I have trouble with managing my time in my games. I cannot determine if I need a deep analysis or I am in a position where any good move would do.

So, what are good indicators to determine if a position needs a more deep analysis or to just play any good move?

3 Answers 3


If I see a position which can have multiple continuations, I will analyse each one and think everything through. Till then, beginning and end game should be pretty much the ones to take the least amount of time, because they can be learned.

Basically focussing on your question fully, if the positions seems complicated - analyse deeper and don't think about time. But once you chose that tactic, work your way through it and don't hesitate.

I might've misunderstood what exactly your question was, but I hope I didn't...


Usually a long series of forced moves indicates the need to look deeply into a position. Often times I see the exchange through to the end, but I do not look the next 2 or 3 moves to make sure I haven't trapped my queen or something. These are typically tactical positions. Fortunately tactics training helps you see these combinations quickly.

When the moves aren't forced then taking the time to calculate out every random pawn move and the next few moves after that would take too much time. When I am in this kind of position I do best when I do a fork and discovered attack check to ensure I don't get caught in a simple 3 move tactic and then base my next move on strategy. Only after deciding on a strategy do you need to calculate out the method of achieving your goals.


The tactical bells.

When should you calculate more than usual? That is a question that even a GM cannot properly answer, but tactical bells are the number one pick.

The idea is simple. If you check for tactics, you will find some at times. If you check most tactical puzzles, they have a pin, weak backrank, overworked pieces, etc. Look for that in a game. If you see a weak backrank, calculate. If you see a piece that has two jobs, start calulating. A pin? Try pawnstorming!

In attacks, always calculate several moves ahead. That is the only way to survive the piece sacrifice you might have made.

The positional whispers.

Put a knight in the center. The bishop pair. The pawn structure. Look for those. If you think that you can put a knight in the center, can they push it back? Will you force him to give a bishop up for a knight?

The endgame drums.

Endgame is the part of a game where you should calculate the most. Less pieces, more calculation. If you are in a king and pawn endgame, check for everything.

On everything else. Advancing a piece, pushing a pawn, etc, don't need a lot of calculation. The more chess you play, the more you will feel moves like that come right to you. Those moves need less than 10 secs of calculation.

In the end, playing reveals more. The more you play, the more you do. Hope it helps.

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