I’m sure you know the feeling–sometimes you reach a moment in a game where you feel that you don’t know what to do next. If you can solve this one issue then you will already be a stronger chess player.
Which brings us to the first problem…
Problem #1 You Don’t Understand the Objectives of the Game Well Enough
If you want to overpower a strong opponent you must know, even before the game starts, how you will approach the game. Understanding the main objectives in chess will go a long way in helping you answer the critical question “what should I do in this position?”
The details of the objectives in chess are beyond the scope of this article but you can find out more in my free chess course for intermediate players.
Problem #2 You Lack the Skill to Calculate Longer Variations
Since there are so many possible moves and responses to each move, it becomes humanly impossible to calculate all the variations. The first step in solving this problem is to recognize that you aren’t a computer and that you need to prioritize which moves needs to be calculated.
Calculation is too difficult for many chess players because they try to calculate variations that aren’t necessary to calculate. Trying to calculate everything tires your brain and in the end you, sometimes, make a move that you haven’t calculated properly in any case!
Did you know?
Even top computer programs do not calculate all the moves in a position! Complicated algorithms “advise” the computer as to which moves should be calculated. In the programming-world this technique is referred to as “pruning”. This “pruning” is partly the reason why strong chess engines can sometimes disagree on the preferred move in the position!
Which moves should you calculate then?
Focus on calculating all the checks, threats and captures. In other words, all the forcing moves. You will find that calculating only the forced moves is already hard enough!
To help you calculate more efficiently, I developed the TRC Calculation Method. The TRC calculation method is a 3-stage process that helps you consider all the relevant aspects of calculation in every position.
Want to further improve your chess skills?
Here’s of my 3 products that I recommend for improving your tactical, visualization and calculation abilities: