Chess Position Practice #4: 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.

Feel free to visit my personal site at for a number of chess resources.

85 Comments

  1. I say black has the advantage.. Continue— black takes white bishop at H5.. Black has a skewer attack with the black bishop attacking white queen and king on G2.. Good video

  2. Great video, I saw the queen over to g2 and rook to the open file as a different line.
    Is there any chance you can do a video on a pawn game? I'm not doing so well with my pawns lately. Thanks
    Also, do you recomend getting Bobby Fischers my 60 most memorable games?

  3. Thanks for checking out the vid Chris! I am planning on doing more about pawns in the future so stay tuned. As for the book, you should check out my video called "Rare Chess Book Find" and that should answer your question. =)

  4. Great vid response Myleanne14! I have placed the full PGN now on my blog, so if you would like to have the entire game it's there now. Take care and thanks for checking out the vid!

  5. It's definitely an option, but it's the nasty rook placed on E8 again that begins to swing things black's way in terms of positional strength. Thanks for checking out the vid!

  6. Good catch yaerav – thanks for checking out the vid!

  7. Awesome maddawg – you teaching or taking the class yourself?

  8. Thanks SoulObject – I appreciate the feedback!

  9. Black takes the queen, and after white recaptures black can put the rook onto E8 or even D8 and begin to take advantage of the position.

    For instance: 30. Qg3 Qxg3
    31. Rxg3 Rad8 32. Rag1 Rd6 33. Rg5 Re8 34. e4 Rd3

  10. If fxg6, how would you respond to the pressure created by fxg6 on the part of black? All of a sudden you'd have a rook supporting the queen and staring down the f file with the looming threat of bd5 and the second rook making its way over.

    My first inclination was what was played (raf1), but I didn't see it out to its conclusion.

  11. First time in all of your vids like this I played the Grandmaster line.

    Thanks for your help J.

  12. Interesting.
    A bit sad you only upload videos once in a while but we cant have chess on our minds every day and who has time anyways.

    Yet again, a fine video, sir.

  13. @ 9:36 why doesn't black capture the bishop witht he pawn? Black's bishop is protecting the f7 square form mate and surely a pawn and the ensuing checks is a good trade for a bishop???

  14. you need to make more video's like this. they're awesome!

    I also considered e4, but i probably would have played:
    Qg2 Rd8
    Qg5+ Qxg5
    hxg5+ K..7
    Rad1

  15. yes but it is no longer mate as the white rook recaptured on f1, which would leave the queen en prise if it were to move to g7. After looking a few moves deeper black would loose a rook and a pawn for the white bishop, which is obviously not good. so it wouldn't be the move to play, but not for the reason you stated

  16. Quickly seeing that black has perfectly good places to move his rook on a8 i dismissed any lines involving unpinning the bishop. I considered fg, which seemed logical, since the pawn was weak i wanted to trade it off. But i was actually concerned about black playing fg, opening the f file where my queen and bishop feel vulnerable and creating threats of Bxe2 or Bd5.. I actually missed that i would have qg2. i then actually started looking at Rg5 and settled on that as the best move

  17. i second that. i was thinking the same thing the whole time

  18. Great series. Very well done. You present well. You provide detailed explanations, and you offer excellent insight.

  19. vesselin topalov-greatest player ever
    bulgaria is so beautiful

  20. Thanks Devil – they should be rolling out a bit more frequently now. I spent some time adding an endgame practice section to my personal site that people can practice staple endgame patterns against the computer right from the web page. That took a bit of time to do but it's pretty much done now. Thanks for checking out the vid!

  21. Thanks csritchie – I appreciate the feedback!

  22. I am looking forward to the Topalov / Anand match coming up later this year for the world championship match. I think Topalov has a very good chance winning. Thanks for checking out the vid!

  23. Thanks for checking out the vid jakedocsnake1 – glad to hear you got it!

  24. I've watched all your vids now. You do a great job of explaining your thought process not only in the games but also regaurding your study of chess in general. Your vids are very helpfull and informative so, thank you and keep up the good work!

  25. Prior to Kasparov's vs. Deep Blue, I would totally agree with you. Nowadays, unless the GM is given odds (as in extra material) the top engines seem to be unstoppable when playing human opponents. They do a lot more now than just fight for a draw.

    That being said, I agree to a point about your distinction between tactics and strategy, but there's no question that computers nowadays play a huge role in training. Top level players use them to work on opening ideas, post analysis etc.

  26. I really enjoy your vBlogs. I think they really help me think about positions and the openings lines are a great tool. I have Chessmaster 9000, but I think it lacks opening line explanation which you do well. Waitzkin does a great job at explaining the mid to end game. I also love the trap vidz. Keep up the good work. I plan on finishing all your vidz!

  27. I had a couple of canidates here…

    The most obvious move is Rg5 guarding the hanging pawn and clogging blacks king side pawn island quite nicely.
    If this was a blitz game I would most likely go with a5. Simply because It would take black at least a little thinking time to work out what threat that flank pawn would bring. And if he ignored it could lock down that rook with that pawn sitting securely on b7.
    I also liked e4 to help break up blacks pawn structure. Then I changed mymind

  28. what software/program do you use that figures out the best move possible?

  29. Hey jrobichess. I was wondering what other program/software i could use instead of Rybka to get the best move possible.

  30. I have a list of chess resources on my personal site. Thanks for checking out the vid!

  31. my first move was moving the rook up which i was pleased to find out at the end of the video was the computer move 🙂

  32. Unfortunately no – all PC here. But if you know of a good one that is more than just playing against a computer (i.e. PGN database functions, engines, etc) let me know and I will add it to the site.

  33. WHat programs where you using in this video

  34. the move that jumped out at me first would be moving white queen to g3, offering queen trade. if accepted then the black queen could be taken with which g1 rook, bringing it forward for the a1 rook to slip in behind but at the same time having the a8 rook still under attack from the white bishop (which could also be taken if the black player declines the queen trade) this could lead to the advance of the f5 pawn to either g6 or f6, covered by the rook that took the queen if queen trade accepted.

  35. For some reason the first thing I thought of was Ra1-f1…kinda seemed logical to me 🙂

  36. what if Qg3 was to be played, forcing the queens trade then Rxg3 he should respond Re8, Rf1. that would put a lot of pressure in the pawn. if he takes the pawn on e2 I would trade my bishop and when Rxe2, fxg6. Would that be any good?

  37. wooo….I got the Rybka move 🙂 can't believe it :p

  38. Rg5 was the most logical to me. Good thinking though! That's what, hopefully, these videos induce; Exploring your options!

  39. Wow that was an old comment of mine, I totally forgot about this 🙂 But thanks for bringing me back here. I have to admit when I saw Ra1-f1 a year ago I didn't see the following continuation with Bxh5 etc., I just thought ok it defends the queen so Bxa8 is a threat. After a year of more practice I'd probably go with Rg5 as well. I wasn't able to see weak squares and holes in my opponents structure back then 🙂

  40. Rg3 then the a1 rook to g1. Opponent will swing a rook somewhere in between and you'll have connected rooks on the g file in two moves.

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