Avoiding Quiescence Errors in Chess Analysis

In chess, if you are analyzing and stop your analysis of a line “too soon” when there are further forcing moves (checks, captures, or threats) that can change the evaluation (from say losing to winning or vice versa), this is called a “quiescence error”. In testing students, NM Dan Heisman found that quiescence errors are often the reason why lower rated players do well in puzzles (when they know something is there & don’t stop analyzing) vs in a game, when they may stop too soon.

In this video NM Heisman takes a complicated position from a GM game and uses it to discuss quiescence errors. He analyzes the position and points out the various places where quiescence errors could occur, pointing out why they occur and what might be done to mitigate them.

NM Dan Heisman has been a full-time chess instructor since 1996 and is the author of 12 chess books, the TV show “Q&A with Coach Heisman” on Chess.com and the radio show “Ask the Renaissance Man” on the Internet Chess Club. Radio personality Howard Stern was one of Dan’s students. Dan tries to answer comments on YouTube but for a quicker, more comprehensive answer (or questions about lessons), contact Dan via email, skype, or phone via Dan’s website . His Chess Tip of the Day is @danheisman on Twitter, which won the award for “Best Twitter Feed” in 2021 from the Chess Journalists of America. #Chess #ImproveChess #ChessInstruction #ChessThinking #ChessThoughtProcess #ChessStyle #ChessImprovement #InstructiveChess #ChessMicroInfluencer #ChessEvaluation #ChessCastling #WinChess


  1. Thanks for viewing this video! Want to keep improving your rating? Check out the video that won the Chess Journalists of America award for Best Instructional Video in 2021. It's called The Ways to Make Better Moves: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnA-5qPDq7s

  2. Awesome job! If you can please help support my chess videos! 🙏

  3. It's been a while since I checked out your videos, I've been missing them, good to see you're still producing content! There is nothing wrong with your analysis, but I saw an interesting idea you didn't consider. 1.Qb7 Rd7 2.Qxd7 Qxb6 3. Qd6+ Ke8 4.f7+ 1-0.

  4. Is 17:35 an example of a quiescence error? After Qg2 Ng3 Rxg3 Rxg3 Qxg3 Qxh6 Qc7 Re8, white can pick up the bishop with Qd6+ Kf7 Qxd4, can't they?

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