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Hello, I am currently working on my board vision and have talked to a few people. I was wondering as you improve do you slowly improve by being able to see a little further here and there as you continue study? Or do you practice, practice, practice and one day you have a tactical breakthrough and you can see master distance? Is it a big jump after years or a slow improvement through time?
Slow improvement through time (lots of games) if you do it right!
=> Play lots of slow games : Improves vision because you spend minutes burning a position into your head as you evaluate / analyze.
=> Play lots of blitz games : Does very little for vision as you barely remember the game you played the next day nor are you forcing your brain to "chunk" or move patterns it is seeing into its permanent memory.
It's probably both. But you're not as likely to notice the gradual accumulations of course as they are so small. But there are leaps on occasion too--and those are much more likely to stand out in one's mind.
Hello! I use blindfold chess to improve my visualization skills - here is my video on it! Hope it helps!
One of the better exercises I've found for improving visualization goes like this:
1) Spend 5-10 minutes a day with a blank chess board and simply touch each square and say the name of the square and the color. "a1 black," "b1 white" and so forth. Stare hard at the square as you touch it. Really try to imprint that square in space upon your brain. Do this for about 2 weeks or so. You'll find that square names become imbued with the square color as part of their meaning.
2) Once that's done, memorize a chess game of around 20 moves. Any game will do, but it's easier if the game comes from an opening you already play.
3) Once you have the game memorized so that you can play the game out on a board and do so flawlessly and without effort, then start playing it out in your mind. As you do so, try to visualize each piece moving on the board. Stop at various points and test yourself with questions like: "Where are the knights," "What pieces are being attacked," and so forth.
While the above exercises are great and focussed, you have to factor in that most players who have excellent board vision (or can play blindfold) never trained exclusively to become good at that ... they just played enough slow games (and chunked enough patterns, burning them into their skull in a slow, delayed and "marinated" manner).
Begin by practicing the basic checkmate endgames (K+Q v K, K+R v K, K+2Bs v K, and K+B+N v K) until you can do them in your sleep. You only need to know one endgame technique wih all the basic checkmate endgames. I call it 'corralling the enemy King.' The power of the piece(s) form a fence around the enemy K. With the help of your own K, step by step, you keep making the fence in area smaller driving the enemy K into a corner of the board, and then you deliver checkmate.
Practice these until you can do them in your sleep. I can guarantee you, after 3 months of practicing these you will see mating nets, in the game you are currently, because it will jump up off the board and smack you on the forehead. I know because it happens to me all the time.
Good Luck becoming a"professional gunslinger" (a very strong player) if that is what you really want.
I second Kingpatzer's suggestions 2 & 3 about memorizing a game. It really works.
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