# Questions tagged [calculation]

Calculation is the ability of a chess player to calculate variations in a given position.

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18k views

### How do chess engines “think”?

What I want to know is how engines are programmed to find moves. I'm sure they first calculate the most forcing lines such as captures and checks. But what about subtle, deep positional moves? They ...
6k views

### Best ways for improving “tactics”

I have been playing chess for a long time, and I have been around 1850-1900 ELO for quite some time. I have always wondered which are the best ways to improve the tactics. Does playing more and more ...
7k views

### Proven ways to improve calculation speed

I've been working on my tactics using on-line resources like Chess Tempo. I found my improvement (as measured by my CT rating) over the last few months to be encouraging, but I struggle to translate ...
16k views

### How many moves ahead does Anand calculate in his mind?

I always wondered about this! How many moves ahead can strong players like Anand actually 'see' during the game? How does the calculation of a supercomputer like Deep Blue differ from that of strong ...
3k views

### Is there a single best move in every position?

If it were possible to analyse every possible outcome of a position, would there ever be a single move that could be considered "best"? I know that this is how computers evaluate positions, but they ...
2k views

### What are techniques to improve the number of moves thought through in advance?

I read somewhere that on average a GM can think up to 10-15 moves ahead in tactical positions. Is there any specific technique to improve this depth? Please do not provide a generic answer on how to ...
6k views

### Does depth (number of ply) still matter once it is high enough?

This isn't real, just imagine this happening. Computer A is supercomputer. It can calculate 30 ply deep within 20 seconds. Computer B is supercomputer. It can calculate 15 ply deep within 20 seconds....
236 views

### LiChess puzzle 87510: How much calculation would a strong player do before playing Bg4+ when white has a range of (all losing) responses?

LiChess puzzle 87510 has the following position: [FEN "r1b1k3/pp4R1/2q3RQ/4p3/5P2/bP2P3/2P1K2P/8 b - - 0 1"] The solution is 1...Bg4+, after which white has 6 legal moves: 1...Bg4+ 2. Rxg4 Qxh6, ...
774 views

### Sharp pawn endgame - can it be calculated to the end? With Computer engine?

White to move, here is a brief summary of my analysis where I attempted to determine exact evaluation. Number of pawns is equal but White's 2 pawns on the queenside are held by one Black's pawn, so in ...
6k views

### How do players “see” several moves ahead?

How can you predict what your opponent will play in the next 5 turns, 7 turns, 10 turns? If the game is like a tree, then the more the turns the more it will branch out. How can a player accurately ...
735 views

### Need some helps with the tactics in the middle game

I sometimes find it very difficult to determine the accurate moves in middle game. When a tough opponent is in front of me I dont let to attack at first. I strengthen my defense. But if I ever try to ...
541 views

### How can minimax chess engines do alpha-beta pruning without reaching the final positions?

In order to calculate far ahead, minimax chess engines must perform alpha-beta pruning, where they don't calculate positions that are obviously winning or obviously losing. Without doing pruning, ...
814 views

### Calculation skills to 2000 and beyond

I'm rated about 1900 USCF and have been stuck between 1800-1900 for a few years not really knowing how to break through to 2000+. I have a good amount of positional understanding and solid foundation ...
106 views

### Endgames: How was “maximum moves required” determined before tablebases?

To use a simple example, tablebases show that KQ vs. K is won in at most ten moves. But chess books going back many decades, well before tablebases, say the same thing. How was this calculated?
207 views

### Is there a standardized chess test that can measure one's chess playing condition?

Chess players often say that in a given tournament they were "in good shape", or the opposite. One tournament goes well, another goes horribly wrong. One can also sometimes feel that your head is ...
257 views

### how do some players focus better by thinking on the first move?

I've seen some of my colleagues (2100-2200 Elo) who after shaking hands just think about 3-4 minutes on the first move, even though they know what they're going to play. When I asked one of them he ...
185 views

### How are chess engines able to rank a Mate in X above a Mate in X+Y?

According to an engine, a mate in X moves = +infinity, since it is a forced win for it. Also according to an engine, a mate in X+Y moves = +infinity, since it's a forced win (just more moves, but an ...
703 views

### Calculation and visualisation exercises - do they work?

I would like input from actual experience of improving calculation and visualization: can anyone testify to achieving actual and significant improvement in ability to calculate and visualize as a ...
102 views

### How many different knight's tours are there?

How many solutions does the Knight’s Tour puzzle have when the knight first moves from square a1, through all squares (on each square once), and return back to a1? Please give some solutions. Also, ...
168 views

### Finding a mating net in a RRN vs RRN endgame

This question relates to a game I played on LiChess (link), from which we have the following position: [FEN "8/2rn4/2pN2k1/r1Pp2p1/p2P4/3KPP2/R7/7R w - - 4 42"] In this position with white to move, ...
247 views

### Why does AlphaZero evaluate on the order of 1000 times less moves than Stockfish?

According to Deep mind's article, Alpha Zero searches roughly 10,000 moves per decision, while Stockfish is around 10,000,000 moves. I'm aware that Alpha Zero uses Monte Carlo Tree Search while ...
1k views

### How to fix 1 turn tactical errors

I am a very good attacking and tactical player. There is just one problem. While I catch combinations that might even require 5 or 6 moves, I cannot find 1 turn ones. Let's see this game I played ...
945 views

### Are modern chess programs tactically perfect?

In a given situation, can we assume that a chess engine is tactically perfect - meaning that it can find all possible tactics which are there in that position. Is it possible for the best of modern ...
122 views

### Why do engines run faster if you only have one line of analysis open?

When I load up an engine (like Stockfish), it reaches a higher depth quicker if I only leave one line of analysis open. If I leave multiple lines open, it runs slower. Why is this?
747 views

### What are the best books on (A) General Theory, (B) Calculation Process/Improvement

I will introduce my request by saying that up until fairly recently I was completely oblivious to chess despite practicing as a kid, I have a clear understanding of the FIDE rules but that's about it. ...
160 views

### Would this clock time mode be useful at all?

I want to encourage more games to be played with "thinking" chess instead of "video game" chess like in lightning and blitz. When I play at super fast time controls, I tend to stop calculating at all ...