vrijdag 15 februari 2008

Level 1 scanning

The content of this post mike strike the most of you as more than obvious. Nevertheless I want to make the foundation for the scanning proces absolutely clear. This will decrease the chance that readers get confused later on when I write about the nuances of the scanning proces.

When I teach beginning clubplayers (those who have mastered step one). I give them a sheet with the position in the diagram above. I don't tell them them who's move it is, but I ask them to put a circle around every target they see. At that time they are familiar with three kind of targets: King (check), wood (uncovered piece) and (mating)squares. If they have mastered the skill of recognising these targets this is what their sheet will look like after they have finished their task.

Of course I have highlighted the squares my pupils mark with a circle. Then I tell them it is black to move, and ask them to play the best move. As they are also familiar with the double attack most of them will come up with Qf4 and Qh6. Both moves are aimed at two targets (King and bishop/King and Knight). But as soon as I ask them if white can defend, they see that there is a defense against Qf4 (2 Kg1) but not against Qh6.
Obvious isn't it? But then again you would be amazed about the difference in results that occurs if I show this position to a similar group without letting them search for targets first. In the latter case the overwhelming majority simply misses Na6 as a target. And you, did you see 1 ..., Qh6! immediately when you looked at the first diagram? It are experiences like this that convinced me that scanning is a very powerful skill to improve in chess. Albeit that the scanning is a much more sophisticated process when you, and the opposition you are facing, get stronger.
I dare you to experiment with this simple scan yourself. Try it when solving and during your games. It doesn't take a lot of time, and for some of you it surely will contribute to your chess vision and awareness of the key features of the position.

6 opmerkingen:

transformation zei

completely brilliant! thank you.

Phaedrus zei

Hello Transformer,

You make me blush! Your compliments are very much appreciated though.

Sciurus zei

Nice explanation. I already tried it for solving a few puzzles this morning. I also like that you mention "mating squares" as potential targets. That is something I learnt to appreciate only recently.

Phaedrus zei

Hi Scirius,

It is cool to hear that you give it a shot. This is only the basic scanning however. I will go deeper and relate the scanning to tactical patterns in future posts.

Michel zei

Nice Blog !

Phaedrus zei

Hi Michel,

I visited your website. It lookst like it has a lot of interesting content, but unfortunately I hardly speak or read french. Thank you for your interest and appreciation for my blog.