Sunday, November 19, 2006


I spent some time looking at this chess problem and came away with some quick tools for deciding if pushing a particular advantag will win. Since the problem I'm looking at has a decisive line for the other side if I start my line, I now need some tool for figuring out how to break down their best line. Rook and pawn endings are tougher than they look.

Watch Little Impelled's soccer game, which was the usual scrum of first graders chasing the ball. His coach had told him to play defense on the left, and he was all over the place, so I started calling to him "back, left, back, left". He started to do it a bit, and when the ball went to the right he edged to the middle. You could see him wanting to go further to the ball, so I called "stay there, you're doing an important job, the ball is coming to you." And the other team did try to center the ball, and he was there to stop it. The next time the ball went right he wanted to go after it, and I called "that kid there -- he's good, the ball is coming to him, stay between him and the goal." And the ball came out, and that kid got it, and Little Impelled was right on him. And after that no one needed to tell him not to go right, and he stopped another two or three balls. That one kid did score the game's only goal, pouncing from the left on a loose ball after Little Impelled was shifted to offense.

We talked afterwards. "It works, holding your spot, doesn't it?" "Yeah. "But i's hard, standing in the right spot when everyone else is over the ball, isn't it?" "Yeah." "Well, get used to it."


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