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Grandmasters know how to look ahead

Grandmasters know how to look ahead

One myth is that grandmasters can see ten or more moves ahead.

The truth is that in just the first four moves, there are 318 billion moves you can make. This is too much even for grandmasters, so they use various techniques to be able to look ahead.


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Chess techniques to look ahead

  • Take a group, a chess position, and see what possibilities can come from that group.
  • Pattern recognition, which is remembering a lot of positions that look similar and extrapolating truths from that.
  • The stepping-stone method is to take a position, freeze it in your mind, and guess the next position.
  • Retrograde analysis, which is, in order to look ahead, it pays to look backwards. 


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The usefulness of retrograde analysis

Grandmasters study the endgame to steer the position in front of them. This way, they know ten moves ago that they will win because they know where they were going.

Take as an example the following sentence:  "After reading this sentence, you will realize that the the brain doesn't recognize a second 'the'." Most people will only catch 'the' the second time around. This is because the brain ignores anything that breaks with its logical stream. However, if you read the sentence backwards, you would easily catch it.


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