Anatoly on Design Patterns vs. Templates

  • May 27, 2010
  • Scott

Anatoly has an excellent post attempting to explain the difference between Design Patterns and Templates:

  • Debuts are templates: learn them and use them, chessbooks plot the game 20 moves ahead from the initial position.
  • Typical combinations of the middle game are patterns. E.g. fork is a pattern: if you can see an opportuntiy then use it or threaten to do so. Two rooks on the same vertical is a pattern too while two pawns is an antipattern: try to avoid such a position if possible. But no chessbook contains instructions how to make a fork starting from the initial position.

It’s an interesting point in the BPM arena because patterns are more generally useful, but a good-fit template may save you more time on a specific situation. The Template, however, just gives you a head start- it doesn’t advise you for future improvement efforts, whereas good knowledge of patterns can save you time and effort over and over again as you develop processes.

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