Friday, August 10, 2007


Knights Errant

I am joining the Knights Errant. The Knights Errant FAQ explains what it is all about. In the side navigation bar there is now a Knights Errant Section that lists other Knights.

From the FAQ:
The Knights Errant are a group of bloggers that are trying to improve their tactical pattern recognition using a method known as the Circles. The Circles program involves working through a large (usually 1000+) set of tactical problems multiple times until they can be solved without a lot of thought.

I will be using Personal Chess Trainer 2007 to assist in this progression and repetition.

14. This seems like a very narrow approach to chess. Isn't there more to chess than tactics?
This is the most common criticism of the Circles. Jeremy Silman voices it quite stridently in a review of de la Maza's book here. Clearly, chess is more than just tactics. Strategy, opening theory, and the endgame are important aspects of the game.

A common misconception, in my view. Chess is not more than tactics. Chess is tactics. If we could calculate tactics perfectly, instantly to any depth there would not be any talk of "strategy." Strategy is the application of an accumulated common experience as a (poor) substitute for perfect tactical skill. The same is true of opening theory.

That said, we still work on strategy and opening theory and endgames. But they are not in any way superior to tactics -- they are a poor substitute for tactics. We work on those areas and concepts because as mere humans with limited tactical skill it helps us create favorable positions. Favorable for what? Tactics that benefit us, of course!

A special thanks to Blue Devil Knight for bringing my attention to the Knights!

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Welcome, Glenn. I'm focused on one of those 'poor substitutes' right now -- endgames. Although I suspect from your Pandolfini Errata pages you've spent some time on those as well. ;) Good luck with your tactical studies!
Hi likesforests,

The subcategory of tactics frequently called "endgames" are important. :-) The Pandolfini Endgame Course is a great tactics book to use with a Circles approach. I think you will find that every position in that book is 100% pure tactics. I love tactics in simplified (aka endgame) positions.

Thanks for the welcome.
Welcome aboard!
I'm sure we can work out a defition of tactics that makes "chess is tactics" true.
welcome, welcome. I like your style. Tactics do rule. Especially for patzers like me ;)
welcome aboard!

i am NOT a Knight, but what is known formally as a friend of the Knights.

nice ratings history!

warmly, david in seattle
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