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## Think Like a Chess Computer

Have you ever wondered how a chess computer or chess engine thinks? How do they find the right move so quickly? Is it possible that I think like that too? Simply put, no, it’s not. A chess engine is a number calculator. The chess engine takes predetermined values given to certain positional and material characteristics and adds them together in a way that gives it a numerical assessment of the position which is usually quite accurate. There are, however, some major weaknesses of a chess computer that make evaluating certain positions problematic. One is when there is a static advantage that can be obtained like a doubled pawn. If the computer calculates that it cannot win that pawn in x number of moves, it will usually discard that variation. Another weakness is the so-called horizon effect. It is the limitation of the capacity of the computer to calculate the variations x the number of moves to come. Since a computer “knows” nothing, all it can do to find the best move is to try all possible combinations of moves. There is however a problem with this method which is the horizon effect. For example, let’s say there are 20 different moves I can make and then there are 20 moves my opponent can make in response to each of those moves. Simple math tells you that there are 400 different combinations. Now a strong player will eliminate almost all of these moves from the start because he knows they are bad. A computer cannot do this; he must calculate all the possible variations to make a correct evaluation. 400 move combinations are no problem for a computer, but when there are 7 or 8 moves in a row, there will be trillions and trillions of different move combinations.

So you might be thinking that it’s not possible to think like a computer, and you’re right. It is however possible to watch your movements so that your opponent has the impression of being in front of a computer! There is a simple way to do this.

1. Ask yourself why your opponent made this move.

– What are his threats?

– What is he up to?

2. Now ask yourself, “What can I do in response to her moving?” »

-Can I make threats myself?

– Did he blunder?

-Did it create any weaknesses that I was able to exploit?

3. Is my move tactically safe?

-Browse Threat Levels

• Checks

• Checkmate

• Captures

• Movement that threatens to capture

• Positional threats

By using this method correctly and before each movement, you will make far fewer mistakes and you will eventually do these steps unconsciously.

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