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Evaluate forcing moves like a computer
Compiled by notyetagm

I am harping on this idea of <FORCING MOVES> because I saw that NEW IN CHESS is going to publish a tactics puzzle book on this idea in March 2008. This book is called <"Forcing Chess Moves"> by the American Master Charles Hertan; details are available at

<Our Price: $ 28.95

Publisher: New In Chess, 2008
Edition: Paperback medium
ISBN: 978-90-5691-243-7
Pages: 360
Language: English

This is a radically different approach, aimed at finding the winning move more consistently. The basis is simple: always analyze the most forcing moves first.

The failure to consider key options is often due to ‘human bias’. In achieving chess mastery, the single most important task is to overcome that human bias (and staleness) by studying forcing sequences first.

This book teaches how to develop an eye for the TYPES of forcing moves you tend to overlook, and how to use ‘COMPUTER EYES’ to improve your tactical vision!

On the Author:
Charles Hertan is an American Master of Chess, and has been teaching chess for 28 years.

- a really new method in finding strong chess moves - endorsed by former US Champion Joel Benjamin
- helps to develop precision in move calculation - improves ‘board sight’ of casual players
- completely new training material (no rehash of same old ‘classic’ examples) - written by an experienced chess coach
- timeless training instruction, does not outdate - ideal for club and internet chess players>


Van Wely vs Carlsen, 2008

<syracrophy: <Eyal> In the analysis at, it appears that 39.Rh8+!! wins.>

click for larger view

Yes, 39 ♖b8-h8+!! is a great example of the need to <EVALUATE FORCING MOVES LIKE A COMPUTER>.

39 ♖b8-h8+!! goes right into my Game Collection: Evaluate forcing moves like a computer. I bet you Van Wely did not even -consider- this move in his time pressure. If he had, he would have easily seen that, yes it gives up a rook, but it also forces the queens off of the board and then the connected White c- and d-passed pawns march on to victory.

<After 39...Bxh8 <39...Kxh8 40.Qe8+> 40.Qe7 exchanging the queens and winning the final position>

click for larger view


Petrosian vs Polugaevsky, 1963

White to play: 32 ?

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How does White (Petrosian) win from this position in just four(!) more moves? Simple: <PETROSIAN EVALUATES HIS FORCING MOVES LIKE A COMPUTER>.

He analyzes the <FORCED CHECKING SEQUENCE> 32 ♖d1x♖d8+ ♔e8x♖d8 33 ♕f4-b8+ ♕c5-c8 34 ♕b8x♕c8+ ♔d8x♕c8, which is shown below.

click for larger view

What does Petrosian see? He sees that these <FORCING MOVES> have dragged the Black e8-king away from the advanced and -very- dangerous White f6-pawn.

The result of this <FORCING PLAY>? Petrosian now has an instant win with 35 ♗b3xe6+!, as I discussed above.

click for larger view

Note how simple the win was to find by simply looking at -the- most <FORCING> line of play! :-)

32 Rd1xRd8+ forcing sequence leads to winning 35 Bb3xe6+!
Petrosian vs Polugaevsky, 1963 
(D25) Queen's Gambit Accepted, 35 moves, 1-0

Kasparov analyzes forcing lines beginning 38 Be7-f6+! to win
Kasparov vs G Gonda, 1988 
(D32) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 38 moves, 1-0

9 Nf3xe5+! leads to mate in one by destroying Black pawn shield
Benko vs Sawyer, 1964 
(C60) Ruy Lopez, 10 moves, 1-0

31 ... Bb7-f3+, 32 ... Bg3xf4+ allows Black to regain his rook
Gelfand vs Aronian, 2008 
(D11) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 30 moves, 0-1

33 Bg2xe4+! wins a pawn by removal of guard due to mate threat
Alekhine vs Tartakower, 1930 
(A90) Dutch, 50 moves, 1-0

58 ... Re1xBe5+! liquidates to an easily winning pawn ending
J Smeets vs Yifan Hou, 2008 
(C13) French, 58 moves, 0-1

39 Rb8-h8+!! seems to give away rook but liquidates to win
Van Wely vs Carlsen, 2008 
(A58) Benko Gambit, 49 moves, 0-1

29 h6-h7+! check Anand overlooked that would have won title
Anand vs Ivanchuk, 2007 
(B42) Sicilian, Kan, 37 moves, 0-1

28 - Qb6xe6! Magnus calcs that White e5-knight has no discovery
M Pavlovic vs Carlsen, 2004 
(B31) Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation, 33 moves, 0-1

30 ... Nd5xe3+! Caruana finds that this forcing move wins game
M Pavlovic vs Caruana, 2008 
(D12) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 38 moves, 0-1

45 c3xQd4?: White did not even bother to examine 45 Rb1,f2xb2+!
Le Quang Liem vs I Nepomniachtchi, 2008 
(D44) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 68 moves, 0-1

Sutovsky sees that 32 Re1xNe5! wins a pawn, 32 Ng6xNe5 does not
Sutovsky vs Sakaev, 2001 
(C14) French, Classical, 63 moves, 1-0

28 .. Qd2xg2+! saves Black after he completely missed 28 Qh5-g5
Radjabov vs Navara, 2008 
(B46) Sicilian, Taimanov Variation, 47 moves, 0-1

46 Ne4-d2+! Dr. Lasker sees that this check forces winning KFA
Lasker vs Duras, 1909  
(D26) Queen's Gambit Accepted, 54 moves, 1-0

14 games

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