Email 13: Ken's ideas on how we could discuss PCC

Date: May 6, 2011

First Name: Ken
Last Name: Wilsdon
Country: Canada
Subject: Ken's ideas on how we could discuss PCC

Hi Graham, Sure, we can go through the chapters, and let our discussion determine the pace. It would be an excellent review for me, since it has been several years since I have gone completely through the book (I pick it up now and then, and browse through it, but haven't really studied it in a long time).

The one challenge I think we might have is recreating the move orders to arrive at the position in terms of your COA program. But since he gives the opponents and the year, we should be able to find it on one of the online databases with a little searching. Then we could put it into pgn notation, and copy it to COA.

The reason I stress this is that the study of complete games allows you to "learn by osmosis" some of the great lessons in openings and strategy and tactics along the way to the position discussed. It is one of the ways nearly every Master has suggested to get better at chess, viewing the ending from the opening, and will probably help you to determine the kind of positions you like, and the openings that you like.

My suggestion would be to comment within a pgn file to preserve our joint analysis, maybe doing it quickly ignoring obvious moves up to the position in the book. I volunteer to find the games in pgn on the Internet. I would send you a pgn file without comments initially so you could look at it fresh, and review it quickly in say 15-30 minutes with initial comments up to the position, and later I would send you one with my comments to the position.

The goal would not be to analyze it extensively to this point, but only help us understand how the position arrived. Over time we could collect these into a pgn collection that would enable us (or others) to come back to our work in years to come, or review a position in the book easily (as we will label the game with the illustration # and page # from the book). Later when we review it with all of the Point Count behind us after we have finished the book, we could update our analysis if we wished, or put it on our "to do" list.

Having a list of games and positions could be useful for your web site as well, kind of like a "what are the major elements here and how did play proceed?" kind of page, with the solutions page having the pgn and some commentary (either ours or Horowitz or both).

This suggestion is not to create more work, but simply to help us understand the positions we will be discussing in context. As one of my seminary professors said, "A text without a context is a pretext", or in chess parlance, "A position without a context is a pretext" at understanding what is going on.

What do you think? I am willing to put our games on hold, if it means we gain a better education.

Best wishes,