Methods Of Analyzing Alternatives

In chess & business you usually have to consider alternatives. How should one analyze them? Are there any methods? Well Alexander Kotov has already given one method with his tree of analysis, but this only works well when you can easily differentiate the outcomes. When there are similar kinds of outcomes this method doesn’t work.

In business this method called systematic analysis or, say, cost benefit analysis, but when outcomes are quite similar we must use intuitiion instead. Capablanca’s technique & Tal’s sacrifices are the best examples. Now comes the question of when to follow intuition and when to follow cost benefit analysis.

When outcomes are uncertain or similar and if you have to decide quickly you should go for intuition based decision. Why? Well here is the answer:

Intuition follows general principles: When you have two choices to capture on g3 with h pawn or f pawn. Almost all will go with hxg3. Why? Because experts say to do so and in practice it is almost always right. A complex case is when you exchange bishop against knight or vice versa, and here too the decision will usually be based on general principles. Why do you avoid keeping a piece hanging? Because all this knowledge & experience is already in your subconscious mind, so whatever decision you take in such situations there are more chances that you will be successful by taking intuitive decisions. To prove my argument, take a look at anyone’s blitz rating where almost all the decisions are taken based on intuition.

What should we be careful of when taking such decisions? A major factor is one’s emotional state and whether one has strong positive or negative feelings about something. For example it’s known that Janowsky loved the bishop pair.

How can we improve our intuition? Only with knowledge & experience. However if you want to do some serious work on it, you should do some research on programming your subconscious mind.

Ashvin Chauhan