19188 Players currently online!
Man vs. Machine - good luck!
Turn-based games at any time!
Vote for the best move to win!
Do you have what it takes?
Backgammon, Yatzy, and more!
Sharpen your tactical vision!
Get advice and game insights!
Learn from top players & pros!
View millions of master games!
Your virtual chess coach!
Perfect your opening moves!
Test your skills vs. computer!
Find the right private coach!
Can you solve it each day?
Bring it all together!
Beginners, start here!
Make friends & play team games!
News from the world of chess!
Search all Chess.com members!
Find local clubs & events!
Who's the best of your friends?
Read what members are saying!
Hey everyone, recently I have become very involved in chess, trying to understand openings and famous games as well as tactics and such. About 2 weeks ago I rented a book from my local library about chess basics, things like outposts and good and bad bishops; however, the notation looks like alien language to me! I have learned the notation rules but trying to visualize the moves in the book is almost impossible for me. Maybe it's just because I'm a beginner, but is there any way to train my mind to be able to visualize things like Qg4 faster? Thanks for anyone's help!
Is the book written by Jeremy Silman?
As tips on learning notation, it'll come through practice. Just keep thinking of the files a-h and ranks 1-8, like a grid. In time try to memorize the colors of the squares so it's like second nature (e4 white)(d5 white)(d5 dark)(f7 white)(c5 dark), etc.
Then learn the imporant diagonals, like the d1-h5 white diagonal the White queen sits on in the starting position; the d8-h4 dark diagonal of the Black queen; f1-a6 white diagonal of the White King's bishop, etc.
You'll get the hang of it in no time, then you should teach yourself descriptive notation (P-K4, etc) so you can read classic chess books.
Thanks for the informative response Becky! I never thought about memorizing the colors, it seems that should help.
Yes memorizing the colors is a great help, especially since a lot of the play involves weakening or strengthening particular-color squares.
Another thing, when you read your chess book, try to play along in real time on a real chess board and look at the moves physically.
A few things:
The first letter of every move is the piece (except for if the pawn is moving!
Pawn: (no name)
If you find 'x' in a move that is: hits ...
- = moves to.
Sometimes, like on Chess.com they shorten the notation, example:
Shoald be: Nb5xd6
# at the end of a move means 'mate.'
And for pawn promotion: h7-h8Q - The Q at the end means promo. to Queen, h7-h8N = promotion to Knight.
I think that's only practise which helps. As a little exercise: If you play a game against a friend without time presure, write down the moves you played during the game. To actively use the notation helps to familarize with it. And you kill two birds with one stone: If you've got your game in writing you can use it for an anaylysis later on to learn from your mistakes and improve your chess.
If you study with your book just take a chessboard and set up the positions. I've got one without the notation so I'm forced to count the files and ranks myself. It's all about familiarising yourself actively with the notation of the chess board and after a while you'll be able to visualise the notated moves without a board in front of you.
Just my two cents.
"And for pawn promotion: h7-h8Q - The Q at the end means promo. to Queen, h7-h8N = promotion to Knight." - LCT10 (Sorry I don't know how to quote XD) I actually didn't know this! Thanks for the info.
Oh and another thing, you have to learn the punctuation, which are the annotator's shorthand for his opinion on the moves and/or position, like:
!!, !, !?, ?!, ?, ??, +-, +=, =, =+, -+, etc...
Figured out the quote system lol. Can you explain everything after ??. I'm pretty sure the exclamation and question marks.
I just cut and pasted this from the internet but I think it's accurate:
Chess coorinates are read the same as a graph. The x-axis always comes before the y-axis.
As you continue to play chess you'll start to memorize individual squares automatically. Soon you'll be able to tell what color a square is without even looking at the board. But it takes a little time.
These are a few drills you could try.
+ Look for articles on this site that have lots of games (like this one), click through the moves without looking at the notation and then vocalize the moves as they are made. "Pawn to e4. Pawn to e5. Knight to f3" and so on...
+ Do the same thing, but look at the notation and before you click and try to visualize what the board will look like after the move. Once you get better, try to see ahead two or three moves at a time.
+ Get 64 file cards and write the names of all the squares on them. (a1, a2, and so on.) Take out your chessboard, draw a card at random and try to find the indicated square as fast as possible. Physically touch the square and say the coordinates as you do so.
+ Look at any chess diagram and read out the position aloud as fast as possible. ("White King on g1, white pawns on a2, b3, c4...")
+ Some people have already suggested memorizing the color of the various squares. I've never tried it, but some people who did said it really helped their board vision.
Do these drills for a few minutes every day for a week or two and see whether it helps you. Always remember: Precision before speed. And don't forget to do it from Black's point of view every now and then.
If you don't like any of these, try searching for things like "chess board vision" or "chess visualization drills" online and see what you can find. There's a ton of exercises and drills out there.
HappyUngulate, Very very useful drills, hopefully I can use them in routine and visualize. Thank you!
As useful as all of this might be, it seems a little complicated for a beginner, I would just print out a picture of a chess board with the ranks and files labeled, and hang it on the wall close to where I study the chess books.
Kazutadashi, one thing to remember that no one here has yet mentioned: The squares are THE SAME no matter which side of the board you're looking at. For instance, it you're white, your king is sitting on e1 and your king's rook is sitting on h1. If you're black, your king is sitting on e8, and your king's rook is sitting on h8. That's why it's SO important, if you're using a board with the coordinates printed on it, to make sure that h1 is in white's lower right hand corner.
9/29/2016 - Occupying The Escape Square
by Arisktotle 5 minutes ago
by edmundo51 5 minutes ago
Chess Clubs in Barcelona
by sosofy 11 minutes ago
by thegreat_patzer 14 minutes ago
chess is a game of missed opportunities
by zembrianator 22 minutes ago
New Version Feedback
by Another-Life 24 minutes ago
Content of My Suggestion Ticket
by e4exclusive 26 minutes ago
Who is the best person to beat Magnus Carlsen?
by ModestAndPolite 26 minutes ago
Is chess a sport? Ending the debate
by zembrianator 27 minutes ago
Coach Looking for students
by 2kRated 28 minutes ago
Why Join | Chess Topics |
Help & Support |
© 2016 Chess.com
• Chess - English
Try the new Chess.com!
We are working hard to make Chess.com available in over 70 languages. Check back over the year as we develop the technology to add more, and we will try our best to notify you when your language is ready for translating!