This page describes the organizational forces that limit change.  It explains how to overcome them when necessary. 

Power& tradition holding back progress
This page uses an example to illustrate how:
  • A business can gain focus from targeting key customers,
  • Business planning activities performed by the whole organization can build awareness, empowerment and coherence. 
  • A program approach can ensure strategic alignment. 
Be responsive to market dynamics
This page uses the example of HP's printer organization freeing itself from its organizational constraints to sell a printer targeted at the IBM pc user. 
The constraints are described. 
The techniques to overcome them are implied. 
Overcome reactionaries
Primary Navigation

Long view process enables response to technology forces in the market

The page reviews how complex systems can be analyzed. 
The resulting analysis supports evaluation of system events. 
The analysis enables categorization of different events into classes. 
The analysis helps with recombination of the models to enable creativity. 
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. 

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. 
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
Carlo Rovelli resolves the paradox of time. 
Rovelli initially explains that low level physics does not include time:
  • A present that is common throughout the universe does not exist
  • Events are only partially ordered.  The present is localized
  • 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 variables. 
  • Fundamentally there is no time.  The basic equations evolve together with events, not things 
Then he explains how in a physical world without time its perception can emerge:
  • Our familiar time emerges
    • Our interaction with the world is partial, blurred, quantum indeterminate
    • 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 of memory
    • 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

to time the most effective response is a
This page introduces the complex adaptive system (CAS) theory frame.  The theory provides an organizing framework that is used by 'life.'  It can illuminate and clarify complex situations and be applied flexibly.  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.  It highlights the constraints that shape CAS and so predicts their form.  A proposal that does not conform is wrong. 

John Holland's framework for representing complexity is outlined.  Links to other key aspects of CAS theory discussed at the site are presented. 
complex adaptive one

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. 
s 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. 
, 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 uncertainty. 
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. 
encapsulating the experience gained in the local environment help the process of evaluation, categorization and recombination. 
Infrastructure Amplifiers
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 force. 

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 & Structure
Part of Chandler's history of industrial development in USA included reference to the nature of the consolidation that took place between 1866 & 1900.

Oliver Williamson

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 rational expectations. 

Memetics Susan Blackmore

tmm c15 Religions as memeplexes
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 religious officials. 
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 axiom--that to 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 strategy, ). 
    • 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,). 
    • Personal 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".
      • Napoleon's dictum '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 him. 
      • Hart believes strongly that effective indirect strategies will leave the opponents leaders and their armies off-balance and dislocated. Jenghiz Khan's use of mobility to bring multiple armies to attack the same objective in a series of surprise encounters overcame much larger forces.     Manstein's Ardennes 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 of 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. 

Jeremy Silman
  • Reassess your chess
  • The reassess your chess mastering chess imbalances
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:
  • It's my turn to move. 
  1. 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.
  2. Assess how has his last move changed the position? What are his threats? What are his objectives? 
    • Do not search for a defense to the threat but a way to ignore it. 
  3. Complete your search if not already done.
    • 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?)
    • Weaknesses 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 Pawn)
    • Where could either side break through?  open files (1, )
  4. Have I a good combination?  Motifs include:
    1. geometrical
    2. nets
    3. jump moves;
    4. zugzwang 
    5. stale mate. 
  5. If the answer to 4 isn't yes what is my best plan?
    • 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
    1. Visualize the move as though made
    2. Does it leave me vulnerable to a combination?
  • It is his turn to move
    1. make a reconnaissance, as in my turn to move, to be completed when he has made his move. 
    2. 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 other).
  • 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 imbalance exists. 
  • 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 defensive move. 
  • Finally, calculate the candidate moves you've chosen. 
Imbalances: a crash course. 
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 course. 
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 catch up. 
  • 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 pieces 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 combinations.
  • 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 advantage.
  • 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 are.  Pawn 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 created.
  • A key aspect to winning may be to draw some of the defenders out of position and into a subsequent skewer or pin.
  • Sacrifices of 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 flight squares.

  • 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.
  • There are 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 Bishop.

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 variation 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

Alekhine's greatest games

p 11. Kt*Kt Q*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 tempo. 
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 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 weaknesses. 
7. B*B Q*B
Alekhine likes to force his opponents moves 8. Q b3
Alekhine formulates a 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
12 ... g5 ?? Instead Black starts a King flank Pawn storm while the center is still fluid.  Alekhine is 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 has a clever answer

Part2 (1929-1934)
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 King's attack. 
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 piece. 
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 White wins. 
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 advantages. 

Nimzowitsch argues that positional play equates to prophylaxis:
  1. P 106 Stopping the opponent from making a freeing Pawn move (exterior prophylaxis - restraint). 
  2. 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 comments that Alekhine's strategies typically combined centralization of his pieces with play concentrated against the opponents weaknesses on one color(1, ). 

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 strategically

Pawn chain theory
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

Development - is the on time/coordinated strategic advance of troops to the front-line.  Making the opponent undo a move builds tempi:
  • 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.
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:
  • part 1 - liquidate the source of the tension.
  • part 2 - followed by a developing or freeing move. 
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)

Open 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 game. 

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 file:
  • 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
  • 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.
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

Penetration 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 objectives. 

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 (isolani)
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. 

Strong points
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:
  • P153 The eventual base of a Pawn chain. 
  • P154 Central points. 
  • P155 The center as a measure of defence of the King's side
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). 

Passed Pawns must be actively blocked by a piece to inhibit:
  • P34 Passed Pawns gain thrust from Rooks and Queen. 
  • P35 providing an advantage from the cover a blockading piece gets from the Pawn. 
and gain advantage of:
  • 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 forward. 

  • The strength of a blockader depends on his links to his supporting pieces -> Bishops can help take up the blockade. 
  • 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 aiming to undermine a blockade it may be possible to take the current elastic blockader and have it replaced with a less effective one. 
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 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 can 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 blockade. 

Maneuvering against weaknesses
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 of 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 forced draw. 
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. 

King weakness
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 defense. 

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:
Endgame centralization
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 some attacking. 
Bridge building
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 Rook. 

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 this. 

A defending Bishop is not able to change fronts as quickly as a Bishop that has attacked it. 
The rallying 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. 

The 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 hurry. 

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 Knights. 

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 on the King can be classed usefully based on when players have:
  • Castled 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?
    1. 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?
      • Does their advance weaken the position of the pieces?
    2. The position of the opponent's Pawns: It is useful if the opponent Pawn formation allows for easy opening up of the position. 
    3. 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, )
    4. Are our pieces going to hinder the advance of our Pawns? 
    5. 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 (Kotov-Poliak).  
    6. 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 counter (Alekhine, )
    • Demolition of the King-side Pawn position by a piece sacrifice - 
      • 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 diagonals. 
      • 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 attack. 
      • 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 supports it(d4). 
        • 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 King. 
  • 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 castling.  
      • 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 castling. 
        • 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 in chess

The attack on the King that has lost the right to castle
This is a three part strategy:
  1. Spoiling the King's castling chances. 
  2. The pursuit of the King using perpetual checks
  3. 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.

Overloading of pieces - goals and responsibilities

The attack 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 Strategy
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 importance (queening)
  • Exchanging to 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 weaker.
  • 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 initiative.
  • 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 enabled.
  • The 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:
    1. With the Bishops they inhibit the movement of the Knights & the deployment of Pawns to create strong-points for the Knights.
    2. The introduction of weaknesses in the Pawn-chains, by the Bishops, allows Pawn storms to have an advantage in their subsequent envelopment.
    3. The Bishops are then able to move freely and influence key areas of the board.
    4. A Pawn is assisted in reaching the 8th rank, or the enemy King is trapped in mate.
  • 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.

Barkow, Cosmides and Tooby The adapted Mind

9 Nurturence 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:
  1. all actions that contribute to reproductive success of the offspring
  2. Investments in one child can conflict with reproductive success of other offspring. 
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 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 parental care. 

Alekhine Botvinnik Sicilian 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'. 

Vukovic 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 Black's 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. 

Alekhine 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:
  1. indirect Defense(783wa51) by counter attack
  2. indirect Defense(783wa52) by counter attack
  3. consolidation by retreat (783wa53)
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