Chess Position Practice #2: 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. (more)


  1. Thanks for the comment Florian! I could use non-GM games for these videos (i.e. my own personal games) from either my side or my opponents side – that would probably give a much higher chance of finding a move that gives that kind of positional gain. It's definitely a possibility. I think working towards maintaining equality in a tight position is beneficial too – but maybe a mix would be good. Definitely something to think about. Thanks for checking out the vid!

  2. I really enjoy your videos, continue to do a great job 😉

  3. Thanks Mat! I would have like to do it but the max length on the vids I can get is 10:50 or so – and it feels like I am just machine-gunning through the remaining moves without giving them the credit they deserve to show the end of the match. Thanks for checking out the vid!

  4. Thanks Fiery – I appreciate the comment and I agree – I think improving the ability to make solid moves through candidate lines will just improve things overall, at least from my perspective. Thanks for checking out the vid!

  5. That's great ytmndman! Feel free to post any ideas or lines you saw a potential for!

  6. Thanks Elvyne963 – I appreciate the feedback!

  7. Thanks for the comment and checking out the vid! I have been doing some pre-recording work on my next opening vid so stay tuned – shouldn't be too long.

  8. That's awesome Bobitoz! Thanks for checking out the vid and commenting!

  9. very good video
    also think in 6:10 the white B can go to h6 and black is in trouble

  10. That's awesome scotri83! Congratulations and thanks for checking out the vids!

  11. Thanks Fins! I think that would be a solid attacking choice for white. Black would need to move BF6 to counter that and it should give enough options to continue. Thanks for the comment and checking out the vid!

  12. Thanks for checking it out Masky – that would be a good move for white, pretty much forcing BF6. Black will have enough time to get the rook out from F8 after that avoiding the mate threat / big loss of material.

  13. Great vids jrobi; I haven't played chess in a few years and your videos really have helped me get back up to speed and improve my game. You've got my subscription, and keep up the good work!

  14. jrobi, fantastic video series… keep on the great work. I really appreciate your honest approach and great advice.

  15. Thanks for your prompt response to my e-mail. I will post my comment here for now. I enjoy the work you are doing w/vids & chess, as I see, many others share the same sentiment!

  16. **Regarding this GM practice I do not see the value in this position, perhaps after move #23 may spur on some interesting lines. It looks to me Alekhine poor choice lost this one. Not perhaps anything Cima did correctly, he just capitalized on a poor move #23. 23. …Qxd5? cost A.A. the game(23. …Rh4= looks better) Otherwise he surely could have drawn the position. What are your thoughts regarding my 2 points?

  17. Sorry I made an error I meant 23. Qxd5 & 23. Rh4=

  18. Hey robi.Would you like to play chess against me) Im about 1900 in blitz (fqe rating) and 1700 Long game. In yahoo or wutever

  19. Good work. Castle or exd5 are 50/50 but either way I think white has such strong centre control it is hard for black to recover, even from this early position.

  20. Around 6.05 I dont think that black's best move is knight to d6, i rather have my knight left and protecting the g7 square, cause if knight d6 this follows; Bishop H6 , Bishop(b) f6 , and then we se that suddenly black gotta defend hes king from checkmate, i rather go with a move such as black bishop's to f6, Supporting the pawn on e5. And white i think will not caputre cause next move knight to f6 threathning the pawn and now suddenly white queen gotta move =) , But i like what you made up also

  21. These candidate moves actually help my chess!

  22. Thanks jbragadeesh – I appreciate the comment!

  23. Same here pinkyfrogs23 – I am looking forward to continuing this series for quite some time. Thanks for checking out the vid!

  24. I have a list up on my site – thanks for checking out the vid!

  25. Thank you Jrobi. This video is very helpful and very Impressive !!!

  26. The co-ordinates are definitely more visible now ………… seems to practice a lot …what is your official rating n original name …???

  27. After youre first idea of exd5, at 4.40 black can simply play Nxd5 and win a pawn.

  28. I chose 0-0 for the first move. My second and third choices were Rd8 and a5. Rd8 to get the rook on the semi open file with the queen. a5 as a preventive move to keep white's knight on c3 from coming down and causing trouble.

    All my choices come from my thinking that thinking that black still has a few things to take care of before the middlegame, and castling would be the most important.

  29. The first two moves you talked about, were the same as mine. :p

  30. What about this? (I'll call Nc3 move #1, but it wasn't.) 1. Nc3 O-O 2.Bg5 Ne8 3. Qg4 f5 4. exf5 exf5.
    I think that would be a pretty good line…

  31. Why not a6 with the idea of eventually pushing b5 to undermine white's center a bit?

  32. i want more of this. Which website can i go for this?

  33. for me i would like to play Ng4 and sacrifice it to have a semi-open H file for the rook , and then castle queen side and connect the rooks, is that possible ?

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