How Many Moves Can You See Ahead In Chess

How Many Moves Can You See Ahead In Chess

Chess is a game that drives interest from both amateurs and professionals. And every player, depending on their age, their professional level, their experience, and their practice, views the game in a different way. There are many skills one must master in order to grow in Chess.

There are tactics, strategic thinking, analytical thinking, and many more. But one of the key factors in the game is the player’s ability to foresee the moves.

To play effectively, a player should be able to predict what his opponent might reply to his move and what the next few moves are going to look like. This is called seeing ahead in Chess. Some players who have just started playing the game may gain the ability to see 1-2 moves ahead, and that comes with regular playing and understanding the dynamics of the game.

Let’s Take A Look Into How Different Levels Of Players Can See The Number Of Moves Differently.


As a beginner, calculating and seeing a few moves ahead is not the first thing that comes to mind. They majorly focus on learning the basics, the movement of pieces, openings, etc. If they can grasp all the basic concepts, they can move on to learning lines, strategies, and other advanced aspects of the game. And this is where foreseeing comes into the picture.

A beginner, once familiar with the game, can see up to 2-3 moves ahead, but that too only in the case of forced moves. Usually, when a Grandmaster thinks ahead, he knows the most obvious and logical move the opponent might play, and accordingly, they plan their moves ahead.

Moves Can You See Ahead In Chess

But for beginners, there is no guarantee that the opponent will end up playing the best move. Hence, thinking ahead isn’t that easy for a beginner, but it can be done if you play a lot and improve your game.

Intermediate Players

These are players who have played the game for a while, know all the basics and complex aspects of the game, but haven’t reached an expert level. Let us assume their rating to be around 100-1500.

These players have played enough and can predict a few moves. And the opponents will also play the most logical moves, hence making the prediction process easy. These players can also see 3-4 moves ahead in any part of the game. This helps them prepare better openings, set up traps, and work towards checkmates.


The mind of a Grandmaster works differently. In any given situation, they mentally have a board and think of all the possible moves and the possible outcomes. They don’t just see many moves ahead, but many moves ahead of each move they think of. They can calculate hundreds of combinations in their head and play the best move in the position.

Grandmasters have been known to play against some of the strongest computers and beat them. In 1996, Gary Kasparov beat IBM’s Deep Blue computer and showed the human mind could comprehend moves better than a computer.

Grandmasters Chess Moves

Grandmasters are always on the lookout for “Candidate moves”, which are all the possible initial moves that feel natural in one position, but later require deep calculation.

To see how Grandmasters think, watch any friendly match Grandmasters play online, and they will walk you through their thought process. This insane calculation was one of the many seen on Hikaru Nakamura’s stream.

How To Improve Your Chess Vision

As a beginner, what are the different activities you can do to make your ability to foresee moves and calculate better? Let’s have a look:

  1. Do a lot of puzzles consistently
  2. Play regularly and recognize patterns
  3. Always look for the weakest spot in the opponent’s position
  4. Before making every move, see if your opponent has any Checks or Captures against you
  5. Play patiently and think of the best and the most natural move your opponent can play against you
  6. Look for forced moves which are either checks or leads to winning pieces

If you are a beginner, it is best to have a mentor or a coach to help you understand and predict the moves. A coach can help you analyze your games, help you understand how to calculate and how an opponent might retort.


If you want to begin your Chess journey, then Kaabil Kids is one of India’s best online Chess training platforms. With a module prepared by international Grandmaster Tejas Bakre, they train the students in all the aspects of the game. All their trainers are FIDE-rated and can help you understand the small intricacies of Chess, which in turn can make you think ahead. Thinking ahead is an integral aspect of professional Chess and something every titled player trains hard on. This helps them gain an advantage in the opening, win pieces in the mid-game, and win in the endgame. So practice and hone your chess foresight now!

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