Thursday, August 31, 2006

Do You Count Shades of Red?

Silly Question. You can count sheep but not wool. You can count socks but not colors of socks. You can count cars in traffic but not the danger of an accident.

My Target Feature Count is the silly attempt to execute an excellent plan. Thanks, Tempo, for your comment and posts, they helped me a lot to come to this conclusion.

Nobody can deny that finding and evaluating targets in a chess position is an excellent plan. In order to distinguish targets from non-targets we need features to look for. Up to this point everything is okay. But the idea of counting these features must be silly, because target features are sort of colors or flavours, and these cannot be counted. Can you imagine a wine taster counting the flavours he perceives?

I have a better idea to deal with targets: upgrading and downgrading them as we look longer and deeper into a position. Just imagine every piece and pawn has small red and green lamps on its top. If a piece is safe, the green lamp is on. If it becomes less safe, the green light dims down and the red lamp dims up. If a piece becomes a target, the red light brightens. If the king is one move from checkmate the red light flashes and an alarm bell rings.

In principle, chess tactics is very simple. All you have to do is to look at the targets, sort them by brightness of their red lamps, exploit the one or two top targets and forget the rest. That's it.

CTS performance:
8-30: 91% @ 1460 (n=100) :-)
8-31: 88% @ 1465 (n=190) :-(

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