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MatPlus.Net Forum General Is there any strategy in twomover?
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(1) Posted by Darko Šaljić [Friday, Dec 27, 2013 08:57]

Is there any strategy in twomover?

This question I asked others and myself many times and I still don’t know right answer.
Our dear Milan was sure that #2 is 100% tactics and he had no problems with it because he liked it!
Then, I talked with Marjan, among many ours discussions about almost anything, and we agreed that there is some strategy in correction play. It was still not enough for me, I was feeling that there is something more. Maybe in choice between zugzwang and threat.. .and so on.
And, suddenly an idea appeared that we look on subject from the wrong side, from a SOLVER point of view. There is a strategy in #2, and a lot of it in COMPOSING process!
One can find it only by trying to discover secrets of construction and deeper he looks more he will find. It is like reading a book, every time we read again we will find something new and have a deferent impression. This is the place where our art is hiding and happening.
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(2) Posted by Hauke Reddmann [Friday, Dec 27, 2013 13:53]

Well, "Neudeutsch" doyen Speckmann once interpreted a certain #2 as
"Vorbereitungskombination" and the argument didn't look forced.

So, according to this there is room for strategy even
in the 2#...but first you'll need a clear definition of
"tactics" and "strategy"...good luck :P

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(3) Posted by Kevin Begley [Friday, Dec 27, 2013 20:18]

First, the subject heading appears to depend upon the false presumption that the term "twomover" applies only to direct-mate problems.
I'm confident all will agree that this was merely an oversight; nevertheless, for the benefit of new problem enthusiasts, it is worthwhile to dispel the distortion of orthocentric perception.

Second, you can not pretend to honestly care for a rigorous academic pursuit of your posed question, without first providing an explicit definition of your terminology (specifically: Chess Strategy).
Until you provide a clear distinction (from Chess Tactics), your every breath spent has only run endlessly down to a sunless, semantic sea.

According to the common web definitions:
Chess Tactics- any sequence of moves which limit the opponent's options, and provide some tangible gain.
Chess Strategy- any subtle positional evaluation, aimed to achieve some intangible gain.

If you accept these definitions, and you are actually willing to pretend that Strategy and Tactics are mutually exclusive pursuits, then it logically follows that any directmate-twomover must involve pure strategy, so long as the opponent enjoys no limitation of movement.

The depth of this phony philosophic argument seems entirely based upon misperception -- in reality, this shallow question fails to accommodate the concealment of its trojan name-droppings.
You could hardly do worse to chase a mythological Ark, in desperation to buoy something profoundly absurd.
At the end of the day, you have what to show for the broken bread?
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(4) Posted by Darko Šaljić [Friday, Dec 27, 2013 21:56]; edited by Darko Šaljić [13-12-30]

Thank you, Kevin.
Is there anyone else who have opinion?
And, I was thinking on direct #2.
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(5) Posted by Sven Hendrik Lossin [Friday, Dec 27, 2013 23:27]

To make it short: When I think of strategy in problem chess then it often has to do with Camillo Gamnitzer. And when I see what this man composed I don't see something alike in orthodox twomovers.
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(6) Posted by Hauke Reddmann [Saturday, Dec 28, 2013 19:12]

Uhm, define [strategy=tactics so long that the computer can't
understand it]? Nope, no strategy in 2# then :P

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(7) Posted by Steven Dowd [Saturday, Dec 28, 2013 21:56]

Forcing Chess Moves by Hertan, a book designed to improve tactical vision, starts with a composed two-mover by Chernykh and Kopaev (2001).

The author states he is "addicted" to these kinds of problems and asserts they help in developing "computer eyes" that increase one's tactical vision. That means finding the ultimate truth without preconceptions.

You can solve two movers in this way, and indeed when I first started with problems, I liked solving them without thinking about things like tries and themes. And in fact, knowing about tries and themes starts to cloud one's vision for the solution - you start looking for ghosts again.

I believe that Keres once told Benko (and both were/are good composers) that chess composition lost a large part of the playing audience when the pursuit of arcane themes became more important than the "sparkle" within a problem. (its a dim memory, so excuse my paraphrasing)

If I understand Darko's premise he is saying that solving is primarily a tactical skill (and Hertan appears to agree) whereas composition is the strategy of making the problem. This seems fair. As a final aside, Dan Meinking told me once that his ability to solve declined as he composed more. And perhaps, as happens in OTB chess, a concentration on strategy weakens one's tactical muscles.

It's an interesting topic, and I hope we can pursue it here with vigor *and* common courtesy to others.
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(8) Posted by Darko Šaljić [Sunday, Dec 29, 2013 08:40]

After last post I'm even more intersted in subject.
From those few words I have learned a lot.
Thank you Steven for making my question clear and put this topic on right track.
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(9) Posted by Kevin Begley [Sunday, Dec 29, 2013 10:54]


I am actually no stranger to the aimless pretense of drunken philosophy questions (and name-dropping).
Though, it is usually accompanied by some noble pursuit to impress the fairer sex...

In your case, I will be courteous in presuming that the holidays must have affected your perception.
If your question had the slightest depth, you wouldn't so easily prove incapable of defining its plain terms.

Cheers to you.
And happy new year.
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(10) Posted by Kevin Begley [Sunday, Dec 29, 2013 11:41]; edited by Kevin Begley [13-12-29]


Gamnitzer is, indeed, a wonderful explorer of new ideas...
But, the last thing I would do is declare him to be a "strategic" composer (such commentary would only betray the remarkable depth of his entirely tactical ideas).
There is, after all, no subtle positional gains to be extracted from a selfmate (in n-moves) problem -- the solver hunts for nothing less than the forced end of their own King!

And, to be fair in our comparisons, though I trust you are well aware, it is important to note that selfmate-more-movers afford Gamnitzer (and others) a rich treasure of opportunities, which vastly exceeds the artistic freedom available to the composer of "orthodox" directmate twomovers.
I have often conceded the same point, when it comes to most fairy compositions, btw.
The limitations placed upon just the key move of a #2 -- capture is bad, check is worse, unprovided flights are awful, etc -- (to say nothing of the purity often demanded of thematic motivation) is tighter than a python on an asthmatic vegan.
There is no mystery why the (so called) "orthodox" composers all run to selfmate (and reflexmate -- ha!!) moremovers.

That some would consider themselves the more "real" problem composers, based entirely upon such arbitrary criteria, is certainly a sad testament to a profound stupidity (and an appallingly bad sense of timelessness).

But, until (and unless!) somebody in this thread can actually define the critical terms (specifically, strategy versus tactics), you will discover absolutely no value in this thread...

Some folks prefer to pontificate whether Fischer could have defeated Morphy in a urination contest.
Others like to banter endlessly in pointless semantic debates, concerning terms they deliberately refuse to define (when pressed to resolve such definitions, I believe you'll find that they tend to dismiss the understanding of those who dare challenge them to articulate their basic terminology -- it would seem this self-professed depth is apparently often constrained by the inadequacies of a child's vocabulary).
None of this has anything to do with problem composition -- nor does it even touch the essence of today's common version of Chaturanga (that game which is defined by FIDE's latest rulebook).
This thread is nothing more than an elaborate hoax, designed to lure the barefoot fool into praising the arc of their own drip.
Empty wits dip in a witless theme... and sponge upon the slumbering stream...
But what endures beyond offenses from the midwinter morning?

If they can't even connect to the question subconsciously posed...

Strategy is a thing for chess play... it lies outside the realm of problem chess.
It is a tragic comedy to witness just how desperately some poor, lost souls want to be associated with a silly game.
If only they could appreciate the value of problem composition... maybe they'd cease trying to impose themselves into matters beyond their depth.

My point: don't give in to the pretense -- until the users have thoroughly demonstrated an EARNED right to adopt such terminology, they are engaged in a contest against the wind... which doesn't begin to merit your enlistment.

If you can't define the term, in the simple context of a two-move directmate, you have no right attempting to adopt the word Strategy.
And to think that some problemist here would pretend to have plunged the depths of this topic with both Plato and Socrates; yet, we can not expect the most basic description of the actual topic!

I am sorry if it seems discourteous not to look the other way... and let this slide in the interest of credibility for our title manufacturing processes... but, tell me, what in the daylight does this carnival gain by watching a bunch of crazy bat**** being slinkied down the public stairwell? When last I took courtesy class, it was considered obligatory to challenge a falsehood. When did encouragement become the standard policy of dealing with such a routine pretense?

Think about it.
Some of us asked for a basic definition of the key terms, from the guy slinging them... and the best we have obtained is a slick reply declaring us all plumb unable to understand the (apparently DEEP) meaning of such terminological profundities.
Duh, that's why we asked for a simple definition from the self-professed master of this unique subject.

I'll tell any of you "real" cowboys what's truly DEEP around here... it's the steaming heard of bull**** running straight through dodge city.
Don't hitch your wagons to a cattle call.
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(11) Posted by Darko Šaljić [Sunday, Dec 29, 2013 14:56]

Rudenko and Suskov based thair classification of twomovers themes solely based on tactical elements.
It is interesting that in a western (and Serbian) literature we can find totally opsit approcah.
Also,under the term "mechanisms" thay specified recognizable formations between pieces as albino, battery, halfpin..
But, on same place Rudenko notes "strategic" position of some piece (did thay think on strategy only in a static contest?)
Those elements we can hardly call a "theme" in a modern #2. They are usually only (strategic?)devices in the hands of the composer.
I agree with Benko and Keres that too abstract thematic approach turn away Problem from basic values of Chess game.
These days I enjoy my job as one of judges for AF 2010-2012, and when I look on a recent masterpeices of Kovačević, Bruch, Gvozdjak etc
I can rightly hope for a brighter future.
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(12) Posted by Kevin Begley [Sunday, Dec 29, 2013 15:57]; edited by Kevin Begley [13-12-29]

I already called bull**** on your name-droppings, Darko...
If you can't even define the fundamental terms you're slinging, toss another name on the fire -- is that it?
I do wish you could announce whether doubling-down on this is an example of bad Strategy, or just bad Tactics...

Is this the kind of judge you want to make of yourself?
I see that you're really enjoying the part of a real cowboy -- spurs all jangling; except when challenged, you're afraid to draw upon the vocabulary underpinning your own terms!
Is this the extent of your judgement criteria -- some names?

I'm quite sure some of those around the campfire will be happy to hear you calling their names; and, they'll probably be only too happy to see that you (specifically) continue in their service.
If you can't define your own terms, don't worry -- the big names will define everything for you, as you go; but, don't mistake it as a service to the problem chess community.

I find it remarkable that you haven't put forward the slightest effort to define the ONE term to which you have devoted so much consideration, and conversation...

I really don't go looking for battles... I really don't know you... I have no reason in the world to quarrel...
But, then you chose the title of this thread: "is there any Strategy in [an orthodox directmate] twomover?"
You asserted a participation in deep conversations with some of the most thoughtful problem composers, on the very matter of this ONE word.
And yet, you can't define the ONE term of your own selection, in the context of a chess problem.

That's silly mistake, which is not easily swept away -- not even under the rug of holiday courtesy.
And, at every opportunity, you seem to make matters worse for yourself -- bolstering a false claim by dropping names, making allusions to a judgement title, absurdly asserting some perceived dimension of "realness."
And, the stubborn refusal to provide a simple definition...
It's obscene -- you have only worked to legitimately discredit your own claims.

I can sympathize with any difficulties you've had in pinning-down your own basic term, in the course of a spirited (and protracted) rambling campaign.
And, trust me, I can even sympathize with those who conduct conversations with people unwilling to expose an acquired proficiency in the most remedial terminology.
But, spare me the periphery pretense -- any ignoble attempt to conceal a basic terminological failure... well, it reads like blood in the water.
Real sharks don't ring their own dinner bell.
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(13) Posted by Eugene Rosner [Sunday, Dec 29, 2013 19:25]

certainly there is, on the part of the solver. Take a white correction or threat correction problem. The solver must first see why a random move will not work and then traverse perhaps two or three more phases of strategy to compensate or substitute until he gets it right. If the problem is a good one and the solver goes through the intended steps in order, there is a full reward waiting for him...
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(14) Posted by Darko Šaljić [Sunday, Dec 29, 2013 20:47]

Yes, as Eugen and Hauke noticed, there is a great similarity between concept: primary error - secondary error - solution in correction play of twomover and: main plan - try play - foreplan - decoy in #3 logical school.
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(15) Posted by Nikola Predrag [Sunday, Dec 29, 2013 20:54]

Here's roughly about how I see it, without any ambition to call it a definition.

There is some task or goal. The first question is how can it be fulfilled in principle. Out of the hypothetically possible ways, we create the main plan for the realization and general strategy. There could be several possible (different or similar) strategic lines suitable for the general strategy. The realization of the plan in real circumstances (which might change in real time) requires a good general strategy which relies on the optimal combining and switching of various strategic lines. The quick action for such combining and switching, usually depends on the precise utilization of shortly lasting opportunties. That would be the tactics.

Strategy is a plan which relies on various possibilities and tactics is the choice of a particular possiblity in a particular moment.
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(16) Posted by Darko Šaljić [Sunday, Dec 29, 2013 21:04]

Nikola, you don't want to call it a definition, but I can not imagine anithing closer than your explanation.
I was hoping you'd be included in the discussion!
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(17) Posted by Nikola Predrag [Sunday, Dec 29, 2013 23:20]

It is surely not a definition for it's not precise and exact, there are even contradictory parts. I think that the important distinctive point is where the strategy and tactics appeare essentially different in nature. A complex tactical manoeuvre could itself be considered as strategic and relying on simpler tactical elements. I doubt that it's now any clearer but everyone interested should think about it himself and see whether it's useful as a concept.

According to such approach, there is strategy in every #2 (or at least strategic elements). Because of the shortness of play, strategy is so much dependent on immediately exposed tactical elements that we tend to neglect it. There is some plan with several possible strategic lines, but the very key is already tactical. Everything is relative :-)
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(18) Posted by Kevin Begley [Sunday, Dec 29, 2013 23:45]; edited by Kevin Begley [13-12-30]

If you can not imagine anything closer than such a vague definition (oooh, plan = the strategy, and choices = the tactics... my, how rich!), it proves that you're willing to run bankrupt of all logic, in exchange for the pathological fulfillment of a desperate need to hear yourself eloquenting the conversings (with said name-droppings) concerning the reversed anthropomorphization of the living terms found in actual chess-play.

If the void is taken as zero, behold the polar opposite of words coming to life!

In short, your strategy is the want to play Napoleon on a yellow brick road; and your tactics are the denial of all but flying monkey logic.
It probably would not hurt to register such passion for pretense, with the local theater group... and local authorities.
I shall leave the tactical execution (bullhorn, or registered letter) of this strategic plan, to whatever accommodates your own particular dramatic perspective.

But beyond the true believers of their own melodrama, and for the sake of those who hope for a better future, let it be footnoted that here was offered a chess problem gospel more warped than the lowest form of reality television.
Yet, plenty would consume this bait... with a frenzied gluttony.

If only television executives had a marginally improved capacity for following the subtle intricacies of a spiraling denial... maybe the general audience might actually have a chance to buy such tripe.
Perhaps if you replaced chess problem strategy with, say, the muscle reflexes necessary to score well on Qbert... and you follow this up with wine-soaked conversations among the legends of modern quantum philosophy...
That could provide the battering speed necessary to peddle this bologna product.
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(19) Posted by Nikola Predrag [Monday, Dec 30, 2013 00:57]

Sorry Darko, my inclusion in this discussion was based on vain hope that all our attempts would not be immediatelly flooded and burried by sh*t-producing machine (is it a computer virus which generates such stuff?). Just to see how this machine/virus deals with extremes, let's try this position:
W:Rg1,Rg3; B:Kh8,Sf1
Stipulation is #1, goal is to check bK by wR without possible parrying by Black, plan is to check by one R and guard flights with the other one, strategy is to move a R to h-line in such way that Black can't close the checking-line, tactics is to play 1.Rg3-h3#(1...Sh2??). It is all the same thing and the distinction appears as absurd. Whoever really wants it, may think about the possibility to apply it in more complex cases.
Whoever is not interested may go to his own lavatory instead of misusing this public place.
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(20) Posted by Eugene Rosner [Monday, Dec 30, 2013 06:34]

I didn't know you were the boss of us. Your comments are hurtful and do nothing to propagate anything positive in this chess problem forum. All we are doing is suggesting ideas and answers to the questions posed. May I suggest you step down from your highhorse and be a little kinder and wiser in your responses. You at present have a most alienating quality.
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