Mentors or Mentoring Yourself: What's Your Most Common Reason(s) for Miscalculating which then resu

SeniorPatzer

For me, I think it's "ghosting" where I think I see a piece or pawn on a square when it shouldn't be because it's been exchanged off or has moved.

Do you have the same problem?  Or do you have different problems that crops up regularly which then  causes you to miscalculate, and thereby blunder?

IMBacon

Yep...Ghost Moves....

fightingbob

There is such a thing as the persistence of memory, Daniel, and I'm not talking about the famous Dali painting everyone has seen.  The eye tends to fix a  piece on its original square, and the brain remembers it there even though it has moved or been captured.  This and other interesting ideas are discussed in Nikolai Krogius's Psychology in Chess.  Andy Soltis's Catalog of Chess Mistakes is also worth a look.  However, I'd start with this Dan Heisman video on the three types of chess vision: board vision (what you see in the position in front of you), visualization (what you see in future positions), and tactical vision (being aware of tactics in the position and calculating accurately).  They are intertwined, I guarantee that.

SeniorPatzer
fightingbob wrote:

There is such a thing as the persistence of memory, Daniel, and I'm not talking about the famous Dali painting everyone has seen.  The eye tends to fix a  piece on its original square, and the brain remembers it there even though it has moved or been captured.  This and other interesting ideas are discussed in Nikolai Krogius's Psychology in Chess.  Andy Soltis's Catalog of Chess Mistakes is also worth a look.  However, I'd start with this Dan Heisman video on the three types of chess vision: board vision (what you see in the position in front of you), visualization (what you see in future positions), and tactical vision (being aware of tactics in the position and calculate accurately).  They are intertwined, I guarantee that.

 

Wow Bob!  That was extremely helpful.  I have to see what they say about getting rid of "ghosting" if anything. 

fightingbob

Glad I could be of help, Daniel.

SeniorPatzer

I found a reply from an older thread by Deirdre Skye on a post by Torrirubi:

 

"I have already answered about this in your other thread but I will go into details here.
Take an easy endgame position that you know how to win(king and pawn vs king) and try to see all the moves till the end.  Write down the moves.  Then check your line.  If it is wrong , try again.
If you can't do it put the position 3 moves before the pawn promotes.  Try again.  Eventually you will do it.  Put the same position 4 moves before the pawn promotes.  Try to see the line.  Write it down , check it.  If it is wrong , try again.  If it is correct , try again but change the defense.  The winning side needs to do more or less the same things and adapt.  The defending side can try different defenses. So always change the defense and try again.  When it becomes easy , increase the moves or change the position(Lucena position is a good position for this exercise).Use positions with simple winning method so that you are sure when you do it right and when you do it wrong.


Don't expect miracles.Needs focus and determination."

SeniorPatzer

Another calculation error that I make is not calculating deep enough.  In other words, I cut off my calculation a move or two too short.  

 

Remedy?  I guess it's to spend more time on the "end position" to see if it really should be the final position of a variation. 

fightingbob

Don't feel bad, Daniel, even some pros have a hard time analyzing to the end of a variation with precision.  Visualization gets fuzzy the further away from the actual position, and then there are tactical and strategic considerations.  If memory serves, this is also mentioned in Krogius's book, and Bent Larsen once said, "Long Analysis, Wrong Analysis."  Here is a screen capture of GM Larsen's comments taken from Edward Winter's Chess Notes.

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The secret ... practice, practice, practice.  Oh, and always remember Dan Heisman's Checks, Captures and Threats, in that order, so you don't miss something.  In between checks are murder if you fall into one.

SeniorPatzer

Hi Bob,

 

I am very encouraged by Super GM Bent Larsen.  However, I am wondering if he was being excessively modest.  He was a tactical monster and he must have been able to calculate both accurately and quickly.

fightingbob

Being partially Danish myself, I always admired Grandmaster Larsen's self effacing demeanor.  Perhaps he was being modest, but the tree of analysis becomes a dense thicket in some positions as was shown by Grandmaster Kotov in Think Like a Grandmaster.

In my opinion, the easiest variations to calculate involve a king hunt where every move is a check (i.e. forcing move), particularly if you are familiar with mating patterns.  Learning those patterns helped me a lot.  Truth is, it's those quiet moves in a long sequence that are killers.

I find when I'm playing well the pieces just seem to coordinate and lead you to the right plan, making it easier to calculate.  However, often when you win a piece your position often becomes uncoordinated and you have to retreat like a tortoise into his shell to hold onto it.  That's where precise calculation is vital in defense; it's easy to go wrong, give the piece back and end up worse positionally.

Personally, my biggest bugaboo is miss a saving move by my opponent in what I thought was a sure fire, rock solid, calculated attack.  Then I know I'm not as good as I think I am and need more practice.

SeniorPatzer

"Truth is, it's those quiet moves in a long sequence that are killers."

 

Good Lord, you read my mind!  I was thinking of writing a comment saying exactly that.  

 

That it was the "Quiet" move at the end of a variation that I didn't see, and thus cut off my evaluation of the future position a move too early!

SeniorPatzer

https://chess24.com/en/read/news/norway-chess-6-so-beats-carlsen-for-the-1st-time

I was reviewing the commentary from the linked article above, and I couldn't help but notice these excerpts:

Wesley said afterwards he was expecting 21…Bg5 here to exchange some pieces, but instead he was shocked by 21…Qe8?!, which made him think, “for some reason he’s playing for a win again!” It went from bad to worse for Magnus, and after 22.Bg3 e5 23.Nb3 Bd8?! (“I was really surprised… it seems he just miscalculated” – So, “He just gave up a pawn for nothing – this is just crazy!” - Nakamura) things were looking bleak for Black:

24.Qd5! left Magnus in the unfamiliar situation of facing a choice of how to lose material, and our commentary team noted that it’s hard to develop the Karjakin-like skill of playing bad positions if you rarely get them. 24…Qb5?! here was another dubious choice, and it soon just became a question of whether Wesley would convert a huge advantage against the World Champion.

So my two obvious takeaways are this:

1)  "Hey!  If Magnus miscalculates, then hey, it happens to the best of us.  Don't beat yourself up too bad if you make an error in calculation that costs you a game.

2)  No matter how much better or higher-rated your opponent may be, they can make calculation mistakes too.  Don't trust their sacrifices or tactical/positional combination based on their rating.  They can blunder as well too.

fightingbob

I agree with points 1 and 2, Daniel.  It's just that Grandmasters, particularly ones of Carlsen's stature and talent, miscalculate far less frequently than us mere mortals.  It also helps to have an uncanny feel for position so it's easier, not to mention more accurate, to pick the best variation among many that are nearly equal tactically.