The following is, unfortunately, a very common experience'o'mine:

Chess book. Grandmaster game. Diagram.

I (after 1 microsecond): Play Nxe6, willya?

scrolldown, author: "Nxe6 was the decisive mistake." Oh bother.

Now, it is a very obvious explanation that mistakes made even by a GM must be very tempting mistakes for a FM patzer like me too, but "obvious" doesn't mean "proven" (and moreover, my style could be a critical factor here too). Thus this is clear science fodder: Collect 100 GM and 100 patzer blunders, give the positions to a GM and a patzer group, count how many of them get repeated. Has such an experiment (or, more general, a treatise on what makes a blunder tempting) ever been done? (Books specializing on blunders exist, for starters, but rather tend to research the reasons.)

  • We are human. Currently, Magnus is top player in the world. But, he blunder also. Actually, we blunder cause, we don't look at every possible. Sometimes, we think that rook is safe so, we don't have care that for this move. But, opponent was thinking to take my rook. That's the reason of blunder I guess
    – user28303
    Commented Jul 9, 2021 at 9:49
  • @HaukeReddmann Very interesting idea! I presume the datasets exist at Chess.com and Lichess, although they may or may not be API-queryable. (For tactical puzzles of a given difficulty you could see the distribution of moves tried by different rating bands, e.g. FM vs GM.) Just a thought. (I know you're looking for better; I've bookmarked too) Commented Jul 9, 2021 at 20:11
  • 1
    I'm curious what the diagramed position was. Commented Jul 10, 2021 at 17:40
  • @JohnChernoff: 100% made up. I was tempted to write "kangaroo z0" instead to show it's made up, but that would have been too silly. ;-) Commented Jul 12, 2021 at 8:48

1 Answer 1


A tempting bad move is the one that might have some idea behind it, yet your execution is more direct than it should have been. You play a move without preparatory steps to what you want to execute. That groups tempting moves into:

  1. Those with a bad idea that have no substance in it and are a wishful thinking. These might be used only in blitz chess where the defensive move is not that obvious and needs some thinking. You play in order to confuse the opponent into thinking that there is something to it. Of course, most of the time you are just not aware that there is nothing to it, you just hope there is.

  2. Those that have some idea but require a preparation which you might not have sufficient skills to execute. You play the move just to reveal another weakness that you forgot to protect first.

Your normal move is always tactical one that never lowers your chances which you have got so far, or you play a defensive move if your opponent attacks. To attack, you always have to prepare the terrain first, unless your opponent played such a blunder that a mate is obvious. Best dish is turkey served called or how that saying actually goes. :)

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