Stop hanging pieces 2/2
Please close your eyes and visualize your last game or exercise you solved. Can you visualize the whole chessboard? Good for you! You make unconscious use of this quality. That’s normal. Most of us have some difficulties visualizing the chessboard this way. So, that’s normal, too!
“I ask many players what they see. It’s different most of the time. For many players, it’s like searching with a flashlight in the dark.”
I have been telling my chess friends and chessity players for years how they can benefit from a better board vision. Most blunders we make are not because we didn’t calculate right or miss a candidate move. No, probably your mind’s eye didn’t remember all the pieces during your calculation.
Let’s ask another question. If you cannot see the whole chessboard in your mind, how will your brain store all the tactical and position knowledge you gain? And what about intuition? You need more than a small clue of the position in order to trust your intuition.
Therefore, it’s wise to improve your board vision first and then you can move on to the next stage of your training (deep calculation, positional play, strategy, etc). If you want to play like a pro, you need to think like a pro!
It can be very hard when you have trained so much, and you will learn that it was like cutting down a tree with a blunt saw. There is also good news. Chessity improved players from above fifty within a year with 600 rating points (1350 - 1950).
The endgame domination trainer
Endgame domination training is an incredible tool for you to improve your board vision.
Board vision 1
Let's take a look at the rules of that training:
- Rule 1: In all the exercises you must win the queen.
- Rule 2: You must trap the queen with your knight and rook.
Notice: You have many forcing moves at your disposal. Most of the times you can sacrifice your rook in a special way!
You need to find the forcing moves.
1... Qh5 (1... Qf8 2.Ra8+ Ke7 3.Rxf8 +- )
never stop thinking if there is a forcing move left! You have learned in the club player course that every forcing move needs to be calculated. Sacrificing your rook by attacking the queen is a forcing move. Always consider such moves and try to find another forcing move after the rook has been taken.
2... c5 (2... Qxa5 3.Nb7+)
3.Rxc5 e5 ( Qxc5 4.Nb7+)
4.Rxe5 g5 ( Qxe5)
5.Rxg5 Qxg5 6.Nf7+ Ke7 7.Nxg5
Some players don't like these exercises. It's not normal chess, they think. But see it as your fitness exercise!
Board vision 2
Another queen board walk to stimulate your mind's eye!
again and again, never stop thinking when there are moves left!
1... Qe8 (1... Qxb4 2.Nc6+ Kd7 3.Nxb4)
2.Rb8 Qh5 ( Qxb8 3.Nc6+)
3.Rh8 Qxh8 4.Ng6+ Kf7 5.Nxh8+
Board vision 3
This is an exercise at Master Level. But.. you know that white will win, that he can win with forcing moves and most importantly that you don't need to be afraid of black queens! So, if you are at club level, then you can still give this position a try! It's all about improving your board vision!
A forcing move because the black pawn is hanging!
1... d1=Q 2.Rxc1
Never stop thinking if there are forcing moves left!
2... Qd5+ (2... Qxc1 (2... Qd8 3.Nb7+ Kb6 4.Nxd8) 3.Nb3+ Kb4 4.Nxc1)
3.e4 Qa2 ( Qe5 4.Ra1+ Kb6 ( Kb4 5.Nd3+) 5.Nd7+)
4.Ra1! 4... Qxa1 5.Nb3+ Kb4 6.Nxa1
Please spot the big distance between pieces in this exercise. That is part of the goal of this lesson. Your mind's eye will be overstimulated to improve your board vision. If you try to solve one exercise like this every day you will notice a huge improvement in your board vision within weeks.
You can start with the routeplanner blind trainer, if these exercises are too hard for you.
If you are ready for it, you start your training at the master section:
Please share your experiences with the training below this blog. Thanks in advance!
Janton van Apeldoorn
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