Nearly everyone is surprised to find out that in actual play, a master rarely looks ahead any further than a novice does... The trick is that his mode of percieving the board is like a filter: he literally does not see bad moves when he looks at a chess situation—no more than chess amateurs see illegal moves when they look at a chess situation. Anyone who has played even a little chess has organized his perception so that the diagonal rook-moves, forward capture by pawns, and so forth, are never brought to mind. Similarly, master-level players have built up higher leves of organization in the way they see the board.
— Douglas Hofstadter, Gödel, Escher, Bach