Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Chess -- CCT-rule revisted

That simple CCT-rule has really grown on me. Having spent time with it, using it and thinking about it, I can now see that it's even more beneficial than I initially thought. Specifically, I can see that it covers more than I thought, and I see more and more useful connections between it and other things. Using it is like having a tree of knowledge growing inside you, or something. Maybe that sounds cryptic, let me explain.

The CCT-rule, as I've explained, is the check/capture/threat rule. That these things should all be checked (all moves that fall under these, it's usually not that many and you don't need to go that deep within each), and in that order. This is what I've discovered using it:

You don't miss much. Since you look at everything within these areas, you will find moves that you otherwise wouldn't. The rule doesn't cover everything in every situation, but it's great when attacking or being attacked. Great for finding tactics or just keep the attack and initiative going. (I'll write about the limits of the rule, and what you need in addition, later.)

You get much faster at finding certain things on the board. (This point will get its own post later.) Since you always systematically look for these specific things, your mind eventually starts to notice them without you even asking the question. This is the stuff chess intuition is built of.

The "capture"-part has a tight connection to "pressure" (that I've written about) and "removal of the guard" (a tactical manoeuvre). Every possible capture is a "pressure point", and the sum of these is the total amount of pressure. And for every pressure point you might ask yourself: why can't I take this piece? (Assuming you can't). That will often lead you to noticing the guards, and then you might ask yourself "can I remove this/these guards?", and that may lead to ideas you wouldn't otherwise have. (And btw, there are exactly four different ways to remove the guard, and maybe I should go through them all! I haven't decided. Again, I don't want to make it too complicated, but I don't want to miss anything either.)

The "threat"-part has a strong connection to the tactical inventory and the enemy's weaknesses. That's how you find the threats. You don't just mentally randomly try out moves and see if it threatens something; you begin by looking at the enemy and see what can be threatened. You find the loose pieces and weak spots and other weaknesses (see the post on the tactical inventory), and you move a piece to attack this. If you can't find a direct threat, just increasing the pressure is fine.

So you see, by applying the simple CCT-rule you will automatically get into all these other things. You don't have to remember to check out "pressure" or doing a tactical inventory or even examining "removing the guard" as specific points, rather its integrated into the CCT-rule. You create strong mental associations between the elements in this rule and these other things, and your mind will automatically remind you to do these things. That's how it should be done: you shouldn't have a long list of disorganized things to check, but a simple rule with logical connections to these other things. That's mental integration.

Of course, the final proof of the value of the rule (and whatever other rules I can come up with) is my own coming success. : )

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