Chess Position Practice #1: Candidate Moves

This video series will focus on analyzing chess positions, and generating candidate move orders from the position without moving the pieces or using computer analysis. The goal is to improve the ability to generate lines and variations mentally during a game, and to try to come up with a move that either maintains equality on the board, or paves the way for a slight positional edge.

I recommend pausing the video at the appropriate time and generating your own candidate moves. If this is something new you are working on improving, it’s recommended that you write down your lines and over time you will be able to do this all in your head during a match.


  1. It'd be nice to hear something of your reasoning. I'd be leery of leaving the king's rank open for the opponent's rook to infiltrate.

  2. 1.) a5
    2 ) If white captures the A5 pawn then Ka5 else a5 pawn takes b4
    3) Then Kg8
    Please suggest of this line ………..

  3. funny i Thought about the knight to G8 but didnt really saw how it would be a strong move..I guess thats a begginers thing..

  4. woot! I picked the right line. I didn't really care for the knights position on e7 and I also noticed that black is threatening to win material by pushing his d pawn forward. I briefly considered Rf6, but eventually decided that this was not in black's best interests.

  5. What about …b5 to avoid c4 (trying to free the b2 bishop). Tried it out here and Capa seems to win with that move too.

  6. since nimzo is threatening 1 b5 here and after knight moves to either… b8 or…. d8 white plays 2.Rxe7. so capa removes the threatned knight and strenghthens e7. i didn't hear you mention the main threat. the rook lift …Rf6 and …Rh6 should jump out at everybody. great commentary keep up the good work.

  7. omg some of these 'weakies" as fisher would say, moves are retarded. how about if you cant play chess you dont pretend to know what your talking about because its so blatantly obvious. take my analysis for instance just like capas playing its clear, simple and consise, to all you chess wanabeees go play checkers.

  8. at 8:25; how about bishop A2, he has to block with the rook, witch you can then take the rook, and material is equal, (but the king is worse postioned

  9. at 6:40 why not move the knight to e5 threatening Nxf7+

  10. Ba6+ not a2! I agree it does look quite promising.

  11. It's my first posted youtube chess game from when I first started getting into the game. Thanks for checking out this one!

  12. To everyone who is saying Ba6 at 8:20 in this video. White would just move his rook up. After the trade. He would still be down an entire knight.

    Black would have traded a knight and bishop for a rook and pawn. Making the sacrifice worthless.

  13. kingfrenzy – pawn blocks then bishop takes and its the same scenario,
    a block from the queen will either end up in a free take or setting up itsself for mate,
    bloacking rook has the same outcome…i think im noob ^^

  14. @eyenuh300

    HOWEVER, after white blocks the bishop (Ba6+) check with his rook, black can play..Re8! Since the white rook is pinned, it CANNOT Rxe8 and is facing some serious trouble! How is he going to defend against Bxe2?

    … Ba6+
    Re2, Re8
    White does not have a way of defending it apart from exchanging his white queen and rook for rook and bishop

  15. I wouldve got the rook in before the night move to hopefully pin bishop

  16. I found two candidates: b5 to establish a minority attack on the queen side and a rook lift – Rf6 threatening Rh6. The object of b5 is to restrict the movement of the White pawn majority and try to keep his bishop on b2 out of the game, Rf6 threatens a king side attack but is probably too obvious for a GM.

  17. if white was to play b5 black would lose a knight bxc6 or Rxe7 then to deal with that threat Ng8 getting the knight out of line of fire freeing the e-file and fortifying the castle was probably the best move.

  18. @ 8:19 Ba6 is a great way to "finish off the white king" as if bishop blocks its mate on Qh1 and if something else blocks you are at least starting to gain back the material…

  19. I, like you, decided on g6. Didn't like that bishop on h5 having that diagonal into my turf.

    Love the videos; keep them coming!

  20. man. Capa's move is genius. I looked at this position for twenty minutes, pushing hard and could not come up with the solution. I'm in awe. Thanks for the opportunity J!

  21. Ba2 at 8:05 is much ado about nothing. As dangerous as it looks, it really accomplishes nothing. jrobi was correct in assessing the sacrifice as worthless.

  22. At 8:15, why not move the bishop to A6 with check? The only move white has is Re2; if he moves the bishop it's checkmate Qh1. Obviously the likelihood of actually getting to this particular position is low, but still, it's worth noting.

  23. I came up wioth pawn G6 (your last move) and bishop B8 too 🙂 It's really cool. I like your videos. Keep 'em up. I believe I can learn a lot from you.

  24. I agree with that other guy in that second senerio there was a move you could have done with your bishop to checkmate the white opponent.

  25. Poor analysis, because you only focus on one thing. A chess piece can be used in three ways. 1.Increase its own power. 2.How it can be supported by other pieces. 3.How the piece can it'self lend support. In this video the whole focus was just on using type one! Capablanca's move was type three. His move coordinated with his other pieces.

  26. jrobi … nice vids btw, but for this match … u had once a good variation that u missed simply because u didnt continue … at 8:15 when u got the black queen to h2 and the white king was at f8 … it was a win/win position for black with bishop to a6+ and white would have only 3 possible moves to block the mate 1- bishop to E2?? mate with Qh1
    2- Qe2 or d3 … both loosing the queen or 3 – Re2 that also fails when black plays Re8 … so yeah not allways the GM has a good combo 🙂

  27. 8:26 continue with bishop to a6 check
    if white blocks with rook or queen or pawn ur ahead, and if he blocks with the bishop checkmate with queen on h1

  28. I saw it too, but White's light-squared bishop guards h1.

  29. A 2 the biship gets check mate if im wrong sorry in a noob at chess

  30. i was playing solitary chess and i won by 12 points

  31. Well, the bishop is not covering h1 anymore if it is on f2, blocking the black bishop.

  32. My candidate moves were: Ng8 (which I deemed to be the best move), g6, Nd5, and Bc1. =P

  33. Hi guys,
    I came up with b5, the idea runs like this, in order for the bishop on b2 to be free, c4 needs to move, b5 stops that temporarily, now, the knight on e7 can move to d5 blockading d4.  Next Qd6, threatening actually Qh6

  34. Jrobi, what has become of you? Haven't seen anything new of yours in years!

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