You are here

Calculate Like a Grandmaster

by GM Denes Boros


Some people think that chess is about opening preparation and a more advanced computer knowledge than your opponent. Others believe you just need to checkmate your opponent in a wild Sicilian.


I believe the game of chess is about decision making. I have been playing this game long enough to know that sooner or later you will be faced with decisions. You will have to decide which way you want to continue the game. The computer can’t decide, nor your Dad, not even the freshest artificial intelligence can tell you what to do when you reach a critical moment in a chess game. It’s like life or a multiple choice test where you have more than 15 possible answers. Making the correct decision is a tough task, but thankfully we have great books that teach us how to deal with these problems. One of the classical books dealing with chess psychology is the book written by Alexander Kotov, Think like a Grandmaster. He gives a simple solution to dealing with a variety of choices in a chess game: reduce the possible solutions to three or four. I happen to agree with this theory. We are not computers, so looking at three or four solutions is a much more manageable task.


Last, but not least, practice analysing critical positions. The more practice you get, the more likely you are to become a good decision-maker on the chessboard. Remember: practice makes perfect, or at least a pretty good chess player!   

US Juniors