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Do these "games" help your board vision?
Bruce Alberston books-Chess Mazes
Solitaire Chess (app and board game)
BC Take (app by Maurice Ashley where you have to capture all of the opponents pieces that are on the board with every move you make.)
Or are they just fun chess related diversions?
Yes, these type of puzzles should definitely be helpful: read my review of Jeff Coakley's superb "Winning Chess Exercises for Kids Vol II" at http://www.chesscafe.com/text/review754.pdf. He also now has a puzzle column at Chess Cafe. These types of puzzles, at a minimum, help your crucial "Board vision" and often help visualization, tactical vision, and other chess skills.
It's a pity Jeff Coakley's books are so hard/expensive to obtain nowadays.
One either has the capacity for board vision or one does not. Lots of profiteering going on taking advatage of the fact that most people do not have the inherent capacity.
What do you mean by profiteering, rdecredico?
I respectfully disagree with rdecredico - Almost all chess skills (with the possible exception of innate deductive logic), like most skills in life, can be developed (and are every day by people playing and studying chess - they are not just picking up knowledge, but developing these skills). When I first started playing I could hardly see what was happening on a chess board but, after a few years of intense practice in various chess visions (although that was a side effect of what I was studying), I was able to play an entire game blindfold. Yes, I always had that "capability" but it had to be developed, just like board vision does. Please check my blog http://blog.chess.com/danheisman/chess-skills-are-not-have-and-have-not - Regards, Dan H
FBurton: Jeff Coakley replied "...my books are easy to find at reasonable prices. $25 to $35 for a 300 page book is not a bad deal. Among other places, Chess Cafe carries all my books. The green book has been out of print for a few months..., but Chess Cafe and other retailers still have some in stock. " He also said the new "Winning Chess Strategy for Kids" printing (green book) should be available again soon.
Chess Cafe, of course, is www.chesscafe.com
Thanks for the feedback, Dan. The price isn't so bad, I agree, but I also have to pay the fairly hefty postage to UK. Here his books are only available secondhand e.g. $70 for Winning Chess Puzzles. I'm glad to hear 'Strategy' is being reprinted at least.
FBurton - Glad to be of help. Sorry that UK doesn't carry them - after all, he is in Canada and that is part of the British Commonwealth, so it should be not so expensive!
Thank you for the insight Dan
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