My trainer told me - How to calculate (1)

My trainer told me - How to calculate (1)

Apr 4, 2016, 7:44 AM |

The last two weeks I was off blogging. It would have been an overload.

First I was on a chess seminar for one week with my trainer, then I participated a tournament with two games per day from wednesday to saturday. The tournament was a success as I got a rating price and gained around 25 rating points national and Elo. So I'm short before getting the 2 in front of my DWZ. The Elo is in the middle of 20xx now. I will see the exact rating, when it appears on

I could give some otb examples where I missed to follow the trainers advice about calculation. But normally the material here will be either from books or from livechess games, blitz or standard.

As someone having a professional life of behavior modification I share some experiences with you.

  1. Being 62yo and having 2 chronical diseases I'm nearly at the top of my chess strength ever. How is this possible?
  2. First thing is analyzing my mistakes sincerly. When starting to train I used the first book of Khmelnitzky to get a better founded feedback about relative strength and weaknesses of my chess.
  3. Training must be fun. Forget what you don't like. As I like books I was happy with Khmelnitky. If you hate books use the media you like. If you hate any media, analyze with a friend.
  4. You will detect bad habits or you know them. Don't ever never forget: Bad habits of today were useful some days earlier. So bad habits are good habits of former time. They are old friends. You can't throw them out of the window. They come back through the front door at once. You have to accompagny them slowly to the front door and open it, have a friendly chatter and wish them a good bye!
  5. If you don't get #4 think about the experience, that it is impossible to command yourself forever not following your habits. They will reappear fastly. You have to build up the new habits to take the place of the old one. You want to stop smoking? Analyze when you take tobacco and start doing something else then.
  6. So you have to be patient with yourself. It needs according to the latest research around 45 days to establish a new habit. One new habit!

Long prolog - but necessary imo.

Now to calculation. The first decision is about the type of what's on the board. The rules differ, if the decision is tactical or positional.

That's #1 why analyzing games after a tournament is so important. You get feedback about this kind of misjudgement. And that's why starting with an engine is wrong for humans. You should get it yourself or get the blunder check feedback only after you have done some work about the position.

Back to calculation: First decide if the decision is positonal or tactical. Now what happens if the positon is tactical? Follow Lasker's rules!!!

Tactical Decisions

1. Is there any check? Calculate it's consequences!

2. Is there any stone to take? Calculate it's consequences!

3. If 1 and 2 don't apply search for direct threats!

This is not the end! But if you follow this rules, you'll be very, very probably a somewhat better player. At least this is my experience after looking at my last ten otb games. Two points out of 10 did I miss, because I didn't follow these steps.

In later posts I will tell more about how to think and how to train this. Now I give a game, where I could use this rules successfully.