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How to visualize a chess board ?

  • #1

    When you play blindfold chess (or think of chessgames without having a chessboard in front of you) - how do you visualize the board - is it a 3D board that you train with ? Or 2D ? Is it a specific board at all ?

    I'd like to be able to calculate better and therefore try to develop the skill of board vision/visualisation (seeing the game, moving pieces etc. while not looking at a board). Yet I hardly can "see" further than 1-2 moves when not looking on the board. Any idea how to train that effectively ? Should i try to see in 2D or 3D ?

    Thanks in advance for any input.

  • #2

    I practice first to remember where the king was located in the games then move on to Q, R, B, N and Pawns. But somehow think pawns should be 2nd or 3rd due to their importance. I walk away from the board to get something to drink then ask myself where was piece on the board.

    Not sure but it seems that asking why that piece is where it is located has helped me remember the setup better as i can remember the position of other pieces also.

  • #3

    Ok thanks for the reply. You say you remember where the King is, but how do you see it in your mind - is it a figurine 2D picture or do you remember your wooden board and have that image in your mind when visualizing the king ?

  • #4

    After playing so much online chess, I generally begin to think of them as 2-D pieces, that's just my personal preference. It shouldn't matter too much, and if you play a lot of real chess then you'll start to visualize where each piece is. I have only been playing legitimate chess for about 6 months (before it was merely a hobby, I have several books and I'm starting to study it as a more... arduos hobby :P) 

    I recommend learning all the piece coordinates, it will help if you can associate, say, a certain diagonal with a bishop. If they move their piece onto one of those diagonal squares it's something to look into. 

    I myself like to play blindfold chess, although with my playing partner usually its whoever forgets the board first loses. We end up ignoring where other pieces are and focus on a particular part of the board, like for a mating attack. Probably not the best approach. 

  • #5

    Have to say it is more like 2D, being directly above it.

  • #6

    In your head just visualize it in 2D since it economizes the graphic information so you could focus more brainpower on the analytical and mathematical parts.  Besides, the 2D topographical view is far clearer.  I remember playing a blindfold game and had a friend recall where some of the pieces are and if I declare what piece to move where he'd move it. 


    The friend I was playing against traded bishop for knight on f6, and then we got into an awkward moment when I said, "but his darksquare bishop was traded how the hell can he have a bishop on g1?"  In other words, even third parties can goof.  The friend I played against in another blindfold tried the h3-Rh3 tactic, and I of course took the rook. 

  • #7

    Hehehehe  good stuff.

  • #8

    If you google "blind chess puzzle" there are some amazing websites that train your visualization techniques like this one.  These exercises help you to blindly "hold" positions in your mind which help you to calculate more accurately.  Sometimes seeing the board can hinder this process.    http://www.chessvideos.tv/blindfold-chess-quiz.php  Now here's the really freaky part.  After doing these exercises, I find that my eyes hurt.  Really strange, right? 


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