Being alert, though not necessarily, usually indicates, perhaps subconsciously taken as, alertness to present. Say I am playing a game and being alert to what might go wrong in the coming moves. Is there a word specifically stressing such state of mind?

  • I would say that you are playing "cautiously" which means to never make swift hasty decisions and showing careful forethought. – Jony Agarwal Sep 1 '15 at 12:45
  • Maybe you are being premeditative. Could you give a sample sentence with a blank space where the word would go? Thanks. – chasly - supports Monica Sep 1 '15 at 12:49
  • Hmm, to me, premeditative would imply that the player is aiming for a specific goal, but my sense from the OP is that the player is doing something closer to covering his bases against future, but difficult to predict, circumstances. That said, presumably he is playing to win, but that's enough of a given I don't think it counts as a specific goal. – Cary C Sep 1 '15 at 12:58

I don't think words like clairvoyant or prescient quite do it - they imply more certainty in my mind. Foresightful might capture the sense better though.

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It sounds like anticipate

: to think of (something that will or might happen in the future)


The adjectival form is anticipatory

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Premonition or Precognition would fit.

  • Premonition is a feeling of anticipation of or anxiety over a future event; presentiment - Example : He had a vague premonition of danger.

  • Precognition is the knowledge of a ​future ​event or situation, ​especially when this comes from a ​direct ​message to the ​mind, such as in a ​dream or by extrasensory means, ​rather than by ​reason

Also Foreknowledge (awareness of something before it happens or exists).

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  • So Gary Kasparov is practiced in the art of precognition? – michael_timofeev Sep 2 '15 at 1:03
Say I am playing a game and being alert to what might go wrong in the coming moves.

You are on the ball.

Alert and efficient or effective: If you don't get on the ball, you'll be fired.

Indicating intelligence or ability: The tests show your students don't have much on the ball. The new manager has a lot on the ball.

(Random House)

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