Shortcuts for Tactical Analysis

Analyzing tactical situations is very difficult in chess. So players often use some shortcuts in their calculations. Here are some of the mathematical shortcut rules used by chess players:

  • Material Balance (Queen=9, Rook=5, Knight=3, Bishop=3, Pawns=1)
  • Counting Developing Moves Required
  • Counting Rule for Passed Pawns (Pawn Races)
  • Rule of the Square (for the King stopping a passed pawn)
  • Counting Attackings vs Defending Pieces (Need “attackers>defenders” to win)
  • Sequences of Attackers vs Defenders (Major vs Minor Pieces)
  • Counting Attacking Moves in Attacking Races
  • Knights take 3 moves to reach a square next to them (horizontal/vertical)
  • Knights take 2 moves to reach a square diagonally next to them
  • Knights take 4 moves to move across a 3x3 square