Every player knows that chess is a game of strategy and tactics, but we also know that the same strategy and tactics won’t be possible if the concept of chess calculation is ignored. Hence, the need to improve your chess calculation.
When a chess master sees a chess position, the first thing that comes to his mind is to assess the position and understand the situation on board; he goes ahead to form a plan but doesn’t move a single piece until he has done proper calculations and has decided that it’ll favor him in the end.
Calculation in Chess involves judging the position and coming up with specific lines (also known as variations) that’ll best fit your position. So how do you improve your Chess calculation? What tips and guidelines do you have to follow?
In this article, We’ll carefully take you through some important concepts to keep note of to improve your chess calculations.
1. Always Analyze Forced Moves First
As the name implies, forced moves are moves that require urgent attention and must be attended to. A check on a king is a good example of a forced move because your opponent is forced to abandon his plans and attend to yours temporarily.
Forced moves are easy to calculate and detect immediately. You don’t have to calculate many variations because you can almost detect your opponent’s reply to every move if it’s a forced sequence. The more forced moves you find, the more you’re likely to control the flow of the game and once you’re in control, finding the decisive blow won’t be so difficult.
How do you train yourself to find forcing moves? You can start by solving typical checkmate puzzles, either checkmate in 1,2 or 3 moves, as these will help train your ability to recognize forced moves anywhere.
READ ALSO: WHY AM I SO BAD AT CHESS?
2. Solving Chess Studies
Chess studies combine positions a person has created based on a theme or motif. These are often studies with the White/Black play feature where you’re expected to figure out the idea and calculate it. These ideas are sometimes counterintuitive and not obvious to the naked eye, but they increase our creative perspectives.
3. Solving Puzzles Over-The-Board (OTB)
Solving chess puzzles on the board is a great way to build your calculation skills. As you move the pieces around the board, they register in your subconscious, and a memory pattern begins to form in your brain.
OTB is very important as it doesn’t have the same effect as solving puzzles casually on the computer screen using the mouse.
4. Get a Playing Partner to Improve Your Chess Calculation
Having a chess partner will go a long way in improving your overall game. A partner will push you to give in your best and sometimes offer useful advice that’ll help up your game.
What more? Solving calculation puzzles with your partner gets better as you two tend to exchange ideas and thoughts on how to proceed, giving you a better perspective of the position.
READ ALSO: CAN YOU CASTLE AFTER BEING CHECKED?
5. Get Good Chess Puzzle Books
There are many chess books that chess masters specially wrote for chess players worldwide to train their calculation and pattern recognition skills. A popular example of a great chess puzzle book is Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess. Try it out if you need to improve your chess calculation skills.
To get to that height you desire, you must build your calculation skills to help you avoid numerous blunders, take control of your game, gain significant advantages and improve your chess rating in general. So what are you waiting for? Grab a book and go ahead and start improving that calculation skill. Let’s know if you found this blog post useful!