5/12/17 - Position Memorization
W+-2/2, 8/10, B+2
Searches online for help in learning blindfold didn't have much, most people just saying practice games or study a lot. One site suggested starting with the board, knowing which squares are light and dark, and my own reading into memorization strategies have also suggested something called "chunking" which is collecting data into groups to make memorization of the whole easier.
For the light and dark squares, I chunked the board into 4 quadrants, remembering "white on right," and find that this simplifies the process significantly, and I assume this will be especially helpful with bishops. For example in my brain: f6, upper right quadrant, d5 is dark, so f6 is dark. c7, upper left, d8 is on the "dark diagonal" in this quadrant, so c7 is dark. I want a light square in the center, bottom right quadrant: so the two squares are in the top left of that quadrant on a diagonal, so it must be e4 and f3. The two dark squares in the center-four, a1 is dark so d4 must be dark, and that means e5 is also dark.
Surprisingly easy, gonna practice this for a bit while I vacuum.
Possibly could have gone longer with memorizing, about 30 minutes. I find I can memorize a board set-up with one look, a check back with 1 or 2 errors or forgotten pieces, and then accurately placing pieces on the board in about 5 minutes. Chunking the pawns together as a cohesive whole is very helpful, followed by other obvious imbalances, castled positions, and such. It takes a good handful of seconds to think of simple things like what color bishop is attacking where?
For example, first I memorized the unique pawn formations, then looked at the imbalance of 2 bishops vs bishop/knight, the fact that all bishops are on the long diagonals, the locations of the rooks, and that both kings had castled kingside. It takes several seconds to think thru things from memory like: does the bishop on b2 have a clear line of sight to the knight on f6? I have to think square by square using the board quadrant system, but I'm encouraged that I can memorize and recreate with consistent accuracy.
Same memorization exercise.