Blindfold chess exercises and visualization training

Blindfold chess exercises and visualization training

Nov 26, 2010, 12:56 PM |


Blindfold chess exercises and visualization training


Hi everyone,


In this short course I'll bring to you some blindfold chess exercises. The aim of the lessons is to improve our blindfold chess playing skills and, at the same time, I believe it could be a good start to improve our visualization on the calculations without a analysis board. 


How many times we lost a tactical blow because we could not calculate it inside our mind!? In my case, I'm very low rated in live chess because I'm not able to calculate variations in a good depth. And in correspondence chess I become addicted to the analysis board, since I can only calculate when I see the pieces moving with my eyes. Then let's try to move the pieces inside our minds. Therefore, in this course, the use of a chess board is not only non-recommended, but completely forbiden, of course. However, after you solve a set of given exercises and/or problems, you can check your answers in a board.


I'll try to post the lessons twice a week. And, for the very begining, I want to cover the two following topics: 


1. The geometry of the chess board


2. Problems to solve




1. The geometry of the chess board


Let's start for the most basic in chess. We see chess boards almost everyday, but are we able to remember all its details without looking to one? Let's see.


 1.1 Chess notation


The chess board is a battle field formed by 64 squares, which are disposed in 8 horizontal lines named ranks by 8 vertical lines named files. Neighbor squares have oposite colors. We give a number, from 1 to 8, to each rank. The number 1 is given to the botton rank, and to the top rank is given the number 8. The ranks from 1 to 4 demarcate the white territory, since the white's pieces and pawns ever start in the botton. And the ranks from 5 to 8 are the black's territory. To the files we give letters from 'a' to 'h'. To the file in the very left is given the letter 'a', and to the one in the very right is given the letter 'h'. Files from 'a' to 'd' are called queen's side, and the files from 'e' to 'h' are called king's side.


With this coordinates system, we can individually locate each square in the chess board just calling the file and rank which it belongs. Examples: a1, b3, g7, f8, d1


Exercises: Solve all of them without looking to a real chess board or a in the computer screen one. They are completely blind exercises!!!


a. Try to create, in your mind, a image of the chess board. Locate the 'd' and 'e' in the center, and the 'a' and 'h' files in the edges. Now try to locate the 'b' and 'g' files taking the 'a', 'd', 'e', 'h' files as reference. Do the same to the 'c' and 'f' files.


b. Locate the 1st and 8th ranks in the botton and top of the board, and the 4th and 5th ranks in the half. Now locate the 2nd and 7th ranks, which are close to the botton and top ranks. Also locate the 3rd and 6th ranks taking the anothers as reference.


c. In the chess board, neighbor squares have oposite colors. One is a 'dark square' and the another is a 'light square'. The square 'a1' is a dark one, then try to calculate the color of the following squares: a2, h1, a8, h8, d4, e5, e4, d5, g6, c3, f1, b8, c7, g4, h5, b5, f7, b4


Now you can check your answers using a chess board.


I started from the very beginning. So the exercises are very simple and probably someone could be frustrated. But the idea is to increase the difficult lesson by lesson. Wait for the next lessons!