How to visualize complex calculations in CHESS?

i am a very good strategic player of chess,but i find it very difficult to visualize the best possible moves (upto 10-12 moves ahead from both the sides) because of so many pieces on the chess board and different types of exchanges,so i can't retain in my memory and redo and redo...which takes quite a long time and sometimes i overlook one thing or miscalcuculate due to this comnplexity,i recently saew a movie called.."searching for bobby fischer",in which the coach teaches the young prodigy,how to visualize by throwing away all the pieces from the board..and thinking of only the pieces which are used...but it is not very much useful can you give me suggestions and tips on how to visualize ahead without trouble.


@ LEX: yes! you are right,but i do keep the balance of both sides in my mind and try to make the best logical moves from each side,but still stuck into the complexity of deepness my mind can think upto without any error. I like to sacrifie my pieces for better positions,or even check mate whenever necessary.I also see matches of great players like:- capablanca,Tal,fischer,spassy,kasparov,carlsen,and many more.

You told that you can play chess in your mind,can you reach the finish..with mate? it seems impossible for me to do that,how do you do that.

Also,you told that it is very hard to visualise variations and combinations from both sides ...and i understand it will require immense practise....but where do i begin from?

Update 2:

P.S: i also have chessmaster 10th edition program so,i can understand pretty much what you are trying to say here with regards to machine and human thinking.Thx for your valuable suggestions

10 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Best Answer

    Mr. Machale,

    I'm not one to downplay any particular method or approach in this Game of Kings, but I would caution you against focusing too much on one particular this case memorization...or, as you are viewing it, trying to visualize ahead large numbers of moves. I recall a great world champion once being asked how many moves ahead he thought, and his response startled everyone. His answer! "Sometimes not even one!"

    Of course what he was trying to teach us is that in trying to predict the very NEXT move of your opponent, you may get it wrong, so of what value was all the effort of following your surmises down 8, 9, or 20 moves deeper?

    My 55 years of play have taught me that there is no substitute (and no short cuts) to impressing on your mind your personal blueprints for the game. It will be acquired through one method successfully and that method will always work. This begs an answer and lets get to it.

    Question: What personal quality is necessary in the making of a great chess player?

    I've been studying that particular phenomenon for over 50 years and in the process discovered a number of common traits inherent among the great players. Let me share those with you and you can make your own decision.

    1) Nearly all of the greats have devoted themselves to the game to the exclusion of all else. So SINGLE-MINDED DEDICATION must head up the list, because this dedication is foundational to the continual play, study, play, study, play, study, etc required to develop the level of play required for greatness.

    2) Every one of them possessed an excellent MEMORY. (And not everyone is a mental wizard like Lex...a Mensa member). The many-time world blindfold champion, George “Kolty” Koltanowski is an excellent example of this. In a world-record setting exhibition, he played 50 simultaneous games of blindfold chess, and won 43, drew 2 and lost 5! These games were played at 10 seconds per move! In this contest, and any of the many regular simultaneous chess games (one of which he played against 287 players), after the games were finished and when asked, Mr. Koltanowski could recite the moves of any of the games! Other great players such as Paulsen, Morphy, Blackburne, Zukertort, Pillsbury, Réti, Alekhine, Najdorf and Fine, enjoyed and were successful at playing blindfold chess; as well as many present-day grandmasters such as Anand, Kramnik and Morozevich, who play in regular tournaments with all players blindfolded.

    3) Working hand in hand with an excellent memory is a fine IMAGINATION. The memory serves to fuel the imagination and together paint a wonderfully vivid picture on the tableau of the mind.

    4) And finally, CREATIVITY. Through the lens of that good imagination, guided by the fine memory, and fueled by the countless hours of play and study, creativity is given its wings and soars above the board creating wonderful combinations, positional advantages, strategical forays, territorial imperatives and material bounty.

    Nowhere in there has intelligence reared its head for attention, notwithstanding that it is the first thing most people choose as the most important factor for success at this activity. A reasonable amount of intelligence is a gimme, but a high intelligence isn’t, and never has been an assurance that that person would make a great chess player. Many great minds throughout history played chess at little more than just above average skill. Napoleon Bonaparte comes to mind.

    So there you have it! Single-minded dedication, a good memory, a vivid imagination and creativity; the recipe for a great chess player! How to follow that recipe? PLAY, PLAY, PLAY, PLAY, PLAY, PLAY against better players. Avoid games you can win easily.

    Here are 10 sites where you can go for instruction, games, problems, or even lessons. This is only a partial list because Y!A only allows 10 links. I have many more if you want to email me for them. (Best site for beginners to intermediate)


    Source(s): Rated Expert + over 55 years of playing and teaching
  • 3 years ago


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  • gata
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    How To Calculate Chess Tactics

  • 8 years ago

    There is no easy answer.

    There is at least one good book:

    Grandmaster Andrew Soltis "The Inner Game of Chess - How to Calculate and Win"

    But this is not a book for a beginner or even lower intermediate. One of the reviewers on Amazon suggested that you need to be at least at the 1600 level, and that is a USCF or FIDE tournament rating, not a computer rating and not an online rating. I don't care how often you beat your friends and relatives or people on line; If you don't know your USCF or FIDE rating, then this book is probably not for you. It would be a waste of money.

    A good alternative if you don't have a rating or are rated below 1600 (and maybe even if you are over 1600) is to adopt the study method explained in some articles by Dan Heisman. Follow his advice about pattern recognition and tactics, then you will be able to get to the next level.

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    There is no easy way to do what you ask. My advice is, put the theory, science, and memorization aside and examine both high level games and casual games you play. From move 1, start explaining why the moves are made. What moves must each side play, so they do not lose? The master's dilemma, according to Capablanca: a master can make the best moves and draw and be criticized; or he can play weaker moves and win with praise or lose and be criticized. To calculate efficiently you must have a firm understanding of both sides of the board: calculating will become easier when your objective is to find balance with both sides: to prevent both sides from losing, you must actually play as both armies in your mind. You must also be unbiased in your reasoning. White's job is to dictate play and attack, while black's is to respond properly and defend (the only way black changes this is by making a sacrifice for the attack [or white make's an inaccuracy], but if white has played correctly, he'll be able to defend himself) When you're calculating, your job is to logically reason how to best maintain the balance of black and white. IMO, that is key to becoming a better chess calculator

    The heart of this game is logical reasoning. Developing one's imagination for logical reasoning is necessary for doing what you ask. People often get caught up with the math and science of the game and try to mimic computer calculating. The truth is, in high level play, the best courses to take are few and unique: people can easily see which courses are bad and the courses that are good, while computers must examine every course, regardless of whether it is obviously no good.

    Again, examine and explain high level games and your games and develop your own understanding of them through solid reasoning. Reason like a human and don't calculate like a computer and you'll become a better chess calculator:)

    P.S I enjoy playing this game entirely in my mind (with no board or men). I like reasoning and practicing the game this way and find it is an excellent tool for the imagination. Also, you may want to look into the knight's tour. When you draw a line from each square's center to the next, the end result of visiting all 64 squares will be a unique pattern of math lines. Visualizing through the pattern (try it backwards) may help you in your calculating, especially since knight moves are considered to be the hardest to mentally picture. If you get good enough, you might be able to do a blindfold knight's tour:) Gl and TY.

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    4 years ago

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  • Ryan
    Lv 5
    8 years ago

    To improve your calculating ability do lots of chess tactics. Solve easy and hard problems. I suggest you try the Ultimate Chess Puzzle book by Emms, after you spend many hours/months with that book, it's now time to read Forcing Chess Move:The Key to Better Calculation chess book. Try to look at reviews at amazon, both of them have good review, good luck.

  • 3 years ago


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    3 years ago


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    3 years ago

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