Friday, February 28, 2014

Succeeding in Chess By Implementing Underhanded Tactics (1)

Source: Flicker 
updated at 18:18 hrs

Some of us are gamers.  We enjoyed the intellectual intensity of a table game or a field game. We believed in following the rule of playing the game within the letter of the rules and regulations.  If there is a gray spot in its content, we expected the extreme-minded competitor to exploit it to their advantage.  

During our venturing, we have seen many categories of underhanded tactics. 

Following is an abridged set of those tactics that we have seen in various chess matches or have read about: 

The "Sunlight in the Eye" Tactic
Ruy Lopez,  a Spanish priest  was famous for utilizing sunlight to blind his opponent during a game. This tactic is similar to the tactic that Miyamoto Musashi have used to defeat Suzuki in a sword duel

The "Food on Table" Tactic
One associate's favorite tactic was eating a heavy pastrami sandwich and drinking carbonated water during the game. The scent of the pastrami and the burping could moderately disrupt the concentration of the opponent.

The "Tapping on the Table with a Metal Mechanical Pencil" Tactic
Another of favorite tactic of an associate  was the tapping on the game table with a metal mechanical pencil.  . . .  He would start the game by tapping it quite softly and slowly. As the game progressed on, the sound and the rate of tapping increases.  Once the superior position is achieved, the tapping decreases to one soft tap per minute.  It usually disrupts the concentration of the opponent.  (There are other special variations to this tactic.)

The "Humiliating the Winner" Tactic
Whenever losing a game, one would repeatedly yell the following message, "Why did I lose to this lucky moron?" through out the game room.  A certain famous chess player would implement this tactic whenever he loses to a weaker player.  . . .  Some "amateur" tennis players have also employed some variations of this tactic.  . . .  I personally find that tactic to be quite amateurish.  In a strategic game like chess, a focused player who wins, rarely relies on the "chance" factor.  It is better to lose with one's dignity in tact than to win as a classless idiot.

The "Late to The Game or Losing the game by Forfeit" Tactic
The great Robert James Fisher implemented this tactic against Spassky in the second game of the 1972 World Chess Championship.  This move unnerved Spassky so much that he lost the next game.   and did not recover until  the 11th game. ... 

This tactic has also been used in professional labor negotiation.   (We will discussed more on this tactic in a future post.)

Comments From The Compass Desk
Regardless of the quantity of these unique tactics,  some of these tactics are quite crude and uncivil.  

Some desperate people do whatever it takes to win in spite of one's position in the game. They just do not know how to read the greater gameboard.

"According to Fan Li's book, 'If you're last use yin tactics, if you're first then use yang tactics. When you have exhausted the enemy's yang tactics. When you have exhausted the enemy's tactics. When you have exhausted the enemy measures, then expand your yin to the full and seize them.' This then is the subtle mysteriousness of yin and yang according to the strategists."  - Questions and Replies between T'ang T'ai-tsung and Li Wei-kung

One of our preferred set of "counter point" tactical strategies is to wear a pair of shades, a noise filtering head set, a heavy cotton baseball cap,  standing over the game table and drinking warm green tea during the game while pretended that English is not the preferred  language of personal communication.  It works quite well in critical game situations. ... 

From Sunzi's Art of War essay, these underhanded tactics are always organized under the category of "Unorthodox."    . . .  We recommended the reading of Dr. Sawyer's 100 Unorthodox Strategies and 36 Stratagems for unique ideas.  . . .  If you could transpose some of these concepts to the competitive side of chess, please contact us.  We would like to compare notes.  . . .   In our case, some of us have successfully utilized those concepts in the game of Poker and the game of Go (weiqi).   . . . We will discuss more on this topic in a future post.

Side Notes
Chess is a subset of life and life is an grander extension of chess.  The key to succeeding in one's existence is to be a winner in one's life not just on the chessboard.  ...  There is more to life than a game of chess.    ... Comparing go (weiqi) to chess is like comparing theoretical physics to accounting.  Most of us preferred the myriad of quality lessons that could be learned from the former.

"Win if you could.  Lose if you must.  Never get caught in the utilization of underhanded tactics.   ..."  
-  An Anonymous Strategist

# # # 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Surviving a Knife Fight With a Gun! (Assess, Position and Influence)

Updated at 15:55 hr

This past Friday,  an  unknown subject (unsub) was wielding a knife and walked around the San Jose State University campus,  looking quite threatening and lethal.  ... 

Two San Jose State University police officers arrived at the scene and ordered him to drop to the ground. The "unsub" advanced toward the police officers.  One officer attempted to use a taser device to neutralize him. Somehow, that tactic failed. The other officer who feared for his life and his partner's life, killed this knife-wielding person with two gunshots.

Neither officers were injured.

Assess, Position and Influence
“These are the ways that successful strategists are victorious. They cannot be spoken or transmitted in advance. ... Before the confrontation, they resolve in their mind that they will be victorious, have determined that the majority of factors are in their favor. Before the confrontation they resolve in their mind that they will not be victorious, have determined a few factors are in their favor.

If those who find that the majority of factors favor them, will be victorious while those who have found few factors favor them will be defeated, what about someone who finds no factors in their favor?

When observing from this viewpoint, victory and defeat will be apparent.”

- Art of War 1 (Paraphrased from the Sawyer's translation)

The police assessed the field (the configuration of the terrain) and concluded the open state of the space, the number of sidewalk speculators and  determined the character of the person (external leadership) as dangerous all within 10 seconds or less.

The police officers used the tactic of staying a minimum of 50-100 feet away from their "unsub" while drawing their firearm on him.  ... They had the resources of the firearms, the tasers and the probable backup support from the other law enforcement officers . 

Because of the open terrain, the distance and the technology (firearms), the police strategy was to subdue the "unsub" immediately with no harm done to anyone by using the taser first. If the tactic is not effective and the armed unsub becomes a threat. Their only option was to neutralize him quickly.

One officer used the taser.  However the tactic failed.  The other officer was forced to implement the lethal option.

There are people who have watched too many martial art movies or cop movies, thinking that the skilled martial artist or police officer would use some finesse move to stop an criminal from performing any harmful acts.  . . .  Life is different.  . . . The police will take the most effective but pragmatic decision for the purpose of self-preservation. They are trained to follow their near-perfect training system while following the letter of the law. If these professionals are threatened during and after the duty time, the act of self defense is always justified. 

It has been rumored that highly skilled knife players who could position within certain distance of their gun-wielding fighter, have an equal chance of prevailing.   ...  However, no one feels lucky enough to experiment that scenario in real time.

Humorously, this post could have been titled "Never take a knife to a gunfight." ...   In a near-unpredictable tactical situation, the successful field strategists have always focus on their strengths while concealing their weaknesses.  . . .  It is a basic strategy rule.  . . . 
Knowing the exception to that rule is the tangible secret that ultra class strategists hold to the breast pockets of their suits.


Preparing for this scenario is always a challenge. Click here for some pointers.  Personally, I preferred a pen over a sword.  . . . 

Side Notes
Unlike this situation, we have always believed in having an implement that has a greater technological advantage than to rely on a tactical-driven implement.  
 . . .  When operating in a tactical scenario where the competition has the technological advantage, the successful strategist who has the diversity of tactics, knows how to prevail over that disadvantage.   . . . The probability of prevailing in this situation is always questionable because of the pertinence of the time factor and the resources factor.  . . .  

"Thus one who excels at warfare first establishes himself in a position where he cannot be defeated while not losing any opportunity to defeat the enemy.
For this reason, the victorious army first realizes the conditions for victory, and then seeks to engage in battle. The vanquished army fights first and then seeks victory.
One who excels at employing the military cultivates the Tao and preserves the laws; therefore, he is able to be the regulator of victory and defeat.  ..."  -Art of War  4

Friday, February 21, 2014

Succeeding by Assessing Through An Assortment of Strategic Factors (The Example is from the "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" Movie) Part 1

“These are the ways that successful strategists are victorious. They cannot be spoken or transmitted in advance. ... Before the confrontation, they resolve in their conference room that they will be victorious, have determined that the majority of factors are in their favor. Before the confrontation they resolve in their conference room that they will not be victorious, have determined a few factors are in their favor.

If those who find that the majority of factors favor them, will be victorious while those who have found few factors favor them will be defeated, what about someone who finds no factors in their favor?

When observing from this viewpoint, victory and defeat will be apparent.”

- Art of War 1 (Paraphrased from the Sawyer's translation)

The first chapter in Sawyer's translation of the Art of War, aptly titled “Initial Estimations,” which outlines five critical factors for assessment, initiated the thrust to undertake warfare on a calculated basis so closely associated with traditional Chinese military science. (The Art of War actually contains some forty or so paired criteria for evaluation purposes.)

Following is a general listing of strategic factors for this "specific" field tactical situation:
  • The Configuration of the Terrain: The specific qualities of a terrain that could affect the remaining five strategic factors;
  • Generalship (or Leadership)- Possessing the qualities to see the configuration of Big Tangible Picture while maintaining one's principles before capitalizing the opportunities and having the attentiveness to adjust and persist;
  • Tactical Experience- Mastering a diversity of practical tactics that efficiently utilize the resources and the technology and having the comprehension that connects their approach, the executable of the means and the modes that support the means; 
  • Resources- Possessing the access to quality resources;  
  • Technology- Possessing the technology that offers a tactical equilibrium advantage; and   
  • Strategy- Understanding the specifics of the current goal, the approach, the contingency plans, and the tactical options while having a direction once a tactical scenario is over.
The above video displayed two female fighters who are in positioned in a confrontation situation. Fighter A is dressed in white and Fighter B is dressed in beige.   (It is from Ang Lee's 2001's martial art fantasy movie "Crouching Tiger. Hidden Dragon.")

Profile of Fighter A
  • Specializing the application of a double-edged bladed implement (jian).
  • Possessing less tactical experience in properly utilizing the double edged sword 
  • Possessing minimum emotional control
  • Possessing a lighter double-edged sword that is ultra sharp (superior technology)
Profile of Fighter B
  • Possessing an abundance of tactical experience and a wide array of combat tactics  while utilizing an assortment of average weaponry (quality technology). 
  • Possessing strong emotional control
  • Preferring the sabre (dao).  
  • in this video, Fighter B had the advantage to the various specific weapons that were positioned in the room.
In some situations, the choice of weapon represents the mindset of the implementer. The tactical approach of Fighter A is based on cut-parrying movements while Fighter B favored to chop and slice.

While watching the video, you see a sequence of six different rounds of quick clashes.
  • the straight sword vs. the single saber (During this round, the single sabre is separated into a pair of double sabers)
  • the straight sword vs. the spear
  • the straight sword vs. a pair of hooked swords
  • the straight sword vs. the monk spade
  • the straight sword vs. the Gan (an unsharpen metal club-like sword)
  • the straight sword vs. an two handed long straight sword
The Battle
For the first three rounds, Fighter A with average skill, possessed the "ultra sharp" implement (superior technology), that destroyed all three weapons of her opponent. Fighter B had the advantage in tactical experience, but used the wrong tactical approach of hacking and trapping against the sharper sword. 

Fighter B did not have the physical foundation to use the Monk Spade in the fourth round.

While being slowly worn down by Fighter B with a "Gan" (club-like sword)Fighter A was able to cut through it.

In the last round, Fighter B finally secured the advantageous gain by combining her usage of a long two-handled sword, the vantage of "spatial distance" and the "swing, slide and tap/slice" trap tactic to secure the advantageous gain of shortening the distance and pinning the endpoint of the broken blade to the throat of Fighter A.

Assessing the Process of The Battle
Regarding to the above movie clip, certain factors were balanced out.  The battle was about Fighter A who had basic tactical experience and better technology (double edge sword) vs. Fighter B who possessed a high level of experience and a wide array of average technology . 

The fighter with the superior technology would prevail by following the two strategic steps:
  • Surprising the opponent with the new advantage; and 
  • Pursuing and pressing the opponent relentlessly before any strategic recovery occurs.
The person with the wider tactical experience become victorious by following the three pointers:
  • Influencing the opponent to play defense;
  • Refraining from clashing with the opponent's superior technology with a confrontational movement; and 
  • Employing unorthodox tactics (with better maneuvers) to bait the opponent's to mis-utilize their advantage (which could open up their guard).
The "first move advantage" approach and continuous attacking were the keys to prevailing in this distinct situation of uneven advantage.

Comments From The Compass Desk
In a moderately predictable confrontational situation, most field competitors have minimal strategic skills and the time to study their opponent. They ignored the strategic side of the match and utilized their base instinct to persist and survive. ... 

Also, most people do not have the time or the methodical perspective to assess a borrowed instrument and proceed with their basic instinct, their experience with that category of instrument, and presumed that they will prevail before the weapon falters. Sometimes,they get lucky in encountering an unskilled opposition.

Against a stronger opposition who is proficient in misleading the sensorial perception of their counterpart, the result outcome could be quite negative. 

Those who are competing in an intensive competition, should remember the following quote from Questions and Replies between T'ang T'ai-tsung and Li Wei-kung.

"According to Fan Li's book, 'If you're last use yin tactics, if you're first then use yang tactics. When you have exhausted the enemy's yang tactics. When you have exhausted the enemy's tactics. When you have exhausted the enemy measures, then expand your yin to the full and seize them.' This then is the subtle mysteriousness of yin and yang according to the strategists."

This principle has great depth behind its context. One should contemplate quietly and deeply when implementing their daily practice. 

Hint: Save your time.  The answer is not in your copy of the Art of War or the 36 Stratagems  manual.  This type of experience occurs from many years of intense but unique martial arts practice sessions.

Side Notes
Click here for a post on how to assess the quality of a sword. 

We might post a specific example on how the mentioned six strategic factors played a role in how the outcome of Three Kingdom's Red Cliff event was affected. You could read a portion of it by reading Dr. Sawyer's biography of Zhuge Liang.

If one is interested in learn more about the world of martial arts, please visit Cook Ding's Kitchen.  It is a great place for newbies like us to visit and learn.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Analysis of the Game Behind the "Rules Changing" Game: Mike Leach vs Nick Saban and Other Interesting Notes

updated at 16:16 hr

In any competitive terrain, the successful innovative strategists are not victorious especially in the macro political game. The non-innovative political-driven strategist who cannot innovates, will occasionally change the rules and regulations for the purpose of securing an advantageous gain.  ... I have seen this category of strategic maneuvering implemented in certain businesses.  (That is a future post.)

View the above video for one approach to slowing the quick tempo spread offense approach by having a player "acted" that he is hurt.  

The great Nick Saban, football coach of Alabama and his comrades in the SEC conference, were not successful against teams that ran the quick tempo, no huddle offense (especially against Auburn). So they decided to implement an end around play by changing the rules.

The NCAA football rules committee is proposing changes for the 2014 season that would loosen the reins on defensive substitutions and lessen the penalties for targeting fouls called on the field.

The committee's proposal would allow defensive players to substitute within the first 10 seconds of the 40-second play clock, except for the final two minutes of each half.

The rules committee says they hope to enhance safety by guaranteeing a small window for both teams to substitute. UCF receiver Breshad Perriman is shown in November after a play for which Houston's Zach McMillian was called for targeting.  ...  Offenses that snap the ball before 29 seconds remain on the play clock would receive a 5-yard delay-of-game penalty.

Current rules state that defensive players aren't guaranteed the opportunity to substitute unless the offense first substitutes. Under the proposal, this policy would remain when the play clock starts at 25 seconds.  ... The proposal would strike a major blow to up-tempo spread offenses that often run plays before the opposing defense is set. Coaches like Alabama's Nick Saban and Arkansas' Bret Bielema last summer said that up-tempo offenses are likelier to cause injuries for defensive players who can't get off of the field in time.
Source: ESPN and Yahoo  .

Using the excuse of player's safety is quite deceptive.  If the committee and the coaches were quite concerned about the safety of the players, why don't they "illegalize" the act of pass rushing (five to eight man blitzing) and any type of body tackle?  Playing touch football by using Google glasses while playing "Madden Football" would be more safer. ... What do you think?  ... Would you watched any more college football games with these rule changes?

Do you think that the majority of college fans wanted to see that?  ... What were the NCAA's football committee thinking about? ... 

The Projected Outcome 
This current set of rules favored the offense. If this new set of changes are implemented, the offensive side loses the surprise element. 

Teams who emphasize on recruiting ultra athletic, moderately intelligent players, usually are focused on the mastery of fundamentals. They often centered on a high baseline of strategic efficiency, rarely ever innovate.  ... This is the gold standard of their process.

Mike Leach's Comment to the Possible Rules Change
" ... It's always been a game of creativity and strategy. So anytime someone doesn't want to go back to the drawing board or re-work their solutions to problems, then what they do is to beg for a rule. I think it's disgusting.  ...   My suggestion is rather than spending a bunch of time coming up with a bunch of really stupid rules, spend that time coaching harder,  ....   Worry about your own team and try to make your product better rather than trying to change the game so you don’t have to do anything.  ..."
Source: ESPN 

The Football Concept of Offense and Defense
While the grand tactical objective of any ideal offense model is about knowing the primary target, the optional targets and the starting timeline of the execution for each play,  the grand tactical objective for the ideal defense model is about anticipating where the offense is targeting and then being there with the right number of players to crush the offensive play.

By removing the "surprise element" on both sides of the game (no hurry up tactics and no blitzing tactics), what type of game would one have? ... Would the college fans still watch it anymore?  

Notes From The Compass Desk
Competitors who rarely innovate, regularly played the "maintaining status quo" game. They regularly stay efficient by centering their attention on recruiting the best talent that fits their system.

If those particular rules are changed, Saban could be able to continue with his process of recruiting his type of players and secure his legacy of winning college football championships.

As mentioned before, this type of "rule changing" game playing has been done in other competitive venues especially in politics and businesses. We will discuss that matter in a future post.

Side Notes 
To compete effectively against the slow and  non-creative dinosaurs in the information economy, the up-tempo offense is the new model. If one could move faster (with organizational order) and recover from the errors quicker than the competitor. One would be ahead of the curve.  (It is being indirectly used in information technology's project management  There is a minor flaw to that model. But that is another topic  that we will talk about it later.   ...) The "no huddle, hurry up model works as long there is the proper personnel who could master its concepts. scheme and plays. 

Compass Rule
Players --->>> Concepts/Scheme --->>> Formations --->>> Plays

Fwiw, it originated from Sam Wyche's "Sugar" offensive approach with the 1988 Cincinnati's Bengals Super Bowl run.  .... Psychologically it requires a deep sense of aggressiveness and the understanding of the specifics on when to "take what the defense offers to you.  ... "  (That is also another topic.)

Think of what positive growth could be gained when running a no-huddle offense in a capitalist's endeavor.

Many months ago, we posted an note on how the Russian military  implemented their synchronized version of up tempo offense approach against the country of Georgia. With the right leadership, tactics, resources, technology/infrastructure and strategy, this model could be used for certain business situations. 


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Profit by Assessing Strategically: Assessing the Quality of a Sword

(updated at 5:55 hr.)

How do you assess an certain object in an uncertain setting?

While studying the video of a displayed sword or an actual sword at an auction, you wanted to know if it is an actual antique sword or a well-made replica.  

Lets say that you have decided to purchase a jian (a Chinese double-edged sword). Based on your "sword collecting" experience and some sword play training experience, you have already known that it is the lightest of the Chinese medium-sized weapons and requires a great "intent-driven" skill to manipulate.  

Purchasing a Sword
As the blade was being slid from the sheath, you noticed the color of the blade as a glow of light that was reflected on it.

You were quietly impressed by the opulence and the elegance of the sword. After a few moments, you decided to seriously assess this exotic sword. 

The first step was the estimating of the weight, the length of the sword and the width of the blade in a New York second. 

The next step is the visual inspection of the pommel, the tang, the slab, the cross guard and the blade.

While estimating the thickness of the handle, you are also studying the design of the hilt.  Because of your expertise, you understood the origin of the design, the possible quality of metal from hilt to blade and the weight of the blade.

Beside on some of the earlier points, you have concluded that the hilt of the sword could be heavier than the blade.

Assessing the Sword By Physical Swordplay
Some novices or ranked amateurs would occasionally grab the bladed implement, look at it with a glance, feel the weight and the blade and started to "sling and fling" the blade geometrically a few times before stopping and deciding whether to procure it or not. Others just visually assess the blade, and concluded the possible quality of the sword before ever touching it or bargaining for it.

/// # We preferred to methodically and mindfully assess  any quality item that is exotic, exclusive and esoteric.  Beside evaluating the sharpness and the weight of the blade, we have always examine whether the sword is properly balanced by checking whether the pommel supports the rear of the hand, is able to counterbalance the blade's weight while also inspecting the quality of the scab that covers the tang.   # /// 

Before handling the sword, you were already warned about its extreme sharpness. The risk consequence of playing with this implement is quite obvious.

Your deep training in most categories of swords and the act of unifying your mind-body, qi and spirit gave you the skill to mindfully manipulate this sword with zero effort by carefully holding the sword in stillness while focusing on the outpoint of the sword, before any physical motion begins.  (You could read more on this subject matter by visiting our friends at Cook Ding's Kitchen. They have a stronger internal martial art background than we do. ... They are the specialists. We are just the martial arts newbies. )  ... 

There is more to this particular category of Chinese sword play than the action of drawing, cutting/thrusting and sheathing the bladeThe constant practice of this "mindful aware-driven" exercise has enabled you to implement purposeful movements in your sword play and motion were not wasted. 

After a period of experimenting, you began to compare the experience of playing with this sword with the previous experiences of playing with the other similar swords. That requires a unique skill.   Those who have tangible martial art skills and experience, know what we are discussing. 

Mindful Practice
While some result-driven sword players are lucky that they are able to mindfully concentrate on their breathing, their balance and their rhythm, we preferred to focus our attention to the following five quality principles (or factors) while doing anything relevant:   
  • Centering the body; 
  • Relaxing the body; 
  • Connecting the whole body to the ground;
  • Calming the body; and 
  • Feeling the body in a "whole/complete" perspective.
Whether you are assessing the quality of the sword or the quality of food, comparing and contrasting the various factors from each experience is how one profits in our information economy.  ... This is a deep psychological practice that requires many hours of continuous preparation. 

Back to the topic of sword, you might ask the following question, "whether the quality of this experience matches the value of this exotic sword?"

Side Notes 
After that experience of 120 seconds of swordplay, you have realized that this sword by itself dominates nothing. It only comes alive through your skillful manipulation.  . . .  Playing with a sword or any object does not build character.  It reveals the essence of the swordplayer.  ... In some instances, each action is an unified extension of the mind, the body and the spirit. . . . Mastery of real skills requires a sound and solid direction and many quiet sessions of mindful and insightful practices.

By watching the second video, one realized that good sword play with the jian is about being strong while being supple. 

The best swordplay in any chaotic situation is not to remove it from the sheath

In my case, i usually preferred the utilization of an exotic pen over a sword in certain situations.  Our other associates preferred the balance of both implements. 

Comment From The Compass Desk 
So how do you profit from this post? ... 

Because of the speed of the technology and the basic emotional behavior pattern to decide immediately, some members of the masses have a tendency to be deceived by obvious frauds.  ...  Whether you are assessing the purchase of a sword, an automobile or a sandwich, do you realistically assess the quality of any items before buying it?  ... The extra step could de-accelerate the act of immediate gratification. Ensuring that the deception has a hidden negative affect. That might have a value price of lost time and lost resources.  ... So, who do you trust?  Trust yourself.  ... Assess, Position and Influence.  ...

Look at the act of strategic assessment as one ounce of prevention.  

"One ounce of prevention is equal to one pound of cure."

"A snitch of time saves nine."

The constant saving of time and financial resources creates a gradual profit gain.

The avoidance of many "trial and error" sessions and the possibility of macro negative risk-consequences could occur by being strategically mindful in one's decision to assess.  

Playing the game of constant upgrade is something that we could not avoid, Getting constantly deceived is a game that one wants to avoid. From our own experience, learn the practice of assessing is quite beneficial in understanding the certainty of a scenario..  ... But it takes time to do it.  ... This view does not correspond with those ADD people who have the need for immediate gratification.

One only assesses when he/she cares about their own current situation and do not trust the projected certainty of their grand situation. (Compass Rule 101)... Think about it.  ... 

Psychology is Strategy  
One's psychological view of a situation determines their strategic objective and their approach.  The possession of the means and the quality of the modes are two factors  that determine whether the person has the essential substance to solve the objective is the tangible challenge. 

Macro Assessment Pointers 
  • Reading and recognizing the criticalness of one's grand situation and beyond. 
  • Knowing the configuration and the connectivity of the situation before deciding on the factors that influence the situation.
  • Performing various degrees of scenario modeling before deciding.
If the current situation is insignificant and stable, pointer #2 and pointer #3 become immaterial.

Theoretically, it is that simple.  ...  Tactically, the mastery of those three pointers usually required a large range of concentration and practice.  Do you have it?   If so, are you willing to improve on those skills?

Do you really display a serious sense of care and concern on your daily habits and tasks or any relevant task/objective?. ... 

Assessing anything relevant means that one must be methodical by style while being mindfully aware of the influences that affected him or her, the terrain and whatever is beyond those points. 

We do not expected anyone to immediately understand this post and those three mentioned pointers. Because of the velocity and the veracity that are affecting our society, some people might be harshly influenced to mindfully understand the essence of this material one day. 

Think about it.  .. .Good luck. ... 

# # # 

Side note: There are more specific steps to assessing a Chinese double edged sword. We will publish it in our future "Strategic Assessment" book.   For more information on learning the basics of swords, please visit sword forum.  It is a great place to learn about swords.  ... Some of us are occasional visitors of that informative site. 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Profiting by Learning: The After Game Analysis of Super Bowl #48

updated at  02.03.2014  (3:33 hr)

Playing the Super Bowl on the same weekend as the celebration of the Chinese New Year of the Horse does not mean that the Broncos team was going to win the Super Bowl.   ... An offense that depends on an one dimensional approach and tactical gimmicks, usually have trouble against a "complete" defense that is injury-free. 

Defeating the New England Patriots by a grand score does not mean that Broncos was going to win automatically. Especially, when the Patriots defense had a massive amount of injuries and no personnel depth. It also does not mean that the Broncos defeated a quality opponent.   In some instances, this 19 game marathon is about last man standing. Regardless of the quality of the competition, the competitor must focus on getting to the last game.

One could defeat a roster of injury-prone opponents by a high number of points and be declared a stronger competitor while another unknown team with an inexperienced QB defeated a roster of non-injury-prone opponents by an average of 10-14 points and be declared an underdog.   . . .  Most amateurs preferred to focused on the obvious rules of thumb. They take things for granted.  ... Then, there is the smaller group of professionals who carefully viewed the stats, read between the lines, and always looking for that hidden strategic inflection point (sip) that could lead to an advantageous gain.   . . . (This practice is quite deep. We will touch on it in our Scripting Book project one day.)  Sometimes, the quality behind certain stats could be questionable at best.   . . .  One should always test the quality of information before accepting it.  ...  For those who compete in the information economy, think carefully about that last point.

While Seattle defense disrupted the protection of the Denver quarterback by using an assortment of three to four rushers, they also prevented the offense from gaining any relevant offensive momentum.  

The Bronco choked from the first play of the game to the end.  In spite of what some of the news media experts opinions,  the quarterback does not win any of the games.  The entire team wins the games.  ...  Seattle played and scored as a team.   It is expected that the offense contributed to the majority of the total score.  Their defense and their special team also scored a touchdown.

After gaining the 29-0 lead, the Seattle teams continued with the tactic of pounding the ball toward the line of the scrimmage while the defense played a "prevent" formation.  Its motive was to control the clock and soften the Broncos defensive line.   Psychologically, the true rationale of "the continuously run" tactic was to break the Broncos will to win.   ...

In summary, Seattle was victorious with the score of 43-8. 

Side Note 
Based on our previous assessment,  we knew that Seattle had a superior special team. 

Historical Notes
In 1978, the Broncos lost to the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl XII .  They also lost to  the San Francisco Forty Niners (1990) in Super Bowl XXIV.  Interestingly, both years were also the Year of Horse.  In the 1978 defeat and this year's defeat, the MVP were defensive players.

Many years later, history repeats itself again in its own unique way.   

The Orange Crush were flushed into mush by the Seattle's team.  . . .   

Remember that the game  is won on the field not by predictions by the numerous illogical and overpaid sport experts and clueless celebrities.  They are the victims of the Occam Effect.  ...  Offense always thrill the non-experts and the ADD-based speculators but it is usually "the defense that  usually win the championships. "  . . .  You could take that principle to the bank.  . . . 

In the history of Super Bowl games,  defense have won about 60% of the games.  The number of games that favored the defense, would have increased if it were not for the increasing number of the "favoring the offense" rules 

As in baseball, football, basketball and hockey,  defense rules in most strategic situations.  ... If the opponent cannot score, winning becomes a zero possibility.

Side Notes (updated) 
"If I know our troops can attack, but do not know the enemy cannot be attacked, it is only halfway to victory. If I know the enemy can be attacked, but do not realise our troops cannot attack, it is only halfway to victory. Knowing that the enemy can be attacked, and knowing that our army can attack, but not knowing the terrain is not suitable for combat, is only halfway to victory. Thus one who truly knows the army will never be deluded when he moves, never be impoverished when initiating an action.

Thus it is said if you know them and know yourself, your victory will not be imperiled. If you know Heaven and Earth, your victory can be complete." - Art of War 10

Our assessment tells me that the Seattle defense had the advantageous move of being a minimum of one step ahead of the Broncos offense by quietly knowing one or more of the following three tactical factors:
  • what was the play call (run or pass); 
  • when was the ball going to be snapped; and 
  • where the quarterback was going to pass the ball.   
Since the QB threw ducks, it became easy for the pass defenders to anticipate his objective. In this terrain,  securing the two second advantage is the name of the game.  ... I do not expect the Denver's QB to ever meet the standard of this season's feat again. The smart opposing scouts now know his weaknesses and their employers will be exploiting it next season.  

Quarterbacks who preferred to improvise by reading and responding, regularly dislikes to following the scripting process model, will be telegraphing his play calling habits at some point.  

You could learn more about this "reading the competition" skill by reading this translation of Li Quan's essay of Tai Pai Yin Jing   (Dr. Sawyer's translation of a Chinese strategic classic is excellent.) or you could talk to us.

The Seahawks defense assessed the actions of the Broncos QBpositioned themselves ahead of the play and influenced them to fail. 

Second Thoughts
If the Super Bowl was played today (Monday), Denver would have been forced to run the ball and Manning's duck passes would been intercepted numerous times.  In most instances, the Denver's offense would have not been score one touchdown.  ... Ducks rarely fly well in cold and windy weather. 

From our own experience, we learned that one could not deploy the same set of strategems repeatedly in our information economy, especially against very smart strategists and very clever and aggressive field expediters.   The Broncos coaching staff should have known that. They were focusing too much of their time and their attentiveness on their predictable strengths and did not creating variational changes in their offensive play calling and proper contingency plans. Their inability to read their competition and the state of their playing  terrain became the beginning of their downfall.

It is always amusing to speculate on what happens to certain chief decision makers who underestimate the severity of the situation and does not understand the risk consequences of bad strategic planning.

In extreme competition, some people believed too much on their strengths without ever considering their subtle weaknesses.  This is another reason why some entities just lose greatly.  . . .  Wait until next season.   . . .  Time for some NHL Hockey and MLB.

If you think that you could really assess strategically, try your skill in the "ever-shifting" stock market. =))

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