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TOPIC: Chess Tactic, End Game and Key Positions

Chess Tactic, End Game and Key Positions 3 years 7 months ago #24

CPT uses the concept of topics to provide a very flexible solution for creating, managing and training all type of not linked positions like tactic or end game positions, chess puzzles and key positions of an opening. The concept of topics can be even used to manage model games for an opening or ideas for the middle game.

First things first. A topic is a collection of tabiyas. Think of a topic like “Rook endings” or “Dragon key motifs” or “Mate in 3”. Each tabiya of a topic represents one of these “rook endings”, “Dragon key motifs” or “mate in 3”. You could have a topic called “mate in 3” with 300 tabiyas (=exercises).

A tabiya can contain moves similar to an opening, but there are a few important differences as the goal is different as well. First of all, a tabiya can start with any position (an opening always begins with the regular start position). Then, a tabiya is considered a logical unit (exercise), which can be trained and has only one training score. The positions of the tabiya have no training score at all. That means, if you train a tabiya you are always trained in all positions it contains in one run. Only if you play the correct candidate move for all positions of a tabiya (the training goes systematically through it) it is considered learned / recalled.

Sometimes a tabiya contains only a few moves or even just one (e.g. “White to move and win: find the winning move”). However, CPT gives you the flexibility to create more complex training units. Maybe you want to include some alternatives for the opponent along the variation you want to train.

In theory you can manage openings with topics. However, as positions have no training score it is not desirable for openings. Managing some model games makes sense though.

Managing tactic or end game positions as topic
You have two options: either import a PGN file, which contains such positions or create them manually. If you use the import make sure to select the correct type on the first wizard page

If you want to create a new topic you can do so by clicking on New and then the New Topic repertoire element command in the ribbon.

You can also right-click on a folder or opening to add a topic.

Give it a meaningful name like “Rook endings”. You could also create a folder first called “End games” and then create a topic for each motif in this folder (like “Rook endings”, “Bishop vs. Knight” etc.).

When you create a new topic you are immediately asked to edit a position. This position is the start position of the first tabiya. A topic can’t exist without at least one tabiya.

The tab control shows the newly created topic and the first tabiya. You can see that it indicates the index of the currently shown tabiya next to the topic name, which is (1/1) in the screenshot as only one tabiya exists.

If you want to navigate through all tabiyas of a topic or add new ones you have to select the ribbon page Positions. In the Tabiya group you can find the tabiya navigation to go forward and backward.

Furthermore you can use the Add command to add another tabiya to the current topic. You can also delete the current one or copy it. If you copied a tabiya you can easily add it to another topic. This can be done by activating another topic (either in the repertoire explorer or in the tab control) or by right-clicking on the target topic in the repertoire explorer and choosing Paste Tabiya. Continue with the process to add more tabiyas.

Creating a topic for key positions of an opening
Do you have an opening with key positions, which you would like to train separately? Sometimes an opening has similar looking positions, but you have to continue differently. For example in the Pirc you have to continue in certain positions with c6, sometimes with c5 and sometimes with a6 or even b6. Topics are a great way to collect these key moments where you are defining the overall direction of your play. Just navigate to such a key position.

There are two ways to add a position to a topic. The topic has not to exist yet. On the Positions page you can use the Add Position to Topic command of the page group Position. A dialog box let you choose the target repertoire element. If you select a topic the position will be added as new tabiya to that topic. If you choose an opening or folder a new topic will be created below that item and the current position is the first tabiya of the topic. You can decide whether you just want to add the current position, “n” moves or the complete variation.

Afterwards just navigate to the next key position of your opening and process with the same procedure.

As an alternative you can right-click on the target repertoire element and select from the context menu the command Add Position as Tabiya.

The fact that you can add topics directly to an opening makes it easy to create a compact unit, which covers all aspects. You could add one topic containing the key ideas of the opening (as an introduction). In this case you want to make sure they also have detailed position comments. You could add another topic with key positions in the opening and another one about ideas for the arising middle game.

In the training module you can then easily train the newly created topic.

Managing middle game positions of an opening as topic
It is not always easy to tell, which move is still part of the opening and which one is already part of the middle game. Sometimes you would keep moves in your openings, just because they give you ideas how to continue in the middle game. However, you don’t want to train these moves. Thus you have to use training options like Max. Length of Line to avoid them. This is not ideal though.

CPT offers you a smart way to manage middle game ideas and model games for an opening separately from the opening moves.

The procedure is very simple. Go to the last position of the opening, which you also want to train.

Use the Add position to Topic command.

In the dialog-box check All and as target choose your opening. If you confirm the action the program will copy the current position and all candidate moves of the current position including all variations reached from this starting position into the newly created topic.

A new topic is added just below the Pirc opening in this example. The default name of a new topic is always “*new topic*”. You can rename the topic to for example “Pirc Middle Game” by right-clicking on the newly created topic and choosing Edit.

Now, go back to your opening. You are at the last position, which you want to train. In the Candidate Move List you can see in this example the move Nbd7 for the opening “Pirc” and “Pirc Middle Games”. The latter is shown in a darker color, because it no longer belongs to the opening, but to the topic.

Delete the candidate move for the opening. Left is only the candidate move for “Pirc Middle Games”. As you can see CPT shows transpositions even between openings and topics, which give you great freedom to organize your repertoire. Just clicking on the candidate move of the topic will let you load the topic and corresponding tabiya.

That means you can keep your openings tight and just put all middle game ideas into a specific topic. You could also create a topic to keep model games.

Managing model games
So far we have only considered using topics for managing positions, which don’t start from the original start position. However, you can manage complete games with a topic as well. Sometimes you want to manage famous games as model games for an opening. Maybe you just want to browse through them from time to time to remember key ideas or you would like to even memorize them.

In this case just create a new topic. Then either import these model games or manually enter them. Each tabiya represents one model game. A model game can include variations. Such model games can be trained like any other tabiya of a topic. You have to play the complete game without mistake though before the tabiya (model game) is considered as learned. Before you start the training make sure to set the Max. Length of Line to a high number as a model game usually contains much longer lines than an opening.
Last Edit: 3 years 7 months ago by Chess Position Trainer.
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