Can You See The Whole Board?


Just wondering? I need to scan from left to right, or one quadrant at a time.

I've heard that more experienced players can see every piece at one short glance, and reconstruct the position from memory. I can't do that.


I'm trying to get better at this.  I think it just takes a while, but I can't find any tips on learning how to do it.


The chess term for seeing the whole board might be board vision.

I remember Dan Heisman going over that subject in one of his video lectures over at the internet chess club, taking his viewers through various board vision exercises. What he can do with his vision, and what I can do with this vision, is miles apart. It would be a handy skill to have. I just played a 10 minute blitz game, and even with the small computer board, my eyes travel from area to area, to take it all in. I certainly can't see a bishop, for example, way over on the edge of the board, without directing my eyes in that direction.

I am not sure if this is a failure of board vision, or just plain stupidity, but in the blitz game below, I missed the idea of promoting my pawn to a queen with check, with the queen defended by my bishop. I just couldn't imagine it in my head for some reason.

12.Kxd1??, should have been 12.fxg8=Q+!!

Mate could have been faster, but I saw a check to win one of the knights. I don't like to keep track of enemy knights near my king, and there were two. The fastest mate would have been a nice mating net with 35.Be6 Nh4 36.Rxh4 Nc3 37.Qh6#.


I see more and more and some situations I am able to reconstruct, but only with few pieces (my inner tablebase lol ) .
Some from the club can look at my game during otb tournament and remember a position that I have played better than I can.
It is very funny to see two 2000 rated player analyzing and suddenly a lower rated comes to the board and without warning says "you have to play Re4"
and one of the 2000 rated players says "and just overlook the mate"
even though he keeps telling the lower rated to look at the whole board the lower rated keeps on giving advice.
it happens in nearly all otb tournament I've been in.  


Play more and more with a great state of concentration every game and you will do it .. 
I can do it ^^  


I'm betting no one sees the whole board at once.  They've found out that the good sight readers of music actually have their eyes darting around constantly, even though they think they're just seeing a whole line at a time, just looking ahead, or whatever.  They even look back at what they've played.


Have you considered memorizing entire games in order to improve your board vision?