Secrets to Improve Your Chess Calculation (2)

Secrets to Improve Your Chess Calculation (2)

FM andresgv36
Jun 7, 2017, 1:42 AM |

Techniques to calculate better Part II

 As explained in the first part of this series, it’s only necessary to calculate, in positions where there’s forced variants and possibilities are limited, as it’s impossible to calculate unlimited, in these situations the first logical step is to select a series of candidate moves, so we immediately conclude that to calculate well we need to select good candidates moves, this process is extremely important and has techniques that will help you to improve it.

One of the first authors to name the candidates moves was Kotov in his famous book "Think Like a Grandmaster", however Kotov proposed creating a complicated "tree of variants" which is inefficient. I believe that in chess there are no "kitchen recipes" and on the contrary it is the orderly and logical thought that will lead us to success.

Many times in order to find good candidates we need to have good "candidate ideas", these "candidate ideas" will lead to a limited number of candidates and only the analysis of these will allow us to know if it is necessary to find new candidates, an concrete example will serve to clarify all this:

Choosing correctly candidate moves is the basis for success in the calculation, however not always the correct move in determined position will be among the first candidate move that we will analize , even the strongest GM don’t achieve this all the time, sometimes it is necessary " expand "candidate ideas and moves. This statement raises the question "When is the time to" expand "the candidate plays? As I said earlier there are no exact recipes or algorithms when calculating, but I can tell you a series of recommendations: First you must select few candidates, sometimes it is enough to select a single move, since the best move of the position is obvious (or so it seems), most of the time we choose 2 or 3 moves to consider, and very rarely more than that, in principle we should limit ourselves to a serious analysis of these chosen alternatives, many times, through this analysis we are going to conclude that one of these alternatives is the best, but it is also possible that we will not reach a definitive conclusion, when we intuitively feel that in the position one can achieve more than what we have found by calculating the first candidate move , we must stop for a moment concrete analysis, and take a fresh look at the position, without any preconceived idea, and ask ourselves: Are there other options? Is there something that I’m missing ? Are there other candidate moves? This way we will find the hidden resources of the position. Here is a very simple example of this:
Successfully selecting the candidate moves is the basis of any good calculation. Meanwhile, "expanding" the candidate moves is a very important technique to calculate correctly in chess, since there are positions where the winning resource (or savior) is hidden and the difficult thing is not the concrete calculation of moves but the finding of this resource, once found, calculate it will not take much time.