWOT)
of a famous Alekhine Botvinnik Sicilian Dragon.
Business has many more degrees of freedom, and any situation is
also open to many interpretations. When constraining
future actions with a plan it is as well to have some idea of
the forces, and
This page discusses the methods of avoiding traps. Genetic
selection and learning to avoid traps are reviewed. traps, that are
governing the situation so that the significance of the various
aspects can be assessed.
Walter Shewhart's iterative development process is found in many
complex adaptive systems (CAS).
The mechanism is reviewed and its value in coping with random
events is explained. iterative analysis and re-appraisal
of strategy relevance based on scenario match to signals
from, and actions in, the market in practice & theory
provides an opportunity to adapt to shifting conditions while
generally maintaining direction.
Strategic analysis based on interpretation of long
view scenarios and
Agents use sensors to detect events in their environment.
This page reviews how these events become signals associated
with beneficial responses in a complex adaptive system (CAS). CAS signals emerge from
the Darwinian information model. Signals can indicate decision summaries and level of
provides useful associative opportunities for action oriented
programs. The approach has much to recommend it.
Models aid analysis
Below are some analyses that aim to set the scene and provide
reference for strategic evaluation. The analyses include:
The development of
The agents in complex adaptive
systems (CAS) must model their
environment to respond effectively to it. Evolution's
schematic operators and Samuel
modeling together support the indirect recording of past
successes and their strategic use by the current agent to learn
how to succeed in the proximate environment. models
encapsulating the experience gained in the local environment
help the process of evaluation, categorization and
A highly effective mechanism for building success involves leverage
of an amplifier, or enzyme in biochemistry. Infrastructure
often provides this facility: Hospital processes enable virus
transmission and dissemination; Press allows political idea
definition and distribution.....
This page reviews the catalytic
impact of infrastructure on the expression of phenotypic effects by an
agent. The infrastructure
reduces the cost the agent must pay to perform the selected
action. The catalysis is enhanced by positive returns.
control of flow through
infrastructure at these amplifiers is typically a significant
In chess endgames the King is brought to a position of power by use
of a bridge to a shelter (1
). For leaders the education of their people to associate each
positive position and its prestige only with the leader seems
equivalent (1 ).
Reabsorption of resources from cancelled businesses is a key
amplifier in the original HP model (
Flows of different kinds are essential to the operation of
complex adaptive systems (CAS).
Example flows are outlined. Constraints on flows support
the emergence of the systems.
Examples of constraints are discussed.
Alfred Chandler Strategy &
Part of Chandler's history of industrial
development in USA included reference to the nature of
the consolidation that
took place between 1866 & 1900.
The decision making process described by Williamson is not totally
rational. It is a more realistic framework than the old
rational model (1,
) but there are a lot of careers and theories that are based on
Memetics Susan Blackmore
tmm c15 Religions
Blackmore details the memetic
'tricks' that religions use to create powerful reinforcement:
- the answers trick
- the truth trick
- the beauty trick
- the altruism trick
- the faith trick
The great religions are recorded as texts, & instantiated in
Basil Liddell Hart -
Grand Strategy lens: The long term aim of grand strategy must be -
a prosperous and secure peace. The approach -
Understanding of the Interplay of mental, moral & physical
spheres in war. Vision
to select the line of approach, diplomacy and psychology which
cost less and more directly affect the leaders than physical
engagement, to enable him to surmount obstacles.
The true purpose of strategy is to diminish
the possibility of resistance. And from this follows another
ensure attaining an objective one should have alternative
objectives. An attack that converges on one point should
threaten, and be able to diverge against another. Only by
this flexibility of aim can strategy be attuned to the uncertainty
of war. Hart argues that
mental and procedural rigidity create opportunities for indirect
attacks. Psychological flexibility is essential in the
dynamic of war. Inducing the enemy to separate his troops
violates the principle of concentration (Mongol
- Logistical combination of the organization. De broglie
created the military
divisions (self-contained & independent strategic
parts). Napoleon built a winning combination based
on revolutionary spirit, faster marching pace and the
divisional form which enabled tactical sense and initiative of
the individual. Threat
to the strategic flank: Scipio used speed to attack one group
before others could be moved to combine (1,
). Pinning one army while a second is attacked.
Attacking up through the lines of communication (1,
) to force a fight on his terms(1,
) or to stop a strengthening retreat. (Make
ones self master of the communications - Napoleon).
The principle of
security (secure your base). Hart comments, "an offensive,
whether strategical or tactical, must operate from a secure
base--this is one of the cardinal axioms of war. 'Basis'
would perhaps be a better term, for 'base' is apt to be
construed too narrowly, whereas truly it comprises security to
the geographical base, both internal and external, as well as
security of supply and of movement" (1,).
observation and control "'Scipio took part in the battle, but
ensured his safety as far as possible, for he had with him
three men carrying large shields, who, holding these close,
covered the surface exposed to the wall and so afforded him
protection. ...Thus he could see what was going on and being
seen by all his men he inspired the combatants with Great
Spirit. The consequence was that nothing was omitted
which was necessary in the engagement, but the moment that
circumstances suggested a step to him, he set to work at once
to do what was necessary'. In modern war no feature has
told more heavily against decisive results than the absence of
a commander's personal observation and control. Scipio's
method, viewed in the light of modern science, may suggest a
way to revive this influence. "
- Indirect attack. To be
truly indirect a strategy must be
- To the line of least resistance
- To the line of least expectation
- Liddell Hart illustrates the key process of indirect
attack well in his expose of Scipio Africanus. " His
first step was to restore and fortify the confidence of his
own troops, and allies, his next was to attack that of his
enemies, to strike not at their flesh but at their moral Achilles heel.
His acute strategical insight, in a day when strategy, as
distinct from battle tactics, had hardly been born, made him
realize that Spain was the real key to the whole
struggle. Spain was Hannibal's real base of
operations; there he had trained his armies, and thence he
looked for his reinforcements".
'the moral is to the physical as three to one'. While
the strength of an opposing force or country lies outwardly
in its numbers and resources, these are fundamentally
dependent upon stability of control, morale, and
supply. To move along the line of natural expectation
consolidates the opponent's balance and thus increases his
resisting power. In war, as in wrestling, the attempt
to throw the opponent without loosening his foothold and
upsetting his balance results in self-exhaustion, increasing
in disproportionate ratio to the effective strain put upon
- Hart believes strongly that effective indirect strategies
will leave the opponents
and their armies off-balance and dislocated. Jenghiz
use of mobility to bring multiple armies to attack the
same objective in a series of surprise encounters
overcame much larger forces. Manstein's
strategy left the Allied forces and mind of the high
commanders dislocated, as they struggled to cope with the
dire results of their uncompetitive ideas. Leaping at the bait of Halder's Belgium
strategy exposed the flank of the Allied armies. The
Allied high command's notion of logistics inhibited
understanding the actions of the German armies. The German strategists
were very aware
of the power of natural obstacles and relied on the
bait to move the Allies from their strongholds.
- Guerrilla warfare
reverses many strategic approaches used with conventional
armies. It depends on limits
force to space of the opposing army. Its
techniques were proliferated by Allied policy in the second
world war, in the support of resistance movements. Hart
is very wary of its use.
- Reassess your chess
- The reassess your chess mastering
Silman asks how to decide on a plan,
when you have limited experience? He agrees with C.J.S Purdy
that a competitive plan will need a process of the form:
- What move should I consider? At this point this question is probably
unanswerable but the value is if there are only one or two
alternatives the rest of the process can be ignored.
- Assess how has his last move changed the position? What are
his threats? What are his objectives?
Complete your search if not already done.
- Do not search for a defense to the threat but a way to
Have I a good combination?
- Silman adds - Assess the imbalances.
- Assess material (two
Bishops (1, ), Bishops
of opposite color, Pawn majorities;)
- King positions (Is one of the Kings exposed, Are there a
lack of flight squares?)
and strengths (Weak Pawns (1, ), weak squares(1, 2, ),
confined pieces , lack of space;)
- Development (For Purdy a
tempo is worth a quarter of a center Pawn and half a flank
- Where could either side break through? open files (1, )
If the answer to 4 isn't yes what is my best plan?
- jump moves;
- stale mate.
- How can I exploit his weaknesses, establish my strengths (1, ), eliminate my
weaknesses and reduce his strengths. Now reconsider 1
- the answer should be easier to discover.
- I am considering a certain move
It is his turn to move
- Visualize the move as though made
- Does it leave me vulnerable to a combination?
- make a reconnaissance, as in my
to move, to be completed when he has made his
- Visualize the position after this or that likely move and
proceed as in my turn to move.
Silman sees Imbalances
as key to
building a good competitive plan. An imbalance is a
difference between the White and Black positions. To make an
assessment Silman states:
- Take note of the differences in the position (i.e. all the
imbalances that exist, not being partial to one side or the
- Figure out the side of the board you wish to play on
(queenside, center, or Kingside). You can only play
where a favorable imbalance or the possibility of creating (1, ) a favorable
- Find all the candidate moves that allow your side to make
use of a major imbalance or series of imbalances. A
candidate move should always be directed at your positive
imbalances unless you're being forced to play a purely
- Finally, calculate the candidate moves you've chosen.
Imbalances: a crash
The correct way to play chess is to create an imbalance and try to
build a situation in which it is favorable to you. An actual
check mate would follow once your opponent is helpless, or if the
imbalances insist on an early Kingside attack that is the right
List of imbalances:
- Superior Minor Piece which will depend on the structural
situation that develops
- Pawn structure: doubled Pawns, isolated Pawns, backward
Pawns, passed Pawns etc...
- Space - annexation of territory on the chess board
- Material - owning the pieces of greater value
- Control of a key file or square
- Development - a lead in development gives you more force in
a specific area of the board. Opponent will eventually
- Initiative - dictating the tempo of a game. This can
also turn out to be a temporary imbalance.
Pandolfini - Chess concepts
A key aspect of tactics is to understand how
can be used in combination. Bruce shows how:
- All good moves contain more than one element: Immediate
threats, Immediate defenses, or threats of either.
- Sharp tactics require experience, or computer assistance, to
recognize the significance of all the potential sequences and
- Kings and outside passed-Pawns can work together to open a
path for the King. Hence it should be understood how to
predictably create outside passed-Pawns via a 2 to one Pawn
- Moves like the "lucena" position demonstrate how Rook and King
can build a bridge to protect one another.
- Doubled Rooks are
more than twice as powerful as two Rooks operating
independently. Their natural hunting ground is on
the 7th rank where the enemy Pawns
sacrifices enable the penetration of the 7th rank.
- Two Bishops are deadly on an open-board. Recognize
powerful future structures AND dynamic combinations that can be
- A key aspect to winning may be to draw some of the defenders
out of position and into a subsequent skewer or pin.
Pawns and pieces can force the structure of board to be as is
desired. The King is often forced to move to a focal-point
square by checking with a sacrifice.
- In chess piece combinations: Pawn, Knight or Bishop covering a
Queen check are very powerful against the King, since it can't
move into check to take the checking piece. The Queen's
attack is very powerful since it removes so many of the King's
- In the
opening one goal is to maximize options. Hence pieces with
fewer options are moved first. Pawns and Knights have few
options so they are moved early. This provides the maximum
opportunity to leave the other player on the horns of a dilemma.
also sequences of deployment that inhibit themselves. In
chess an example is the development of the King's Bishop in
front of the Queen's Pawn - blocking it in and hence the Queen's
Steinitz Logistical Chess Strategy
It was Steinitz who first pointed out that careful development of
the chess board can create powerful synergies and limit options for
the opponent. Against tacticians careful strategic
development will constrain them. Steinitz's deliberate
development of Pawn structures, covered by other Pawns and major
pieces introduced strategy to chess.
Steinitz initial idea was in the defensive properties of his cramped
but un-weakened positions. He aimed to refute the gambits of
the combinative school and so he had to pioneer the theory of the
defense. "Many tempting and successful sacrifices turned out
to be incorrect. I came to the conviction that sound defense
demands far less expenditure of energy than attack. In general
an attack has chances of success only when the opponent's position
is already weakened. Since then my thinking has been aimed at
finding a simple and sure way of weakening the enemy position.
Steinitz proposed a theory
of accumulated small advantages. He used this to develop new
Opening and middle game strategies including the Steinitz
of the French defense.
Steinitz's rules included:
- Value of a stable feature of a Pawn formation: pinned,
isolated and doubled; and the weakness and strength of the Pawns
and neighboring squares.
- Isolated central Pawn (isolani)
is a weakness to be targeted with systematic attacks, and the
square in front of it is to be leveraged as a springboard.
- Never advance your Pawns without real need.
- Small advantages to be counted:
- Lead in development
- Mobility of the pieces
- Seizure of the center
- Position of the enemy King
- Weak square complexes
- Pawn majority on the Queenside
- Open lines
- Advantage of two Bishops
p 11. Kt*Kt
Alekhine realizes that he will castle Queenside and can force
Marshall to castle Kingside. Further he sees that Marshall's
exposed Queen allows him to initiate his Pawn storm with gains of
12. Q d2 B d7,
13. Q e3 a move with many objectives:
prevents Black from castling Queen-side, Prepares for Castling
Queenside by White, Facilitates a rapid Pawn storm. Alekhine
is in a position to castle but
waits until everything is ready for forcing through his Pawn storm
with maximum power. 14. o-o-o
18. f5 gaining a further
tempo forcing the Queen to retreat. 21. B c4! Now the pieces are
brought in to complete the kill.
Game 83 Queen's gambit
declined Black: Maroczy
The Queens gambit is often equated to trench warfare.
6. e3 Kt e4 Alekhine
comments this defence has been used by Lasker & Capablanca
against Marshall, simplifying the game and not creating any
7. B*B Q*B
Alekhine likes to force his
opponents moves 8. Q b3
plan to create a powerful asymmetry housing a Knight in the well
at e5, where it will be on the opposing square to Blacks White
Bishop & expecting Black to place a Kt at e4 - where he will
exchange it for his White Bishop.
12 QR c1! Alekhine makes anticipatory preparations assuming 12 ... Kt f3 & 13 ... Kt e4.
g5 ?? Instead Black starts a King flank Pawn storm while the center
is still fluid. Alekhine
amazed and takes advantage.
13. Kt d2! KR g7?? 14. f3 e5 Alekhine explains how Black aims to
force an exchange of Queens on 18 - but Alekhine
a clever answer.
Game 29 King's Indian Black: Bogolyubov. 1. d4 Kt f6 2. c4 g7
3. f3 d5 Alehkine comments how this move is no sound but it could
eventually lead to central weakness for White so care is
needed. 4. p*p Kt*p 5. e4 kt b6 6. Kt c3 B g7 7. B e3 Kt
f6? Alekhine does not like this move which he says is a
decisive positional error. The move should have been 7 ... o-o
8. d5 Kt e5 9. B d4 f6 which Alekhine considers forced - as the
laternative 9... castles 10 f4 Kt
(e5) d7 11. B*B 12. Q d4 ch Castles h4 & White has a winning
10 f4? Alekhine comments that 10
a4! would have been very unpleasant for Black since he would not
have had the chance to play e5, which relieved his cramped
position in the game, otherwise the hole at e6 would rapidly prove
fatal. 10 ... Kt f7
11. a4 e5; a4
constricts the enemy pieces but there is a deeper objective.
Bogolyubov will be compelled to castle Queenside at which point the
far advanced Pawn will help in any attack on the King.
12. p*p e.p. B*p 13. a5 ... forcing Kt d7 and gaining tempo.
14. a6 b6 If Black captures a6 then his Pawns become weak and White
obtains an important open Rook file.
15. B b5 Q e7 16. Kkt e2 c5 17. B f2 o-o-o Alekhine has forced
the Queen side castle -- If Black had castled Kingside then the
White Queen would have leveraged a kt sacrifice to advance to d5 and
then over to b7, where its capture, in a Queen exchange would result
in a recapture by the Rook Pawn!
Alekhine's Pawn storm leverages the Rook Pawn anyway!
18. Q a4 f5 19. e5 b5 20. B c4! Alekhine sets up a deadly check on
c6, but Bogolyubov counters with a clever piece sacrifice.
20 ... Kt (d7) * p(e5)! 21. B*Bch Q*B 22. p*Kt Kt * p 23. o-o Q c4;
Black hopes to exchange Queens and win a third Pawn for his
24. b4! If now p*p then 15. Kt
b5! Q*kt(e2) 16. KR e1 Q d7 17. Kt*P ch K b8 18. Kt c6 ch and
24 ... Q*p(b4) 25. Q b2 Alekhine has opened up the b file and
produced dangerous threats of 26 R - a4 & 26 Q*p ch.
25 ... Kt d3 26. KR b1 Q c4 27. R a4 Q e3 28. Kt b5 K b8 29 Kt(e2)
d4 Q e4 30. Kt( b5) c3 Q e8 31. Q*Kt P*Kt 32. B*p Q e6 33. Q c3 Q B2
34 B*P Black resigns
By centralization Nimzowitch means the act of gaining increasing
control of the central squares of the board. In a game
involving central blockades the central control is used to enable a
flank attack without risk of a central counter thrust.
Using his central approach the lead in development will translate
into central pieces being able to move quickly to create
positive imbalances which are later turned into advantages -
typically in the endgame. Hence Nimzowitsch proposes strategies in the endgame for
implementing concrete advantages.
The rapid development can be designed to provide positional
argues that positional play equates to prophylaxis:
Nimzowitsch comments that Alekhine's strategies typically combined
centralization of his pieces with play concentrated against the
- P 106 Stopping the opponent from making a freeing Pawn move
(exterior prophylaxis - restraint).
- P 107 overprotecting
strategically important points since our pieces are out
of, or in insufficient contact with their own strategically
important points(interior prophylaxis)
Nimzowitsch considers the problem of
the isolated d-Pawn to be a fundamental of positional
theory. Induced in the Queen's gambit accepted it must be
understood how to evaluate the structure of the position to decide
on a competitive approach.
The Bishop is a weapon-system rather than a strategic element.
However, the nature of Bishops can be understood
Nimzowitsch's positional strategy is founded on his concept of the Pawn chain: Pawns from each
side locked in a diagonal as locking up the energy of the Pawns and
dividing the battlefield in two parts
- is the on time/coordinated strategic advance of troops to the
front-line. Making the opponent undo a move builds tempi:
P5 If you end up held up progressing development it is necessary to
adopt a radical cure: complete liquidation of the center by
exchanging - which typically relieves the tension. P6 Nimzowitch
explains in a Goring Gambit, but with 3.. d5? played, that a Bishop
pin will leave Black with no defence to N*e5. Moves that
remove the pin do not remove the tension in the center so they won't
recover the position - Nimzowitsch
says use a compound move:
- Use compound moves:
- Part 1 - entice piece to recapture onto a center square that
you can put under attack with a developing move.
Nimzowitch says the recapture must be carried out anyway since
otherwise the material
balance would be lost in the center which Masters agree is
essential to maintain.
- [Intermezzo - A piece in recapture may also put the King in
check (for example), but if this new attack can be blocked
then the compound move can continue].
- Part 2 - make a developing move which attacks the piece
making it move again.
- If exchange off a piece that has been moved a lot all the
tempi are lost.
He gives the example of a Giuoco Piano (MCO-GP7 (d) part1 7...B*d2+
getting rid of the threat to the Bishop part2 is 8.. d5)
- part 1 - liquidate the source of the tension.
- part 2 - followed by a developing or freeing move.
files(no friendly Pawn in
front of pieces)
provide step-stones to access of the enemy base (7th/8th rank). Typically the
penetration of the 7th/8th rank is only achieved during the end
Force an open file in the opening by getting a central piece
exchanged off and use a Pawn for the recapture. P14 Alekhine
demonstrates how the threat of central Knights drives the opponent
to aim to exchange them off - in the process presenting open files
to Alekhine! In a version of Alekhine's defense with
fianchetto'd Bishops strengthening d4 & d5 Knights are posted on
them along with a c5 Pawn heading a Pawn chain that will recapture
leaving the c file open for Alekhine.
An open file controlled by dynamic Rooks enables access to other
files. The defenders lack of mobility allows further
weaknesses to be induced.
Ways to exploit an open
- Indirect exploitation of a file: Rd1-d4-a4-a7.
- Marauding: A forking attack
on two pieces. Qh1+ Kg8 2 Qh7+ Kf8 3 Qh8+ Kf7 4 Q*x8
- Enveloping attack: Q (h7+,
h8+, *g7); By endgame P43 K zugzwang (1.Kh6 Kf8 2.Kg6 Ke7 3.Kg7
Ke8 4.Kf6 Kd7 5Kf7)
- Conversion of a "file" into a passed Pawn. P21 The head
of an outposts protective Pawn chain may in recapture become
a passed Pawn. Even more valuable is recapture of a
further piece by the second Pawn in the chain resulting in a
protected passed Pawn.
An outpost can be established
on an open file.
It gains its strength from its supporting Pawns and pieces.
Outposts typically provide two aspects at once
P19 Knights are great outposts since
they have a wide radius of attack. The effect is typically to
stimulate the defenders to weaken
their Pawn structure to drive away the Knight. If
instead a piece is used to take the Knight the recapture with the Knights protecting
Pawn will open that file and a Rook can move forward on it.
- An advanced post forms a base for new attacks
- An outpost provokes a weakening of the
enemy's position to attack the outpost in question.
of the 7th & 8th
ranks is the key purpose of creating open files.
Typically penetration requires more attacking forces to be focused
on the point than the defence can muster. Evaluate it to make sure it is a good
target. Then move on it fast without drifting to other
Restraining an element: a passed Pawn, or mobile
Pawn chain, with a blockader that can't be driven away,
provides the blockader with cover from frontal attack. It
further drives this restraint back into the home ranks and can
induce psychological trauma.
Theory of the isolated d-Pawn
Isolated d-Pawns are created in the Queen's gambit accepted (27, ) and Ewe's Master
v Amateur game 25 Giuoco Piano (764,
Isolated d-Pawns are statically weak but dynamically strong.
Which is dominant is a significant problem.
The dynamic strength comes from the lust to expand. It enables
the outposts at e5 and c5, while Black will have an outpost at d5
which does not provide the same middle game value. A Knight at e5
with Bishop support on diagonals b1-h7 and h4-d8 will exert pressure
on the Black Kingside enabling an attack on the King.
The master by occupying strong points has the desirable exchange
fall into his lap. A blockading
point is a key strong point.
Overprotection targets multiple
defenders onto strong points.
As a strong point is attacked it
will require defenders allocated to it. Nimzowitsch
pre-allocates multiple defenders to strong points. The square
will be attacked, and the over-protection adds flexibility (large
radius of activity for the overprotecting pieces) to each defender
since they are not alone and hence constrained. Only strong
points should be overprotected. These include:
Weak Pawns create a danger. A sound Pawn complex has a
weakling in its body. It is key to identify which ones must be
got rid of. Some weaknesses are unmistakable. Others may
only appear when an advance occurs (by one side or the other).
- P153 The eventual base of a Pawn chain.
- P154 Central points.
- P155 The center as a measure of defence of the King's side
Passed Pawns must be actively
by a piece to inhibit:
and gain advantage of:
- P34 Passed Pawns gain thrust from Rooks and Queen.
- P35 providing an advantage from the cover a blockading piece
gets from the Pawn.
- P36 A blockaded Pawn may inhibit the movement of his
supporting Pawns and pieces.
P37 The blockader
That the blockader can be a very powerful facility is central to
Nimzowitsch's strategic ideas. He matches blockaders to
positions so that together with their support structure they can
perform attacks. In part this depends on the ability to
maintain the blockade by supporting pieces temporarily replacing the
blockader and also on the blockarders ability to attack and then
return to continue the blockade, even if the Pawn has moved
The supporting pieces must be effectively protected where they are
stationed or they will be driven away and the blockader will weaken
too. A blockading point is one of Nimzowitsch's strong points and deserves
to be over-protected.
- The strength of a blockader depends on his links to his
supporting pieces -> Bishops can help take up the
- P37 Attributes required of a blockader are elasticity, radius,
thick skin (not the Queen or King) -> Knight or Rook are good
but with good support the blockader becomes more elastic &
thick skinned! When
to undermine a blockade it may be possible to take the current
elastic blockader and have it replaced with a less effective
The King in the end game will take on passed Pawns. Ideally he
will do this with a frontal attack.
P42 Turning movements
If no pieces are left, zugzwang
be used by the King to gain access to the Pawn, turning the other
King. Equally the King should lead his passed Pawn to Queening
with the same turning movement used to drive aside the other King,
and then clear a path for the Pawn to Queen through.
United passed Pawns (side by side) can't be blockaded. They
should only move when it will be difficult to execute a
When the position is very evenly balanced it is necessary to
synergize attacks against weaknesses on both wings to make
progress. On p160 Nimzowitsch has a great example.
Both players have identified that if Nimzowitsch can assist a Pawn
thrust with his King, which will enable his Bishop to take up an
influential pair of diagonals inhibiting the defences he will
eventually Queen. Nimzowitsch also controls the axis
invasion: a square (or
line of demarcation) that the troops always cross & must
maintain control of; with a Knight, on a point the Bishop
will later enter through. However, both players also
understand that Kalaschnikow will force the exchange of all major
pieces, by repeatedly attacking the invasion square resulting in a
Nimzowitsch attacks a separate weak area (1, ), forcing
reorganizations of the defenders, which result in a tempi that
Nimzoitsch uses to move his King a space towards its Pawns. He
then repeats the exercise again gaining a tempi used to move the
King into position from where the Pawn thrust starts.
When Rooks attack a King the axis of
invasion is the rank or file the Rooks concentrate on and use
to limit the Kings maneuverability and checks will constrain the
End game strategy
is the part of the game when the advantages created in the middle
game are systematically realized. Nimzowitch warns that this
is not easy: He considers it key to understand the elements from
which it is compounded:
The great mobility
of the King is a key aspect of endgame strategy, but he has
been hiding in a corner. He must be brought to the center
gaining mobility and restricting the other King. Nimzowitsch
emphasizes that the King can gain from centralizing behind a Knight
who can add extra barriers to the enemy King. The Queen increases in
influence as She centralizes as well.
Sheltering the King
Nimzowitsch protects the King from attack by using Shelters: A
Pawn protected by a Rook must be blocked from Queening by defenders
so a King can hide in front of it - if the enemy King is blocking
it, or between it and its protecting Rook if a Rook is blocking it,
as long as there is a gap. This actually frees the Rook to do
Nimzowitsch demands that we can create our own shelter for the
King. He says bridge building to the shelter must be
mastered. With a King having led a Pawn to the seventh rank
and now pinned behind it by an attacking Rook a Queening shelter can
be constructed by placing a friendly Rook out of reach of attackers
but at most two ranks in front of the Pawn, and two files
over. The King then dances with the enemy Rook, staying in
contact with the Pawn but enticing the Rook to check. The King
moves back in front of the Pawn and when checked by the enemy Rook
he repeats the maneuver and dances one shuffle forward and on check,
his own Rook moves into line with the King sheltered behind the
Aggressive Rook &
other piece positions
With one Rook attacking a Pawn horizontally and a Rook defending it
vertically the horizontal Rook is actively able to attack other
Pawns by its elasticity in moving across the rank. The
defending Rook is in effect trapped on its file. One caveat - if the Pawn is a passed
Pawn the Rook should be behind the Pawn powering it forward.
A Knight when defending in an endgame is limited by having to stay
in one position to defend. Zugzwang is often based on
A defending Bishop is not able to change fronts as quickly as a
Bishop that has attacked it.
of all isolated detachments and their combined advance.
Nimzowitsch notes combined play is 80% of endgame technique:
centralization, bridge & shelter building, hole stopping are all
subordinate to it. The intent is a slow, but safe forward
advance. P67 Nimzowitsch shows how Alekhine links Bishop Pawn
Rook and King covering each other, enabling creative forays by any
member to force the enemy out of position and slowly advance the
Pawn within the army to Queen.
materialization of files
In the endgame, unlike the middle game, if a file or rank is in your
possession, do not worry about creating a breakthrough point, this
will come of itself, almost with no assistance. Don't
The two Bishops
A Bishop is a more effective long range piece than a Knight, and it
can stop Pawns from advancing. However, it needs an open
center, and only covers one color.
The Horrwitz Bishops
Two Bishops on adjacent squares, can support the Queen in opening up
a rank of Pawns to attack the King. One Bishop will support
the Queen to catalyze the Pawns to move on to a diagonal to defend
each other and the other Bishop can then check the King.
A Bishop pair can guide a Pawn mass to role forward and imprison the
enemy Knights, in cooperation with the Rooks. The Bishops
position themselves so that the Pawns move forward into their
attacking scope. The Pawn roller will force back the
Bishop pairs create strategic advantages in the endgame
The Pawns can roll forward under the protection of the Bishops, and
as they penetrate the seventh rank, through the suicide of a piece
they will keep the opposing pieces locked in defence, and resisting
the Queening. The long range of the Bishops allows other
pieces (King etc.) to then invade at close quarters.
Keres, Kotov & Golombek The art of the middle game
Kotov explains how attacks
the King can be classed usefully based on when players have:
on different sides it is typical that the first player to Pawn
storm the opposing King wins. One has burnt one's boats
and must have concrete positional judgment. In planning a
Pawn storm the risk is that the opponent realizes and forces the
attacker onto the defensive. While advancing the Pawns it is
also key to create difficulties for the opponent's Pawn
storm. What factors make the Pawn storm successful?
- The position of the attacking Pawns: You must evaluate:
- Should the Pawns be doubled or isolated? Isolated
Pawns sometimes storm very well: Alekhine uses a
Pawn advance a4 to constrain the opponents pieces
& since he thinks the opponent will eventually castle
Queenside have an advanced Pawn that can be used in the
attack on the King. Kotov argues that this joint
objective indicates the strength of the move.
- Can they move without great loss?
The position of the opponent's Pawns: It is useful if the
opponent Pawn formation allows for easy opening up of the
- Does their advance weaken the position of the pieces?
Opponent's pieces are in the way of the Pawn storm.
The Pawn storm is likely to succeed if it can gain tempo from
attacking the opponents exposed pieces on route (Alekhine,
Are our pieces going to hinder the advance of our
Formation of pieces that will empower the Pawn storm: If the
pieces can ensure lines will open via a sacrifice, say of a
forward kt, backed by covering heavy pieces, lines will open
When the center is locked, like in the Samisch variation of the
King's Indian, it is found that attacks from the castled
side of the board can be successful!
- castled on the same side. An attack must move the
defending Pawns out of the way, by removal or advance. It
can be carried out by a:
- Pawn storm - keeping in mind that a central thrust is more
effective than a flank attack. There are various types:
- Flank storm without locked center - punished by central
- Demolition of the King-side Pawn position by a piece
- Kotov uses a Knight sacrifice to remove a key Pawn.
It is the base of a Pawn chain and protected by a Rook and
Bishop, but at the time of attack the Bishop's lines are
blocked by one of his own Knights. The new base of the
Pawn chain is also taken leaving a huge point of attack
against the King.
- Weakening of the Pawn shield - Pressure is applied to the
Pawn structure around the King, until a Pawn is moved to
protect it from immediate threat. The induced Pawn
structure has intrinsic weaknesses to attacks on the
- Kotov's Queen and White Bishop attack f7 & g7.
Kotov moves his Knight to f5 enabling a joint attack on g7,
and then shifts the Knight to d6 shifting the pressure
to f7, already pinned by the Bishop. Kotov shifts his
attack between the two threatened points.
- Opening lines & diagonals -
- Kotov uses an example Averbakh-Panno where the center is
locked and Averbakh initiates a King side Pawn storm under
cover of his Bishops. Panno withdraws his pieces with
loss of tempi. Averbakh uses the Pawns to open the h
file, which he controls with his Rook and uses it as a
access of invasion. He then broadens the invasion with
a piece sacrifice, enabling his pieces to occupy new squares
in the mating net.
- By-passing manoeuvres (switching the attack from the center
to a flank) - Interesting as it is an example of Indirect
- p71 Ravinsky Smyslov Moscow 1944, Ravinsky has a
well-developed center and a King side Pawn majority.
While one Knight is on the flank (a4) White controls more
space and pieces are active. Only the White Queen and
Knight are positioned on the Queen flank.
- Smyslov diagonalizes his Queens flank Pawns directly
putting pressure on the White center Pawns, but Indirectly
creates an opening for his White Bishop.
- In exchanging this for the flank Knight (taken by the
White Queen) he pulls the White Queen out to the a file
and enables a thrust of a Pawn along the c file: under
cover of a Rook(c8).
- Blacks Knight(f6) was always able to move to h4, a move
which White must block while struggling to control the
advance of the c-file Pawn.
- Smyslov brings his Black Bishop into position(c5) to
pin(f2) the White King. The Rook(d8) enters the
seventh rank(d2) supporting the move of the c Pawn to c2,
and adding pressure to Whites f2 Pawn, and the Rook(c8)
moves to c3.
- Blacks Bishop moves into the center(e3) and the Queen
- A Black Knight is sacrificed to remove a central White
Pawn and the centralized Queen, Bishop and the 6/7th rank
Rooks now have lines to attack the White King.
- Black finishes the struggle by pursuit of the White
- not yet castled.
- The central King is in grave danger with various weak points
and from the fact that it impedes the progress of deploying
the major pieces. As such Masters are very keen to get
ahead in development enabling them to inhibit their opponent
from completing castling. Kotov shows Keres sacrificing
pieces to force the opposing King to loose the right to castle
and P78 he completes his essay with a demonstration of perfect
attacking play by Alekhine including inhibiting the opponents
- Veillat - Alekhine:
- Alekhine is ahead in development having castled
Kingside. Viellat is still 2 moves from castling
& Alekhine ensures these moves can't be made.
...Q(a3) forces White to defend a2 by R(c1) moves to
c2. Rook(f8) to d8 attacks the White Queen so again
Veillat moves the R(c2) to d2. B(c8) g4 pins the
White Knight(f3) to the Queen(d1) so White moves the
Bishop(f1) to e2 - removing the pin and enabling
- Alekhine exchanges Rooks taken back with the unpinned
Knight, and then takes the Bishop(d2) with his Bishop (g4)
again blocking castling.
- Viellat counter attacks Q to a1 check King(g7)!
... f6 blocking the check with a pin.
- Viellat takes the Bishop with his King forfeiting
castling ... Q(a3) to a6 check. Veillat blocks the
check pinning his Knight(d2) to c4. Alekhine
threatens the Knight advancing a Pawn to b5. Viellat
retreats the Knight to b2. Alekhine advances the
Pawn to b4 with the added tempo of discovered check!
King to e1.
- ... Alekhine moves a Rook to c8. Viellat
moves Pawn f3. Alekine moves the Knight (c6) to d4
pressuring c2 with both the Rook and the Knight. The
Rook has access to the seventh rank!
Vukovic Art of attack
on the King that has lost the right to castle
This is a three part strategy:
- Spoiling the King's castling chances.
- The pursuit of the King using perpetual checks
- The final mating attack
Networks of weak squares, are
first cleared of defenders, then fixed - say by a Bishop, and then
attacking pieces are moved in.
pieces - goals and responsibilities
on the King as an integral part of the game
Alekhine & Capablanca discovered moves which fulfill the chief
principle of the attack on the castled King, Namely, obtaining the maximum preconditions for an attack
with the minimum of commitment (1,
There are judgments to be made about the pre-conditions
obtained. There are also judgments about the successive
commitments undertaken. These two must be resolved into an
ordered set of moves while deciding if some alternative thematic
course of action should be substituted.
M Shereshevsky End Game
Key aspects of end game strategy include:
- Techniques become of primary importance. Mood
thinking must shift from brilliancy and tactics to calming
passions and examine the game from the 'end game' point of
view. The middle-game has so many potential combinations
that tactics are key. The end game benefits from plans.
- Centralization of
the King - While the King is moved to a corner where he can be
easily defended in most openings a key facet of the end-game is
that with the exchanging of pieces and Pawns when the end-game
phase starts the Kings qualities are hugely influential.
It is key to be able to realize when the King should be brought
into the center.
- Pawns increase in
get to the end game is a key strategic choice.
- Do not hurry. If in control
let your opponent feel this (repetition drives this home and is
quick to execute). After a significantly frustrating
time they are likely to act even though the position becomes
- Schematic Thinking:
Breaking the overall achievement of the goal into small
pieces. Each piece is accurately thought through but if
the environment changes new schemes can be
constructed. Capablanca demonstrates the power of
this. His schemes are complete - the multiple facets
are all consistent in ensuring the completion of the
mid-goal. In effect Capablanca sets himself missions and
designs powerfully consistent plans to succeed. He evaluates the balance of the
position, the strengths and weaknesses, in material, time,
distance and position, and creatively identifies move sets and
best overall goals for both sides.
- The principle of
two weaknesses - is logically similar to the "horns of a dilemma". There
are various techniques that enable the creation of two
weaknesses. In particular, the Bishops and castles provide
long range moveable threats that can be applied
to certain Pawns in defensively strong Pawn formations to force
a reaction that leaves weaknesses within the Pawn chain.
Forcing the introduction of one of these on each wing builds
uncertainty about where the attack will occur.
- Taking the
initiative - Forcing choices on your opponent (p83) will
introduce unknowns into the situation, but can ensure
opportunities and enable accurate play to be a benefit. In
this example the choice creates an opportunity to centralize the
King. Capablanca (p87) discusses how an understanding of
structural constraints in a position will allow the initiative
to create lasting advantage. In the example he stresses
that attacks can be used to limit the competitors action while
allowing complete freedom of action to the player with the
- Suppressing the opponents counter
play - Aron Nimzowitsch suggested positional play must be used
for prophylaxis (move to suppress the opponents potential play)
and link closely with not hurrying. Key examples include
moves that result in the opponent being in zugzwang, and
the use of attacks to inhibit the development of, or opportunity
to leverage, key pieces and alter Pawn structures to remove
options for counter-play. Taimanov (p99) demonstrates how
creating a strong defensive position can stabilize the situation
and limit attacks. Botvinnik (p101) illustrates how every
move is focused on ensuring Alekhine has few counter-moves
implications of an isolated d-Pawn - As the battle shifts into
the end-game the presence of an isolated d-Pawn implies one
weakness. Typically a grand-master will attempt to create another!
The defense of the isolated Pawn will require dedication of a
piece. Paul Keres demonstrates both aspects (p117)
- Two Bishops - During the shift to
the end-game one strategy is to create a situation where you
still maintain two Bishops as minor pieces while your opponent
has two Knights or a Knight and Bishop. The two Bishops
can attack both colors of square as long as the board is
open. The core technique is to advance Pawn wings so that:
The 3-2 Queen-side Pawn Majority - was viewed by Steinitz as
winning due to the potential to create a passed Pawn.
However, the reality is that other aspects can easily compensate
for this. The total situation: position of Pawns and
pieces must be considered.
- With the Bishops they inhibit the movement of the Knights
& the deployment of Pawns to create strong-points for the
- The introduction of weaknesses in the
Pawn-chains, by the Bishops, allows Pawn storms to have an
advantage in their subsequent envelopment.
- The Bishops are then able to move freely and influence key
areas of the board.
- A Pawn is assisted in reaching the 8th rank, or the enemy
King is trapped in mate.
Barkow, Cosmides and
Tooby The adapted Mind
or Negligence: Maternal Psychology and Behavioral Preference among
preterm twins (Mann)
Trivers' studies in patterns of parental investment results in a
theory that allows for testing of hypothesis concerning the dynamics
of differential investment in high risk offspring.
Trivers' concept of parental investment is compromised in two
essential but conflicting components:
The parent's adaptive problem is whether to care and invest
intensively in a "high-risk" child in order to improve its prospects
or to provide minimal care and focus investment in other
- all actions that contribute to reproductive success of the
- Investments in one child can conflict with reproductive
success of other offspring.
Parents have two possible routes out of their dilemma. They
can either increase their investment to meet the child's greater
needs or decrease their investment to minimize the cost.
Humans, primates and other animals with high parental investment
requirements and few offspring share the same adaptive
problem. Although primate mothers sometimes desert non-viable
offspring (especially during the first few days of life), under some
conditions they dramatically increase their investment in those
offspring by prolonging nursing, carrying, and other forms of
Defense Dragon Vukovic art of attack in Chess p284
This famous game analysis illuminates the
strategy of indirect
Defense by use of a central thrust counter attack.
Alekhine chooses a Pawn
storm (783w) early in the game to attack the castled King
but he must apply
a significant commitment to completing the plan. For
if Black is successful in counter-attacking
he will find a mass of weak-points, files, and diagonals in
White's territory; if an end-game is reached, White's
advanced Pawns may easily become 'cannon-fodder'.
argues 'The moment of undertaking an obligation is also the
moment of crisis, the moment for the thrust in the center, which
in the Sicilian as a whole, and in this position particularly,
is unstable. Botvinnik perceived the correct moment and
struck with 10 ... d5!'.
11. f5 allows Botvinnik to halt the attack
on the castled King. Attacking the weak square
complex (783b) g4 and f5 forces White to maintain pieces
as defenders, while Botvinnik concentrates
forces (783b) on d5. Vukovic explains that if White
can hold d5 he can expect success, but if Black overcomes the
advancing Pawn White's prospects are poor. The alternative
11. e5 preserves natural
barrier (783wa4) leaves Black with the option to force
open the center.
pushed the central Pawn d5 forward, which was not what anyone
expected. It had the desired result (unbalancing
Botvinnik's mind (783w)
with Botvinnik replying with the weak Q*d6. However, Vukovic
presents analysis of options which suggest that Alekhine's
strategy allows Black to sacrifice
minor pieces (783ba5) to open the center for a Rook to
accelerate the central counter attack against the White Bishop
pair and King. Each alternative Defense of the Bishop pair
that White can then try results in positions that suggest Black
has created an advantage:
Defense(783wa51) by counter attack
Defense(783wa52) by counter attack
- consolidation by retreat (783wa53)
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