Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Bottom-Up and Top-Down

The CCT heuristic (Checks, Captures, Threats) I have been using recently is essentially a bottom-up method. It is wonderful if only a few options are on the board. Just follow the principal variations and look if they bring advantage. In other words, CCT is excellent if there is a simple tactic.

I have tried out a new training method using CCT. I replay games of a collection in the analysis mode with Deep Shredder. The level of the players is between 1600 and 2000. I hide the analysis window behind the board window, but let the top line visible, which shows me the positional value, but not the moves. Whenever the positional value shifts considerably, showing that an error has been made, I look at the positon and try to find the best move.

In many cases it can be found by CCT. But in many other cases I think it is better to switch to a top-down heuristic. Look for targets that can be attacked and then figure out how the attack works best.

What I need is a Target Rating (TR) heuristic that is able to detect not only the obvious targets but also the hidden ones. The ideal thought process will be a mix of TR (identify targets and rank them according to their value) and CCT (try out the most forcing ways to attack the targets).

My idea of Target Rating is to look for target features such as «unprotected», «piece of high value», «protected only by King or Queen», «mating square» and the like. Then to add points for the features, and in the end the top target should get most points. Then use again CCT to find the best move to attack the top target.

Just an idea, unproved, not yet worked out.


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