[fen "7k/8/4n3/2b5/3p4/8/2N1N3/3Q3K w - - 0 1"]

This picture above depicts a very simplified situation when white pieces threaten and black pieces defend the black pawn. If the next move is to white, it is a series of captures that is coming.

How does one decide if that is good for black or not? Is there an algorithm for that? How long will this series of exchanges take? Until all black and white pieces are consumed, or is there a point when the exchanges should be stopped?

  • 1
    Your diagram has a dark square in the lower right corner :) Oct 8, 2013 at 17:05
  • 3
    @DagOskarMadsen, fixed. And yeah, it's funny how it literally hurts to see a board with dark/light squares where they shouldn't be.
    – ETD
    Oct 8, 2013 at 21:50
  • Yes that was glitch thanks for correcting that
    – bwise
    Oct 9, 2013 at 9:49

1 Answer 1


You appear to be referring ("series of hits") to an instructional concept in chess tactics called Counting.

NM Dan Heisman's famous Novice Nook articles includes a multi-part series dedicated to Counting which you can read (preferably in order) at:

Article #2 (Most Important Tactic) even contains positions similar to what you posted above.

When do you stop counting? If you were to expand on counting and instead ask "when do you stop calculating forcing lines?" I'd refer you to another one of Dan's articles regarding Quiescence Errors.

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