Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Scientific Test, Part III: Target Feature Count

Target Feature Count is a simple method of identifying and ranking targets in a chess position. It is assumed that the target with the highest TFC value is most likely the one to be attacked by the best move, either directly or indirectly.
  • Piece value: Being a King or a Queen (add 1 point)
  • Lack of protection: Not being protected by a pawn (add 1 point), not being protected at all or only by King or Queen (add 1 point). Of course, pinned or overworked pawns or pieces must not be counted as protectors.
  • Attacks: Add 1 point for every attack, including x-rays and possible attacks with next move; add 1 extra point for attack by a piece of lesser value.
  • Capture: Add 1 point for being en prise (unprotected and can be taken with the actual move) or being trapped (unable to escape).
  • Balance: If a target is protected and attacked, calculate a sequence of captures and recaptures until the highest target feature count is reached.
  • Multiple attack: If two or more targets can be attacked by one move, sum the features of all involved targets.
Special cases
  • Threatening checkmate in one = 8 points: King (1), to be attacked (1), to be attacked by a lesser piece (1), being trapped (1), mating square unprotected by a pawn or piece (1), protected only by the King (1), attacked twice (2).
  • Queen en prise = 4 to 6 points: Queen (1), not being protected by a pawn (0) or only by a piece (1) or only by the King or not protected at all (2), being attacked (1), being attacked by a piece of lesser value (1), can be captured with the actual move (1).
  • Piece or pawn en prise = 4 points: Not being protected by a pawn (1), not being protected at all (1), being attacked (1), can be captured with actual move (1). In this case, it is irrelevant if it is taken by a piece of higher, equal or lesser value.
  • The Exchange en prise = 3 to 5 points: Rook being protected by a pawn (0) or only by a piece (1) or only by King or Queen (2), being attacked (1), being attacked by a piece of lesser value (1), can be captured with the actual move (1).
  • Check or attacking the Queen = 3 points: King/Queen (1), to be attacked (1), to be attacked by a piece of lesser value (1). Besides the target feature count, the tempo gain must also be taken into account here.
Target Feature Count is a measure of the vulnerability of a target, not of its value. For instance, a pawn en prise and a rook en prise both have the TFC value of 4, but a very different material value.

Update: This is the conclusion after a preliminary test of TFC. Further examinations are needed to find out how TFC can be fine-tuned for use in practical games.

2 Comments:

At 4:11 PM, Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

It is not clear what is going on here. Perhaps an example would help.

 
At 4:31 PM, Blogger Mousetrapper said...

Blue, here you can find an example of how target features are counted. For what's going on in the test see my forthcoming posts. After the test is completed I shall add forward and backlinks to each post. This is work in progress and I hope that in the end everything will become clear.

 

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