It took me a while to realize, that my best move could actually be a blunder or a relatively insignificant move or the wrong approach etc.

I have the impression that there should be a recipe or some kind of a protocol for making the best move, is there such a thing, or is the idea not practical?

The chess engines can do it and they obviously are following some kind of algorithm for making the best move, so maybe we can do the same or something similar?

  • Well, if you have the brain of a computer, and understood all of its algarithim, you can do it! But that's likely that you don't. To be fair, play what you think its the best move and anyalise it afterword.
    – user26887
    Jan 12, 2022 at 3:17

1 Answer 1


I'm assuming you're asking how to make a good move. As a 2000 elo rated player, I think I can answer this question. There are three situations:

  1. It's the opening. Honestly I can't say much about this - as long as you play sound openings and know your stuff you'll most of the time be fine.
  2. It's the middle game. In these positions, tactics are important - however, obviously most of the time tactics just do not exist in the position. This is when you use "check's, captures, attacks" to find candidate moves (best protocol that I know of that works for me) - in evaluating those candidate moves, ask yourself questions such as "does checking/attacking the king directly in this move push my agenda"? Does it develop my pieces onto advantages squares? And most importantly, does my opponent not have a satisfactory follow-up to my move? Most of the time at lower levels if a move "looks good" it probably is good. For example, a knight to e5 jump that attacks the opponent's queen, or a rook move that threatens to win a piece. There are small details that distinguish high level players and low ones - for example, stop randomly trading your bishops for knights, or being down an exchange is better than being down a piece. If you're playing a closed position, sometimes these moves are not obvious. What you need to ask yourself if "where do my pieces want to be? For example, look at your knight; what square does it crave? Is there a support point that it wants to exist on? It is impossible to make the best best move (which is quite often subjective), so the best you can do is follow certain principles.
  3. It's the endgame - again, I cannot tell you everything here as most of this stuff you do have to understand yourself through books and studying. At the end of the day, there isn't a single protocol, instead it's the building of intuition and solid foundations.

Each position has each of the own nuances, and therefore their own set of different plans. Of course this answer is quite glossy and doesn't cover a lot of things - but to answer your question, no, there isn't a single protocol. If there was, chess would be so simple and easy.
If you're wondering how computers think How do chess engines "think"? pretty much sums it up. It's either that, or computers are fed thousands of games and/or moves at once and a neural network "learns" from those games. Technically, we mere mortals do that but at a much slower pace. From what I can tell, humans really only benefit from computers like that at the highest level.


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