7 Levels of Blindfold Chess Exercises for Everyone

7 Levels of Blindfold Chess Exercises for Everyone

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Blindfold chess exercises have countless unique merits. For one, they can significantly enhance your ability to visualise and calculate quickly. On top of that, at least for the ones that I am going to recommend, they can be done without the need for any device, resource, or training partner.

Practising chess blindfolded is not exclusively reserved for the elites. In fact, with the right methods, it is suitable for even those who are rated under 1000 on! In this article, I will present 7 blindfold chess exercises in increasing level of difficulty. This way, you can find something challenging yet manageable to be included in your study.

If you are a beginner, the first step is to develop an intimate relationship with each square. This is imperative for strengthening your visualisation. To every master, each square carries many memories from games. Whether it was landing a Knight on f7 with a fork, or placing a Bishop on g4 with a pin, these vivid recollections enable a strong player to know how the squares interact with one another. The first two exercises have been designed to help you improve your basic visualisation skills. 

1. Identify the colour of a square

The exercise is as simple as that. Think of any square on the chessboard, then identify whether it is a light square or a dark square. As long as you find the square's colour by visualising the chess board rather than using a mathematical formula, this exercise will certainly boost your awareness of the full board.

2. Attempt basic piece tours

The task here is to simply map a route for any piece to move from one square to another. For example, how would a Bishop move from g1 to f8? The solution would be g1-c5-f8. Needless to say, if the piece you selected is the Bishop, the start and end points must be of the same colour. This would mean that you must have perfected the first exercise before trying out this one. I would recommend using either the Bishop or the Knight for this piece tour.

3. Review memorised opening theory

As you improve your game and your rating crosses 1000 - 1400 on, it would be difficult to rely solely on opening principles to get you through the first phase of the game. You would need to memorise a few basic openings. Even though your ideal opening repertoire would largely be based on ideas rather than specific moves, you will inevitably need to memorise a few critical lines.

These critical lines are often very sharp and demand much more accurate play compared to other types of positions. Hence, it is important that you learn them well, and what better way to do it than through this exercise?
Here, you simply need to replay the lines you have memorised in your mind, ensuring that you know how to punish moves that deviate from theory. This method of improving your memory is extremely effective because you would need to invest a considerable amount of mental effort.

4. Practice endgame theory

There are a few theoretically won endings that can take a while to master. For example, the Queen vs Rook endgame or the Bishop and Knight checkmate. After studying these endings, you can further reinforce the patterns by playing these positions against yourself blindfolded. Be sure to put up your best resistance when playing moves for the defending side.

5. Complete the Knight's tour vs Queen

In this exercise, your Knight starts at the h1 square while the enemy has a Queen on d4. The objective is to move the Knight to every square that the Queen does not control without ever moving to a square the Queen attacks. After attempting this several times, you can change the Knight's starting square to get a fresh route.

6. Solve endgame studies

Find a set of challenging endgame studies and memorise the positions. You can find these studies from books or the library. Subsequently, give yourself 20 minutes to try and solve it blindfolded. If you'd like to focus on your calculation, find more complex studies. However, if you'd to train your visualisation more, look for middlegame puzzles where there are more pieces instead.

7. Analyse your games blindfolded

Analysing your own games without the help of an engine is one of the best forms of chess training. This is because it encourages you to self-evaluate and reveal your own weaknesses. If you can play chess blindfolded comfortably, analysing your games without looking at a board is a great option. This would further sharpen your visualisation and calculation.

This concludes all the exercises for blindfold chess! If you want to take your visualisation skill to the next level, I have created a completely FREE Blindfold Chess Bootcamp where I will teach you everything you need to know to master blindfold chess AND answer any question you have.

The curriculum is designed for ALL ratings, you only need to be familiar with:
- The basic rules of chess, and
- Basic move notation

Join my Telegram channel to begin your journey:

This concludes my article on blindfold chess exercises for all levels. If you have any questions, feel free to leave it in the comments.

Hi! I am Azel and I regularly upload blogs to share my chess knowledge. Feel free to follow my account and take your game to the next level!

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