Friday, September 08, 2006

A General Strategy For Predators

Let's take the example of a hawk going after birdies. His first step is to spot them. Okay, he has spotted a pigeon far away and a sparrow much closer. As a second step he must sort these targets by size and by distance. Then he must focus on the prey he has ranked top, and then decide to go or not to go after this or after that or after another prey yet to be spotted (because the sparrow is too alert and about to escape, and the pigeon is too far away).

It seems that the four-step strategy «Spot. Sort. Focus. Decide.» is much older than chess. I remember a TV feature on marine biology that presented the school formation of herrings as an anti-focus strategy against sharks. Confused by the sheer mass of herrings the shark is unable to focus on a single herring, let alone to decide which one to swallow.

This reminds me of certain CTS problems where a near-mate, a piece win and a piece plus pawn win is presented. Or those tricky ones where a mate in three is false because there is a mate in two.

2 Comments:

At 11:24 AM, Blogger transformation said...

someone once told me:

'first you get a phone, then you get a job, then you get a car, then you get a girl'.

someone also once told me, 'david, to be in business for yourself you need three things' (remember, this was 1987, before printers and pc's were common):

'you need a phone, a business card, and a typewriter, then you are "in business"'.

to be an internet chess wiz, you need a CTS handle, a playchess or ICC handle et al, and you need a blogger place to post.

 
At 2:49 PM, Blogger Mousetrapper said...

I'll prefer to be a chess wiz at the board rather than at the blog.

 

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