How to Think Ahead In Chess | 1-on-1 Lesson w/ Opferschach

IM Kostya Kavutskiy is back with another one on one lesson with Dojo’er Opferschach on how to think ahead in chess.

Check out the full lesson here:

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  1. Reminds me of bjj. If I did this, then this can happen. How can I submit my opponent as quickly as possible without risking losing my strong position? Same with chess. You can see this with high level bjj like rickson gracie. You would notice, he moves very little once he achieved a solid position. He waits for mistakes by the enemy then go for submission.

  2. I watched a video from GothamChess where he and Hikaru were doing training where they would both analyze a position at the same time with mics muted. First we'd hear Levy's commentary and then Hikaru's. What really struck me was not that Hikaru always found the right ideas and moves, nor was it even the speed at which Hikaru came to his conclusions. It was the way he organized his thoughts about the position. During his analysis, Levy complained a lot about how difficult the position was and I am not saying that to knock Levy at all. But it's an important detail. Levy got distracted by the difficulty and he let his frustration with the difficulty of the position reduce the efficiency of his analysis. It was like a form of negative self-talk. I recognized that I do that too, a lot, and I do it in even less complex positions. And it made me ask myself, why am I a poor analyst? OK, I can't remember positions well and so I forget lines I have calculated (cue negative self-talk). My thought process is scattershot and so I go around in circles (cue negative self-talk). While I am thinking, I may not be verbalizing my frustration with a difficult position or idea but it's there. I feel myself judging how poorly I am doing. How can you "think ahead" clearly if you have your mental manager leaning over your shoulder judging you every time you recalculate a line? How can I go deeper when I have this asshole bothering me about how I cannot remember what the position looked like that I just calculated? And I am left asking, is the reason that I am so poor because 20% of my mental energy is being spent on manifesting this "mental manager" who is constantly looking over my shoulder? Is the stress I am creating for myself increasing my cognitive load so that my ability to think ahead is operating at a level or even two levels under what it should be?

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