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Alexander Alexandrovich Shashin


Chess is an inaccurate game!

Our conversation with the famous master of sports of the USSR A.A.Shashin is devoted to completing his chess game textbook. The trainer who is working in the Anichkov Palace for more than 30 years and has trained a lot of talented students, shares his thoughts that he was able to pass on to the paper in his book, which is being prepared for printing.


- To predict the future of chess with absolute accuracy is impossible. It is so because chess is a difficult game, or as a theoretical physicist would have said a complex system. Here you can talk about its future at the level forecasts.

- In recent years the theory has expanded greatly. I would like to know your opinion, what can do common chessplayers approximately up to candidates masters, in order not to drown in its study with their desire to learn and understand chess better?

- You can talk about a chess game theory in general and about "private" theories of, say, a theory of openings. If we talk about theory on general, it is necessary to single out the teaching of Steinitz, the most outstanding researcher in the history of chess. Steinitz, a colossus, and figuratively speaking all the other researchers stand on his shoulders. They are interpreters of his teaching from Tarrasch and Lasker to Karpov and Kasparov. But at the present time we need to go beyond the teachings of Steinitz because it is clearly outdated and does not meet the requirements of the computer age.

- So you think that the theory of Steinitz is "to be filed"?

-No, the theory of the first world champion is "not to be cut down with an ax", not to be shelved. It is a foundation, a launching pad for future theorists, and it was created in an era of the total domination of Newtonian physics and Charles Darwin's theory of evolution: What happened to chess and not only to chess over the past 100-120 years? Chess game before us is much more complicated. And that is why, after Steinitz quantum mechanics, genetics, theory of dynamical and experimental (!) systems came into our "near-chess" life. Chess it is a complex, mental, that is imagined (existing "in my head", conceived, ideal system. Chess is a total bifurcation system with almost infinite tree of options in its scope. Complicated hence if means 10 to 36 power of the elements of the system (number of eventual chess positions). Thereby elements may differ substantially from each other, compare the position of, say, three figures on the chessboard with that position on the board where the 32 figure. That's why chess can not be reduced to an extract game. If can not be calculated to the end. It is virtually inexhaustible. Now a few words about what we mean by the term "bifurcation system." Roughly speaking, the bifurcation system in chess is a great number of positions (both simple and complicated!) wherein take place two or more than two moves of equal chess strength. A chessplayer be even a world champion! has a choice (he can choose). Hence these appear chance, freedom and uncertainty. And this uncertainty, has no beginning, no end ... I do not see ... who will see, he will close chess, he will make chess game accurate... I do not believe it! There are positions where a chessplayer chooses either attack of material targets or attack of empty fields. There are also such strategic positions where, a chessplayer chooses - "lifting" the advance-guard or rear-guard of his own position, in playing on the equity fields. Look at that in more detail in my book devoted to a new method of searching the moves, my new theory. What does Steinitz do? He tries unsuccessfully! To cram all the wealth of chess game in the narrow confines of the Newtonian paradigm. The logic of Steinitz (and Newton!) is two-digit. The logic of type is "yes", "no". Steinitz tries to control chess chaos with simple means, but, alas! Steinitz wants to make the theory more complete that is comprehensive. But he receives a contradictory system: what is to be done? An answer: supplement a logical dyad with the third logical element! You must introduce uncertainty.

- Thus, we may conclude that chess is an exact function?

- Chess is an inaccurate game! Those who reason other wise to say the least, shows disrespect for great numbers. The number with 36 zeros is unattainable! I'll tell you more, there is a greater number in chess, the number of possible non-recurring games. According to Shannon and Botvinnik, it is a number of order 10 to 120 power according to Dirac (Dirac is Nobel Laureate in physics), this number (denoted by letter "N") is N = n in the third power multiplied by three = 10 in 108th power, where n = 10 in the 36th power in a number of eventual chess positions. The number "N" can not even be imagined mentally...

- This is interesting, and can you simplify the concepts of your theory?

- Please listen. All positions of 10 to 36th power are broken into three classes. The first class is subject to Tal's algorithm. It is a main thing here to attack the material targets, pieces and pawns. The second class: there operates algorithm of the H.-R. Capablanca. In such positions a game takes place on empty fields of the chessboard, that is a positional game comes to playing on the empty fields. We grab them, or give back, depending on whether we hold a strategic attack, or a strategic defense under pressure of the rival. Thus, Capablanca's algorithm game can be both aggressive and defensive. The third class, it is T.Petrosian's algorithm. It is antipode of Tal's algorithm. If the stronger side is obliged to attack the strategically important field and material targets, the other party is obliged to protect them. That is, to try to put a barrier to the expansion of an opponent without compromising the position. In other words, a symmetric process takes place. It's quite easy to be understood by chessplayers of not even second category, but of the strong third category as well. And speaking of the more complicated positions we will be forced to introduce an element of chaos. There appear mixed-type algorithms Tal - Capablanca, Capablanca - Petrosian and most complex algorithm Tal - Capablanca - Petrosian. These algorithms are overcrowded with complex bifurcations. If a chessplayer realizes that in a complicated position he has at least two right moves, if a second category player does not waste time stupidly to find a single right move, if he programs himself that he has two correct moves he will advance in the right direction:

- But it is not always so?

- Not always. The only move is M.Tal's algorithm. If you may checkmate in one way you do it immediately. If you are attacking the king with sacrifices there is the only option with some branching and the output matrix is mating the king, then it is the strongest continuation. But if one has an extra pawn, or an advantage of the bishop over the knight, the taken decision will be strategically and not only right. In such complicated positions, when two algorithms operate simultaneously and when position are intermediate and include rough "Tal's" play and "Capablanca's" aggression and every things is not so simple the opinions of Karpov and Kasparov collide here. If they are given complicated position, say, of order 1000 and if they come unanimously to the same decisions, I shall "eat my own hat". It is obvious, that it can not be so! Let the third category chessplayers even be aware of it.

- Is there an algorithm of Alekhine, or, say, Kasparov?

- Tal algorithm is a conditional psychological state of chessplayer which accompanies a search for the strongest chess move in certain positions. And what position belongs to Tal's algorithm? This is determined by the parameters of the position. If a chessplayer masters five parameters which exist in any position, if a man calculates the number four or five parameters (fifth is Chaos), then, depending on their combinations one can clearly determine by what of the six parameters one can look for the course of Tal, Capablanca, Petrosian, Capablanca + Petrosian, Tal, Capablanca + Petrosian. The chessplayer can clearly determine it by these parameters Tal's algorithm consists of four elements, Capablanca's of three, add here a cyclical process, Petrosian - Tal opposite algorithms. Add another mixture of these algorithms. Have you caught the essence?

- In general, yes, but what will happen with the elements of the algorithm Capablanca + Petrosian? Will they be summed up, or be mutually absorbed?

- I have shown that on the games commented in my book as well as in his numerous articles in the games of M.Chigorin, A. Karpov and others. My students who have achieved good results adhere to my algorithm of searching for the move.

- Who are they, for example? Are they International Master A.Eliseev, M.Zvereva ...?

- No, they're talented players, but A.Eliseev was mounded as a chessplayer in the environment where the concept of the classical chess school was quite arbitrary. And A M.Zvereva was more influenced by her father, by International master V.I.Ivanov.

- Then who are they?

- For example, it is Dina Bazhenova, two-times champion of Russia among young girls. I should add International masters A.Krishilovsky and N.Nikolaev. I should also mention that at different times G.Kamsky, and Grandmaster Maxim Novik and a rising star Nastya Bondaruk were under my influence. But these successes are not my main achievement. The top of my coaching career, it is not "point" projects, but "mass production". I tell you more precisely: in 1996 five out of the six chessplayers who had been taught by me, were included into an assembly team of the sports school at the Anichkov Palace 5 out of 6! And many coaches were working in collective body. We took the first place the large margin in the team championship of the city. But we did not go to nationwide competition - we have not enough money. Dashing 90s of Russia! My method is good for masses. Little stars as a rule do not need a guide, give them naked information and cherish their ambition!

- Yet, if the chess game is material, then a question arises, how can we explain the fact that the computer is made of "iron" beats surely a man, and not only at the expense of performance. Is it a result of missing weaknesses in the implementation of technology superiority, endings, etc.?

- Computer beats even world champions, at the expense of speed action and more or less a decent program, due to the not too ugly algorithm. Algorithms can be almost infinitely improved. Yet it is hard to imagine that silly albeit a speedy-action program will learn to understand a position so, as it is understood, say, by the current champions. A lot of work... our mental system - chess - all of as complex as many material systems. For example, we have a task of preparing Russia's GDP forecast for 2011...

- But it will not be accurate?!

- Take, for example, numerous complaints of chessplayers - analysts at the "unpredictability" of the findings of powerful modern programs in use of many hours I remember, I noted at least two cases of "confusion" super-chessplayers, one with Morozevich (in one of his games), another with Kasparov (in the analyzing Tal's fighting hits). You leave your computer for a night, and in the morning you get a variation of 22-24 half-moves. Thereby you do not understand a half of these variations though you are up against a blank wall":Chess is incredibly complex. It can not run out!

- Have methods of teaching changed due to the advent of the computer which plays better than a world champion, a huge amount of information available and so on?

- I can say that my methods experienced changes. My kids are working on a new universal method of finding the strongest chess move, and this technique is unique. It seems to me all other coaches are working within the frame of one of hundreds and even thousands of modifications of the theory of Steinitz. This improvisation is based on a controversial theory of the first world champion.

- What can you say about the future of the theory of openings?

- - I consider this problem through the prism of the "post-Steinitz'es" system of the theory of chess game. The theory of openings is a special case of the general theory. And the last is a child of the general scientific theory of complex systems in which (in complex systems!) there dominate interactions of the type of chaos-order. Thereby chaos should not be viewed as something "awful and inexplicable", but as a continuum of competing options. What does it mean for chess? I answer briefly and clearly: the legalization of "curves", "ridiculous" crazy sequels! I shall not be without any proof: 1.e4 c5 2.Na3 (Zvyagintsev) 1.e4 c5 2.Qh5, 1.e4 c5 2.f4 (Smyslov), 1.e4 c5 2.a3, 1.e4 c5 2.c4, 1.e4 e5 2. Cb5, 1.Kc3 (met with Smyslov): The list may be easily continued, but I'd rather keep it "secret". My students have it complete! They create, not without my pressure, their own theory of openings. And they do it with considerable practical effect. And why not? Modern chess, it is chaotic chess and this chess chaos may be put in good order anew. A conclusion is be of good cheer!

- Alexander Alexandrovich, thank you for an interesting conversation. Будем с нетерпением ждать выхода в свет Вашего учебника. We look forward to the release of your textbook. And for the present we are publishing a preface and a table of contents from it.

На верхupdate 01-05-2012 

 





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