6 tips to improve your calculation skills
Man playing chess **

6 tips to improve your calculation skills

FM michechess89

Hello my chess friends. Welcome to a new post. Today we are going to talk about calculation. This is one of the most important skills we need to be better chess players. That’s why I bring some tips to improve in this area. 

  • Calculate: Maybe now you are thinking “This guy says he is going to help, and his best tip to improve my calculation is “Calculate!””. Well, let me tell you, it is just like that. If you want to improve your calculation skills, you need to calculate, this means that when you are talking with a friend about a line, or just analyzing something by yourself, do not move the pieces on the board, (unless it’s a line too long) try to calculate it. I know it’s not easy or comfortable, but easy and comfortable things are not helping us to be better chess players.
  • Solve Tactics: This is just a way to keep your mind working with calculation. Also it is important that you try to see the whole combination (calculate it) before you move the pieces in the Tactics Trainer.
  • Play blindfold games: This is a hard one; I think it’s too difficult for beginners. You can try it just solving a problem position or if it is easy for you with a whole game with a friend. I don’t really think this helps you directly to calculate better (as it has been stated), but it will help you to learn to focus in a better way. And if you are better focused in your games, then you will be calculating better, that’s why I like this. Also keep in mind that it is a very exhausting exercise, so don’t do it very often. But it’s a good one, so, do it once or twice every month.
  • Solve endings and studies: These things are great. I have posted about this. I have been working in a series named “Learning from studies”, in which I post and analyze fantastic artistic endgames (click here to see my last post about it). I think you are going to love them, but the thing is that they are very helpful because you will have to calculate very accurately, which is really good. This kind of exercise also teaches you to see what many people can’t see and expect for what few people expect for.
  • Don’t forget candidate moves: If you don’t know what candidate moves are, I will try to explain you: they are just the few moves you should analyze when you are trying to decide the best move you have in a position. It is a very interesting and important topic, just like to do another post with it. I won’t get too much into it; just want to say that if you think with order and organization, then you will calculate more accurately.
  • Play long games: Finally, you need to play long games (45 minutes at least) where you calculate deeply and spend some time in front of the board analyzing lines. Try to play at least one every week.

So, these are my tips. Maybe it takes some time and work, but you will see it is worth when you notice your progress. If you have any question you can write it in the comments section.

Also, if you want to practice calculation, or improve with some aspect of the game, as for example tactics (finding motifs in your own games), or maybe your endgames general knowledge, feel free to contact me as Chess Coach (you have my link at the right side of the post), charges are interesting and got some available time.

If you liked this you can follow me clicking on the right side at the top of the post. I will be posting things like this often.

And if you think this is going to be helpful for your friends, share it with them.


More stuff about calculation and middlegame:

7 keys to victory

Middlegame Expert

** Picture from flickr.com, resized