Why You REALLY Blunder – Unseen Threats Revealed

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00:00 Introduction
01:12 Missing the Threats Behind Enemy Recaptures
03:09 Missing the Threats Behind Enemy Retreats
05:07 Quiz #1
06:51 Quiz #2
08:39 Conclusions

Chess is a cruel game. You can play a perfect game and then make a single mistake that can cost you the game. This means we have to be careful at all times – and pay attention to the opponent’s threats generated by their last move.

As a coach, I witnessed players do not really internalize actively checking for threats that are presented as a result of the opponent’s last move. Especially if that last move was a retreat or recapture. In those cases, the algorithm tends to falter and people forget to actively search for threats behind those moves. This video highlights this by instructive examples from real games.

The lesson is clear: regardless of whether the opponent’s last move was a retreat or recapture, we must still actively ask the fundamental question of whether that move presents a threat we must address. If this process fails even on a single move, you can lose any chess position…


  1. Great instruction that deserves a lot more views

  2. Excellent lesson. I thought it was going to be too basic for me as a reasonably strong player, but I still learned a lot from it — thank you! (I easily saw the threats, but did not see the full range of defensive resources. e.g. I did not even see Nd2-f1 as an option, and considered only the inferior h3.)

  3. In minute 8.23 I prefer h3 if black g4 ,hxg4

  4. In minute 6.14 why not black Qe7 ,contest the white queen so there is no more mate in g7

  5. In the 3rd example, f6 looks so much better than Qd8 as after Qf6 Qxf6 exf6, Black's h8 knight is well and truly buried.

  6. Great instruction!! very helpful.Thank you

  7. I find your teaching style to be very valuable, useful and practical. Thank you again for another quality lesson!

  8. I hope you cover other reasons of blunder , like unnoticed discovery or potential fork .. I suppose

  9. Another absolutely superb video!!!!! For me, Dr Can is now tied in first place with Igor Smirnov (Remote Chess Academy), Robert Ramirez, and Nelson Lopez as best chess youtube teachers. Your teaching is so clear Dr Can, you're brilliant, thank you.

  10. I like your method and performance, very practical

  11. It's blunders that may cause ones rating to stall as opposed to not having enough chess knowledge 😢

  12. On both quizes I saw the threat but had different solutions than you did. Your answers were stronger. Mine were passive. Quiz 1, I went Qf7. Quiz 2, I went h3. It was not enough for me to just see the threat.

  13. 🎉💯👏👏 excellent idea to look out for threats some of these blunders am guilty of, however one of my worst blunder,is getting caught up in a plan or idea, especially when you may have an advantage,an very eager to finish off the opponent and soooo confident with your ideas , that you start to ignore the opponents move and then it happens an unexpected tactics creeps in an everything you plan suddenly falls apart 😢😢😢 a kind of haste creeps in particularly when you about to win ,or have strong advantage,so starting to drill LOOK FOR THREATS into my head even if it means losing a little time GREAT video 🎉🎉💯

  14. This was very helpful. Thank you for the lesson!

  15. Very good examples of "blindness" to enemy strategy leading to blunders.

  16. In Quiz #2, it is a very typical position that arises from the Advanced French opening.

    Often white has good opportunities to take Nb1 a4 Na3 or even sacking Nxc4 in some lines to open the center and crush black's king stuck in the middle.
    Either line saves the knight on f3 whereas Nf1 is fine but unclear if eventually activating it through g4 is sound. Also don't overlook the simple h3 here because it allows both knights to use h2 as well.

  17. The hard part is, though, that this question often puts me in a mindset where I can't notice my opponent's mistakes because I'm focusing so much on dodging the opponent's threats. Just another form of tunnel vision, I suppose

  18. Yeah, I have often seen people miss the threat after a recapture. In bullet, it's a common theme to catch opponent with this

  19. Excellent and totally true. It's great to have practical actions like this.

  20. I'm so glad to see you producing content for the 1000-1500 level. But my humble request is to come up with something for the rating level of 1600-2000, so that'll be more helpful for us ❤

  21. A great lesson for me! I never think about what my opponent is up to.

  22. I'm 1900 and I do these mistakes ALL the time. and I think it's exactly this reason, I see the move as 'just' a recapture. and more generally I think I do it because his move was forced by MY will and not his, so I wrongly assume his move doesn't have his will behind it so it's safe to ignore.

  23. Some great examples of just the thing that I’ve been guilty of more times than I care to admit to. Hopefully this will help improve and reduce the blunders . Thanks

  24. Dear Can, thank you again to cover such key topic again. Take care!

  25. USCF expert here – I think the question should be broader. Instead ask, “If we trade sides and still make it my turn with my opponent’s pieces, what are my candidate moves and why?” Then you mentally switch back to your side and find candidate moves that thwart or outrace/supersede your opponent’s best/most dangerous ideas. Getting tunnel vision on tactics is too narrow.

  26. Great video. Well explained.

  27. These are good examples, buy there too much repetition in your exposition. Better to speed things up

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