The role of intuition in evaluating a chess position

Intuition is the ability to know or understand something instinctively, even without conscious reasoning.

In a game of chess this would imply that we instinctively know which moves are best – even before we’ve analyzed them properly. It is a miraculous way to instantly draw from the wealth of our deepest knowledge and experience. Of course we should always double-check to see if our intuition is correct!

Intuition can be a powerful tool. Our “chess-intuition” should improve with time and experience.

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The power of intuition

In chess it is impossible to find a perfect move every time – even computers cannot do it! Therefore we need something to guide us into the right direction.

Thinking about our 5 main objectives can help us find a few candidate moves – but which one is the best? We should of course calculate and analyze the candidate moves to the best of our ability, but our intuition will be extremely valuable in helping us choose between a few viable options.

Develop your intuition

The intuition of a top player is much better developed than that of an average player. Intuition can be improved over time by playing and studying the game.

As your intuition develops, it will guide your thinking towards moves that help you achieve your objectives as effectively and forcefully as possible.

As Carlsen pointed out we cannot just blindly trust our intuition, it must be double-checked!

We can use our intuition to find the right idea but we must also use our calculation skills to make sure that it is indeed correct.

Through studying the material in this course, you will increase your knowledge and understanding of the game and by applying it to your games you will in time improve your intuition.

Intuition affect our evaluation of the position

During the process of evaluating and comparing the progress made towards our objectives, there will be times when we aren’t sure which factors bear the most weight in the specific position. In such cases, the best we can do is to trust our intuition and double-check it to the best of our ability.

It is quite common that one side made more progress in a certain objective whereas the other player made better progress in another objective. This “imbalance” is referred to as compensation, which we will study in the next lesson.

Next Lesson – The idea of compensation in evaluating a chess position

Previous Lesson – How to evaluate progress in the pawn-structure objective

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