Chess Thought Process: Critical “de Groot Think Out Loud” Exercise

In this video NM Dan Heisman describes the de Groot “Think Out Loud” exercise from de Groot’s book Thought and Choice in Chess. Much more about this exercise is discussed in Dan’s book The Improving Chess Thinker. de Groot’s work investigates how good players find moves in actual game situations (as opposed to puzzles, where they have a specific requirement which guides their thoughts).

NM Dan Heisman has been a full-time chess instructor since 1996 and is the author of 12 chess books, a TV show on and radio at the Internet Chess Club. Howard Stern was one of Dan’s students. Dan tries to answer comments on YouTube but for a quicker, more comprehensive answer (or questions about lessons), contact Dan via email, skype, or phone via Dan’s website . His Chess Tip of the Day is @danheisman on Twitter.


  1. easy…. ive just i saw that fastly, i ve seen qxh7,hxg5 and ne7 mate. possibly cause i knew this kind of pattern! i just bought your looking for trouble cause i have to work out my defensive capabilities!

  2. "The Improving Chess Thinker" is a top 3 in my favorite chess books. This is just an interesting subject and it is rare you see a chess book which can be beneficial for chess players without focusing on pure chess knowledge (opening, strategy, endgame, tactic, etc…). After reading this book, you get a good idea on what make the difference between players of different strengths and apply this knowledge to your own "thinking process".

  3. I concur."The Improving Chess Thinker" is one of the must reads for everyone,striving to get better at chess.
    Why no one recommends this book is beyond me.

  4. Thank you for explaining how my granddads research was carried out. And it's also great to hear that you still use it in your lessons, and thanks for being so precise on the pronunciation of our family name.. much appreciated, regards, Koen Adriaan de Groot

  5. Reading grandmaster Michael Adam's latest book "Think like a Super GM" lead me to finding your video and channel. I'm going to look into your book "The improving chess thinker" as well -thank you.

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