5 Rules for Mastering Chess Calculation

5 Rules for Mastering Chess Calculation

CM vinniethepooh
Sep 25, 2018, 10:47 PM |

Hi chess.com friends! It's a new day, and a new topic  -Calculation. One of the most important parts of chess any player should improve.

Today I am going to let you know about which according to me are the 5 most important rules to master chess calculation. Enjoy!

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1. Memorization of Patterns

One of the most important ways to improve Calculation is to memorize different patterns. This helps in the way that we can recognize different ideas over the board.

2. Tactical Motifs

Weak points or targets for attack in a position are referred to as Tactical Motifs. It is important to recognize these while calculating (not only in our opponent’s position- even in our own!!) so that calculating lines we have clear idea of what we are aiming for.

A motif can be the following:

  • An unprotected piece or pawn
  • A weak square particularly around the king
  • Weak diagonals & files
  • Unsafe position of king
  • Back rank

3. Candidate Moves

Before to start calculating, it is very important to make a list and determine the options we have. Once we do this, we start our Calculation.

Now, after we have finished our calculating process, it is important to use the ‘Comparative evaluation of lines’ technique in order to understand our choice.

Forcing Candidate moves must be checked first!

  • Always check checks! They are the most forcing of all the moves.
  • Capture, attack of a piece or mate threats are semi-forcing moves as the opponent gets time to consolidate or get counter play.

4. Visualization

Keep the changing position in mind very clearly while calculating!! This is one of the most important skills to develop as if we are not able to master this ability we might just have to start from square one again, wasting a lot of time.

5. Improvement of general positional understanding

This might be sounding to some like a controversial rule, but in fact it is probably the most important rule. Let me explain.

Improvement of general positional understanding will help in calculation as:

  • We should feel when to start calculation.
  • What to calculate.
  • When to stop calculation in order to evaluate the position.
  • Skillful applying of general principles help to understand which move should have priority! On the basis of positional understanding we can understand which move to try and make work!!

So, now we can understand improvement of general positional understanding helps a lot in calculation. But what exactly should we improve here?

  • Evaluation
  • General principles
  • Prophylaxis
  • Strategic Vision (ability to see evolution of both sides clearly)

Other than these main points, I would also recommend you to solve as many tactics, studies as possible, and to play long games in order to have enough time to calculate.

Especially during your training process, not speed but the quality of calculation is what matters!!

Let me know what you think about these tips in the comments section below. Do you have any other important tips? Feel free to post!

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Learn more about the eternal duel Knight vs bishop here: https://www.chess.com/blog/vinniethepooh/my-investigations-1-knight-vs-bishop

Have a look at a special 'Maroczy Bind' game played by Aronian here: https://www.chess.com/blog/vinniethepooh/putting-on-the-maroczy-bind-3-aronian-ivanchuk

If you want to know the secret to the mastering of positional play: https://www.chess.com/blog/vinniethepooh/the-secret-to-the-mastering-of-positional-play

Check out your mating skills by giving this test: https://www.chess.com/blog/vinniethepooh/check-out-your-mating-skills-by-giving-this-test

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