Calculation Training #1

Calculation Training #1

DanielGuel
DanielGuel
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12

Hi, everyone! Welcome to a short post of mine, I am going to give you two calculation exercises, and you are welcome to try and solve them! Or, you can just enjoy the answers if you prefer

As a chess player, calculation is critically important to progress. Calculation is the simple concept of seeing multiple moves in advance without moving the chess pieces. Generally, the better calculator you are, the better overall player you are!

The format is that I will present a screenshot of the puzzle for you to calculate from if you want (with a prompt), then I will present that same position in a puzzle format, you can solve it over there, or click the "?" button to see the answer! I might make this a series depending on how it goes:

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This first puzzle is White to move. It's from Aagard's Calculation book that I'm working on. I am happy to report that I got this one correct, found the answer in about 5 minutes, spent another 5 minutes verifying all of my lines.

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Yes, I did calculate everything out. Yes, I am proud of myself.  This next exercise is from my most recent rapid game (at the time of this writing). I did end up winning the game, but this puzzle is based on a miscalculation of mine. 

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The second puzzle is Black to move. This is from a Scotch Gambit, which goes 1. e4, e5 2. Nf3, Nc6 3. d4, cxd4 4. Bc4, Nf6 5. O-O, Nxe4 6. Re1, d5. The theoretical move is 7. Bxd5, Qxd5, 8. Nc3, etc. My opponent opted for 7. Nbd2, which I knew during the game had to be bad, but I failed to refute it immediately. If you are confused about the lines, then I present to you the puzzle! 

The prompt for the puzzle is, should Black play 7... dxc4

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A random picture of a duck... so that you don't see any spoilers below!

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OK, in all seriousness, if you looked at the position, the prompt, and said, "yes", then congratulations! You just flipped a coin, and called the correct side! The point of that puzzle is to evaluate the move that we want to play, does White have any counterplay, BUT, is it actually good?

(warning: Black may have multiple good moves in some variations, I can only show one line as a puzzle! )

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I think that example was also a good lesson in that even though it was a good victory by me if you check it out, there can still be a lot to learn from those. Learn from your losses, but also from your wins!

I hope that you enjoyed it. Do let me know if you have any questions, especially if this analysis is over your head. And let me know if this should become a series. I will see you around, take care!