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jeffz_2002 65 ( +1 | -1 )
I can't count This sounds silly, but I have trouble keeping track of the pieces taken from each side in longer combinations.

For example, suppose you and your opponent are setting up pieces to attack an advanced isolated pawn. When trying to run the attacks through in my wee mind, I go something like, "His R takes my P, I'm a P down, my P takes his R, he's a R down, his N takes my R, I'm a P+R down, my N takes his N, he's R+N down (so it's P+R for me vs R+N for him), if I move here then he takes this P so I'm P+P+R vs R+N ...

I get lost quite quickly.

This applies mainly to longer combinations, but I still have trouble with this even in simple analyses.
Any ideas on how to improve this would be appreciated.
poisonedpawn78 68 ( +1 | -1 )
a small tip .... do not worry about the peices that have left the board .. worry about what you have left ON the board.

for example ... he takes my pawn , i take his rook , he takes my rook , i take his knight ... now look at the board .. do you have some advantage for all of those trades ? if not .. do not trade =)

remember chess is not a simple game of numbers .. just because you might lose a knight in the trade .. does that mean it was a bad trade ? what if it clears a defender for mate .. or openins the road to queenining a pawn dont just assume its bad because you lost a peice ... analyse what you can do after that .. then decide if losing the peice was worth it .
atrifix 48 ( +1 | -1 )
Two methods First: try to visualize the final position of the combination and just count the material there. Don't try to keep track of things taken along the way. This also helps to make sure there are no final traps.

Second: use your method of 'counting' the material taken by each side. If this leads you to confusion, try to calculate only material imbalances (e.g., "we trade N's, so a pair of N's come off, then I take his P, and then we trade R's, so I'm a pawn up; a pair of N's and R's have come off.").
tulkos 13 ( +1 | -1 )
Or, Instead of 'if I take a pawn,I'm up a pawn till he takes a pawn'Think if I trade a pawn for a pawn we are still even.
philaretus 13 ( +1 | -1 )
If you analyse.... .....the game by moving pieces on an actual board, you'll never be in any doubt about the balance of material resulting from play.
atrifix 13 ( +1 | -1 )
Of course, I thought you meant in OTB play. For games played on gameknot or by correspondence, you can just set up the position on the board and move the pieces around.
triangulator 17 ( +1 | -1 )
i have the same problem i sometimes takes me 10 min to figure out a simple 8 move combination that wins a peice-because there is a lot of tradeing involved in the combination and i agree with poison
jeffz_2002 4 ( +1 | -1 )
thanks all yes, I did mean OTB. Good advice, I'll try a few of the suggestions.
tovmauzer 3 ( +1 | -1 )
Triangulator Simple 8 move combination?:)
gunnarsamuelsson 102 ( +1 | -1 )
attack of the isolated pawn. Try this line of thinking:
1. Just count the attackers and the defenders first.(obviously u gotta have 1 more attacker)
2. Is there any way for him throw an inbetween move that will make things bad for me?
For instance Pin one of my attackers and winning it/or quality in the process?
3. Does he have one extra defender hidden, that can be thrown in by tempowin( for instance by check or by making a more serious threat to your position and at the same time coming to the pawns funeral.
4.Which is the last piece that is coming to the dead pawns funeral, and how will she/he feel after getting there. Fine ladies (queens)tend to cry sometimes at funerals when being exposed to enemy soldiers.
5.Last but not least the pawn really hanging.. under what circumstance did it come to hang.. if u forced it to, theres a greater chance for success..since even though its not .. theres a less chance your opponent will know why ..since he hasnt put it there as a trap for u. Good hunting!
tulkos 15 ( +1 | -1 )
Bobby fischer Lost a game once to a printer when he missed an inbetween move that the printer could make,which won Fischers Queen!!
frodan 14 ( +1 | -1 )
..printers.... ..cannot play chess,unless they have fritz incorporated in their innards.also, printers cannot count!.....
triangulator 16 ( +1 | -1 )
yah i can calculate 10-12 moves in the middle game as long as there arent many trades- in the endgame i can calculate about 15 moves because there are so few peices
atrifix 3 ( +1 | -1 )
Well I only calculate one move.
triangulator 5 ( +1 | -1 )
coppy cat someone else already said that
death_by_pawns 2 ( +1 | -1 )
atrifix 15 ( +1 | -1 )
I did think (after I posted) that I should have attributed it to Richard Reti. At any rate, nobody ever calculates any 'set' number of moves.
triangulator 6 ( +1 | -1 )
i know sometimes I only caculate 3 moves but never any less
frodan 18 ( +1 | -1 )
..... least my printer cannot count or play a single move of chess,let alone beating Grandmasters with in-between moves.Maybe i should go get the latest upgrade?...