Techniques To Calculate Better: Part 1

This will be the first in a series of articles in which I will present several techniques to improve the calculation of variants.

First of all I would like to answer the question that many students ask me: When is it the time to calculate? In general there is no exact answer to this question, however I will try to answer it: The necessity to calculate appears mainly when there are forced variations, when our move gives a limited number of options to opponent and vice versa. The best example of this is the check, if on the other hand our move isn’t a check, or a threat, or a capture, surely the opponent will have a wide variety of possible answers. In this case calculation is likely to be inefficient, will lead to fatigue and will not lead us to any important conclusion,

Here I will present two examples of when to calculate and when not to calculate:

The next technique I want to teach you about calculation is this; before you calculate in depth, review the first moves.

Many times we lose a lot of time and energy calculating variants in depth and we do not realize there is an unexpected resource (our own or that of our opponent) in the very first move, and this makes the rest of the calculation unnecessary. That is why it is very important to have the habit to review the first move and verify that there nothing we have forgotten. The following position is a continuation of the previous example and a good example of this:

The next important aspect directly related to reviewing the first moves is based on expanding the number of candidate moves. This will be the subject that we will examine in the next post.


Here the solutions to the exercises in my last article:

Andres Guerrero

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About Andres Guerrero

Hi, I`m going to talk a little about me. My name is Andres Guerrero, I´m from Venezuela, my age 26. Chess has been part of my life since I was a child. I began participating in tournaments when I was seven, and I won the National Championship in all categories until Junior. I`ve got important results as active player, getting the FIDE master title and two norms of MI. I also participated in Tromso Olympiad 2014 as a member of Venezuelan team. I`ve been present in Spain Championship Honor Division 2014 as a member of Equigoma Team, and I`ve got the chance of being in front of some of the best players of the world, as Vaselin Topalov in Gibraltar Open and Judith Polgar in Tromso 2014. Nevertheless, my passion is teaching and spreading chess, that´s why I´m very pleased of being a contributor in this blog and I hope all chess lovers who visit it can take some advantage of my posts