Deep Calculation Exercise #1 | Test Your Chess

In this video IM Kostya Kavutskiy presents a deep calculation exercise, taken from one of his games last year.

Pause the video, set up the position on a physical chess board and try to find the strongest continuation with White to play. There are multiple forcing variations to be found and you will be awarded points based on how many correct lines you see.

Write down your full solutions and type it into the comments below. Then let us know your rating and how many points you scored on the exercise!

A total of 50 points can be earned.

After the solution, check out how Kostya himself did on the exercise!

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  1. Stockfish sees this as a Equal position

  2. Hello im back again and still have 0 pt

  3. I'm mid 1800 CFC, lets see how I did. (edit, 15 points only, missed 3. Bxh7+! altogether) I really enjoyed this exercise!1. g5 1… Bxc3 2. gxf6 2… Bxb2 is obviously critical 3. Nxd7 and if 3… Qxd7 4. Qh5 4… h6 5. Bf5 with Qf4 to come? Not clear to me. 4… g6 5. Qh6 and we mate on g7, black only has one spite check 4… Black ignores our threat, say Bxa8 5. Qxh7+ Kf8 6. Qxg7# 3… Bxa8 we can probably just play 4. Rxa8 and argue for compensation, but 4. fxg7 Qxd7 5. Qh5 is also interesting. 3. Qh5 g6 4. Qh6 Nxf6 and black is winning 2… gxf6 can't be right. 3. Qc3+ Kf8 4. Nxd7+ Qxd7 5. Bxc3 wins a piece 2… Nxf6 or Qxf6 3. Bxc3 wins a piece 2. Bxc3 Ne4 mostly shuts down our attack 1… Ne4 2. Nxe4 dxe4 3. Bxe4 Bxe4 (forced) 4. Qxe4 4… f6?? 5. Qd5+ wins by either direct or smothered mate 4… Nxe5 dxe5 and we're a pawn up with a weak king as some compensation for black 1… Qc7 or Qc8 is a superficial counterattack – our knight isn't really hanging. 2. gxf6 Bxc3 3. Bxc3 Qxc3?? 4. Bxh7+ wins the queen 1… Nxe5 2. fxe5 and f7 drops with check.1. Rae1 is interesting, trying to lend more support to e4, but after 1… Bxc3 2. Bxc3 Ne4 and we have to give up the exchange to open the lines. 3. Bxe4 dxe4 4. Rxe4 Bxe4 5. Qxe4 Nf6 and we have nothing.1. Nxf7 Kxf7 2. g5 Ne4 and the rook helps hold e4. 1. Qh6 Ne4 or Bxc3 refutes it.

  4. Yeap. agree with most here – great videos. There is a lack of such videos out there. I only got 11 points….. but would love to do more similar exercises.

  5. I got total of 24 points. National Otb rating: 1750. My first of this kind so i'm pretty satisfied with it!

  6. 15-20 points, 1600-1800 rating. I know I need to get better at full calculation, sometimes to save time I see attacks very far ahead, e.g. bishop sacrifice on h7 followed by queen check and getting stuck after fxg7 but seeing white coming out ahead, and knowing that f7 is key for white to apply pressure later, with queen, knight and rook (depending on the line), and intuitively knowing that while the enemy bishop on c3 / b2 is annoying, it’s not as important compared with white’s main attack lines. I get fuzzy sometimes during the intermediate moves and opponent variations. I think I got a habit of taking these mental shortcuts to look for the best lines quickly but then I miss some enemy tactics and counterattacks. Trying to unlearn and force myself to play out every variation like a computer. It’s a lot more mental gymnastics, especially for someone who doesn’t have a photographic memory. I’m sure daily practice for a year or more would greatly increase my rating. Thank you, I love these kind of videos to practice.

  7. I'm a lazy 1650. I left out some lines, and only spent a minute, tbh XD. But at least 16 points, and I identified the most critical line for black as well as the winning line with Bxh7 for white with the queen mating idea. I stopped there, cause my intuition told me, this has to be winning. But yeah, I did not calculate the Nxe5 or Rxe5 lines. Like I said: lazy 1650 rated player. At least I would have got lucky and played the winning moves after only spending a minute, lol

  8. A pity that the Deep Calculation stopped after the first edition and didn't go … deeper 🙂

  9. Really nice video! 29 points for 2100 otb. I actually did see Rae1 at first and then I discarded it again because I thought it gets messy after Bxd4 and sth. takes on e5. So I went with the Nc6+ line which I didn't get the points for either because I evaluated it as fine for white.

  10. Ok so being honest i just wanted to see how the point system works in this video, for the next video I'll comment my points 🙂

  11. From Jesse Kraai: saw the main ideas in under 5 min, but then spent forty looking at a line you didn't cover 🙂

  12. Did very bad, I didn't
    see Bxh7; thought that after g5 and gxf6, white could bail out with Q g2 and Q x b2, getting the piece back. But might have seen Bxh7 after …Bxb2; in any case I would have played g5. My USCF rating is 1690, lower for quicker chess.

  13. Really enjoyed this video and hope you do more. 11pts here (only calculated one line) and am probably 1400 OTB. It was helpful to hear your analysis to know how these exercises (and live analysis) should be handled. I'll do better next time. : )

  14. Extremely strong 8 points for me (that 1 pawn up line). 😀 I wasted time calculating anything else except g4 (after I saw one pawn up sequence). Next time, I will try harder, now that I have seen the complexity of this exercise and the possibilities. I am unranked in OTB chess by the way.

  15. I can't say good enough things to thank you master

  16. 15 points, 1850 on lichess.
    I spent 15 minutes until I saw that g5 Bxc3 gxf6 was possible
    Then started calculating but the bell rang, and I wanted to be honest with myself, so I stopped

    Nice video! Hope you keep them coming out

  17. what is the general idea of calculations and what is reason we could not see whole solution after seeing or intuitively getting correct first move.

  18. I saw g5 Bxc3 gxf6 Bxb2 and then discarded it as I couldn’t see any useful follow up. I then spent ages analyzing Bf5 as that seemed to be building pressure up and threatening g5 in a more concrete way. I suppose a lot of this is instinct, but if you can give any guidance as to how to tell when to stop evaluating a line that would be very helpful. Most of my experience in this type of thing has come from solving more straightforward tactical puzzles where you usually see something obvious within a few moves – it seems like the universe of potential things to analyse is so big – how do you cut it down?

    For info, I don’t have an OTB rating…

    Thanks! Great exercise – if only to show how far I have to go….

  19. Hello Kostya! Great video. I scored 22 and I have 1735 FIDE rating.
    In the 1.g5 Bxc3 2.gxf6 Rxe5 variation I saw 3.fxe5 Bxb2 4. Bxh7+ Kxh7 5. Qh5+ Kg8 6. Qg5 (you mentioned here [8:33] fxg7 as the winning variation) Bxd4+ 7. Kh1 g6 8. Rf3 with idea Rh3 and Qh4 so that Black has no defense with Qf8. For example if 8. ..Bxa1 9. Rh3 d4+ 10. Kg1 and the threat is 11.Qh6 Qf8 12. Qh4 so I feel kind of shattered that I didn't get any points for this.. OK I 'm just kidding – or as (I think) Larsen said, long variation – wrong variation!
    Also what I got wrong was the variation 1.g5 Bxc3 2. gxf6 Bxb2 3. Bxh7+ Kf8 4. fxg7+ Kxg7 5. Qg4+ Kf8 I thought 6. Qg8+ Ke7 7. Qxf7+ was winning and I didn't see the Nxd7 variation you mentioned.
    Finally, I was in the 25th minute so I didn't have time to calculate 4.fxg7+ Ke7 line.
    Overall, I believe that it would take me more time in an OTB game, since you have to commit after g5, and I was not going to be sure for all the variations burning up time on the clock just thinking if I should commit or not…
    Once again thanks for the excellent video!
    All the best

  20. I scored 24 and am USCF 1696. I didn't put much thought into Nxe5 and Rxe5, so did not score there. I found Ke7 as the difficult move to handle, but could not really find a sufficient follow up at that point–I was missing the fork on f7 that made the discovery make sense. Thanks for this, it was an awesome exercise! Looking forward to more

  21. you guys can calculate all of these lines without moving any of the pieces? sheesh I got a LONG way to go. After 3 moves or so I can't remember where the pieces are anymore.

  22. I got 22 points, and I am almost 1800 I spent a lot of time on g5 nxe5 fxe5 bxc3 gxf6?! but simply recapturing the bishop wins.
    IN the line g5 bcx3 gxf6 bxb2 bxh7+ kf8 I thought Qh5 was winning, and didn't see the mainline gxf7. the computer refutes Qh5 with Bxd4+
    Overall I spent under 10 min.
    Excellent video Kosta, haven't seen this sort of rewarding exercise on Youtube before!

  23. 19 points here, as I did not go far into the correct line. I discarded the gxf6 variation because I thought the king escapes through e7. I spent a long time on Bxc3 instead of gxf6, but did not manage to find a certain end of the line in time

  24. please make more calculation videos like this. LOving this calcultion videos

  25. 1.g5
    if 1..Ne4, then 2.Nxe4 dxe4 3.Bxe4 and 3..f6 is not possible due to 4.Qe5+. I think white has an advantage because white is a pawn up, and the b2 bishop is about to come to life.

    if 1..Bxc3, then 2.gxf6. Black's bishop is hanging on c3, so 2..Bxb2 is forced. From here, I'm not sure what's the best continuation. I saw 3.Qh5 Nxf6 4.Qxf7 Kh8 5.Qxb7 and black is not in time to grab the rook on a1 because Nf7+ is a threat, but after 5..Rd7, white will soon lose an exchange on a1, and no longer has an attack. I also looked at 3.Nxe7 Qxe7 4.Qh5 h6, and I don't see how the attack continues.

  26. Just a small quibble….I think that in the first line: 1.g5 Ne4 2.Nxe4 de 3.Bxe4 Bxe4 4.Qxe4 White needs to make sure there's no nastiness arising from 4…f6. Maybe you just felt that continuations involving 5.Qd5+ were too obvious to mention. But one should always check potential attacks against a pinned piece.

  27. ਗਿੱਧੇ ਦੀਆਂ ਰਾਣੀਆਂ says:

    I got 13 XD. I was focusing on g4 but one very tempting line was Nxb5 and there was a lot of good stuff. Unrated and an 1800 on lichess classical

  28. Just read the comments under this video and it looks like I lied but I somehow found these lines. Thing is I don't really calculate every move in my games and that seems to be the reason why I get anilhilated a lot, finding winning moves seem to be relatively easy to me but finding the difference between developing moves is far more tricky to me.

  29. 22 pts. I am 2090 fide, but quite weak at tactics. Trying to improve.

  30. 21 points, about 1970 on lichess. I spent way too much time on only a few variations, and even though i saw everything in those variations, i should have looked for more responses black could have had.

  31. 24 points, guestimate 17-1800 elo. (dont play online or club, but have stepped up calculation last few months).
    Completly overlooked the lines around the e5 exchanges, plus I stopped calculation a bit early several times.

  32. I got 22 points and I’m 2200 on lichess, so by my calculations you need to be rated around 5000 to Get all 50 points

  33. I calculated 1.g5 Bxc3 2.gxf6 Bxb2 3.fxg7 Bxa1 , which looked devestating. But it did not come to my mind to try some other possible moves instead of 3.fxg7
    I suppose, that's very few points then 😀

  34. I spent all my time analysing g5 Nxe5 fxe5 Ne4 Qxf7+ Kh8 because I felt it wasn't clear cut since the Knight on c3 is hanging

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