Checks, Captures and Threats

Just by reading the title of today’s chess tip, you can know what I will be talking about. This post will cover one of the most important techniques to calculate during a chess game, the first time I learned this was by the book “Think like a Grandmaster” where Kotov explains that you have to form a tree of variations and consider forcing moves, checks, captures, and threats. Now before starting to explain this process, I must tell you that Kotov was very criticized by others chess players who state that this is not the way masters think, however, this technique was very helpful for me and for many players that I have met, perhaps the way that is described in the book it is not the best but that is another theme, we are today here just to learn the technique of calculating checks, captures and threats.

In order to become a grandmaster class player whose understanding of chess is superior to the thousands of ordinary players, you have to develop within yourself a large number of qualities, the qualities of an artistic creator, a calculating practitioner, a cold calm competitor.

Alexander Kotov

Although perhaps you are expecting a long post to analyze this technique, there is no reason why to do it, the advice is not so complicated to understand. You must calculate checks, captures, and threats. It seems to be easy, is it? Let’s apply this.

You should apply this advice every time in your calculation, and by every time I want to mean after every move you are calculating, for example:

Now we can notice that the technique, in theory, is easy but in the practice it is a skill that you need to develop, looking for all the possible checks, captures, and threats in a real chess game sometimes might be hard even for a champion world like Magnus Carlsen.

How can we become a calculator machine? The only answer is training, and here in Academia de Ajedrez Tres Reyes, we have the best chess coaches who can help you with your calculation skills, just take a look at our coaches’ page (link).

To end this post I want to share with you three positions, try to find all the checks, captures and threats and make the best move, hope you enjoy them and leave the answer in the comments section.

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