I don’t believe they do, but they can calculate stuff out better than nearly all humans can.
As I told Fred after the game, the purpose of 9..h6 was to prevent White’s control of the d4 square (such as after 10.BxNf6 QxBf6). So the reply 10.Be3 was really forced, but 10.Bd2?? was the decisive mistake, in my opinion, as I mentioned to Fred afterward.
After Fred’s mistake, Black’s game really plays itself, although Fruit wants to keep throwing in …Rb8 for a while. ..Rb8 was so yesterday’s news by this point that it really makes me wonder.
The points of 11…f5 wasn’t just that it was opening the f-file, but that I was planning on following 12.exf up with 12..d5, not stopping to capture the pawn first, but rather to control the e4 square first.
I was kicking myself a little bit right after playing 18…Raf8 because I noticed right away that 18…Bxe2, 19.QxB Rxg3+ also leads to mate (Qxh4 mate), but even then I am missing the faster mate with …Ne3+ (I can also simply win his queen for knight here).
The weird thing about this game was that I was nervous, had only studied chess for maybe 5 minutes during my two days off, and didn’t feel like I “had game” going into it, but I was pleased to be matched up with Fred and his nice Zagreb style pieces (mitres of opposite color). This was my favorite set/style I have played on.
I guess that in the end, it’s difficult to know how a chess game will turn out because who can predict a blunder? Eugene P. (lower-rated) offered a draw to Paul P (higher-rated) in a completely winning position. Paul was under 2 minutes and Eugene had 50 minutes. That is just as baffling to me as it is unpredictable. And Rhett kept playing on his game, dead lost, with only the mate to follow. Ken, who mated me last month, couldn’t find a win against 9-yr. old lower rated Sarah, and Dean lost against U1000 rated Shirley (missed a 1-move mate). A lot of madness happens in chess!
As it was for me, I had to get my car out of the shop, so was 21 minutes off my clock to start, but wound up with about 16 minutes remaining. Unlike endgames, these mates don’t take that much time! 😉