Board Visualisation Training

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Board Visualisation Training

Post by BorgQueen on September 20th 2010, 10:54 am

I'm just getting to the end of month three's content. So far I've taken 20 days to get through the material and I got up to 'calculation' and 'board visualisation'. I downloaded and am up to the calculation document, but I decided to have a sneak peek at the visualisation document as well.

To my surprise, there is a full month of exercises to do. 13 sections, with clear instructions to do no more than one every 2-3 days and don't rush it. Arghhh!! That will throw my timing out!

HEADS UP! I wish they had told me about this at the top of 'month 3' so I could have started it earlier - at the beginning of my study month. I know it shouldn't matter but with an organisation freak like me, this is terrible news!! lol

Does this continue throughout the other months as well?

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Re: Board Visualisation Training

Post by BorgQueen on September 20th 2010, 10:59 am

Oh and it also goes on to say:

Do not do this way: counting down or up the files and ranks (as in this example: bishop c2 + 1,1 = d3 + 1,1 = e4…).
This is essentially how I did it last month.

Do you have any advice/tips for how to train yourself NOT to do this? Problem is as a programmer, I do this very easily -- almost without any thinking involved. I can rattle off a diagonal by doing this mentally very easily.

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Re: Board Visualisation Training

Post by Blue Devil Knight on September 20th 2010, 11:21 am

Good question. I have a lot of trouble with this pure visualization exercise, it is so much easier to just calculate.

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Re: Board Visualisation Training

Post by BorgQueen on September 20th 2010, 11:08 pm

Something tells me this is going to take ages to get away from...

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Re: Board Visualisation Training

Post by StarByrne on September 21st 2010, 3:27 am

I think the trick to it is just memorisation and lots of practice with different piece movements like the ICS teaches. You need to be able to picture the board in your mind along with all the colours for each square. Definitely going to take a lot of time and effort to learn but I'm sure will be worth it. I can picture the board in my head however I'm still trying to memorise all the colours of each squares.

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Re: Board Visualisation Training

Post by PawnCustodian on September 21st 2010, 7:47 am

There's some interesting sites the can clarify the goals. Aparently no one actually "sees" the board, just the patterns and only portions of the board a one time.

http://www.blindfoldchess.net/blog/2009/03/alekhines_memory_and_blindfold_chess_imagery/

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Re: Board Visualisation Training

Post by BorgQueen on September 21st 2010, 7:42 pm

Interesting. Kind of encouraging. But at the same time disturbing. Alekhine remembered 12 randomly played pieces perfectly after looking at it for only 15 seconds. That's only just over one second per piece!

I mentally place a bishop on a4 and try to mention the squares it sees and I simply cannot do it without pattern recognition. As soon as I say to myself b5 my pattern regurgitator comes up with the rest immediately ^.^

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Re: Board Visualisation Training

Post by HangingKing on September 21st 2010, 9:14 pm

Lots of interesting papers on this blog.

First the Tal video of simultaneous blindchess.

http://www.blindfoldchess.net/blog/2009/09/exciting_video_of_mikhail_tal_giving_a_blindfold_simultaneous_exhibition/

It is very impressive, my russian is a bit rusty (well, was never that efficient either...), but at 4.00 he is reciting all the moves he played from memory, board after board, and the speed he is telling it, it's just amazing.

An other paper is quite interesting too

http://www.blindfoldchess.net/blog/2010/06/comparison_of_grandmaster_rankings_in_blindfold_vs._rapid_vs._regular_fide_/

They made some statistical correlation between slow, rapid and blindfold games and found that slow and blindfold were strongly correlated, even more than slow and rapid! This is tending to proove that blindfold is not a skill you get by praticing alone, the article suggests that blindfold is in fact not very different from deep calculation, and that eventually the board for GM is just a memo to know what the current position is, but they don't really need it to decide their next move.

Of course such a "statistical" study on so meager data (hey there is merely 20 elo involved) is questionnable, but the interpretation does not seem illogical to me.

Thus i believe that blindfold skill will come to me in time together with playing games with deeper concentration and calculation.

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Re: Board Visualisation Training

Post by BorgQueen on September 22nd 2010, 4:24 am

Personally, I don't think I will ever be able to play blind.

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Re: Board Visualisation Training

Post by PawnCustodian on September 22nd 2010, 8:32 am

I think that what you actually "see" will be very individual.

One of the communications skills that I used in my working life was to cue off body language as to how people process information. Generally, if you are talking to a person that processes information visually you will see a tendancy for the eyes to look up and to the right, and if they process information linearly the tendancy is to look down and to the left, as if reading. Known this you can adjust your own communications to build rapport to improve communications.

In one extreme case I had an employee that was having difficulty on the job and in relating to other employees. During a counseling session when asked a question that required some thought his eyes would roll, staring off into space. On a hunch I mentioned his behavior and learned that he had an advanced degree in Visual Arts, and on that basis I was able to do work assignments to mutual benefit.

I suspect that it's the same with visualization training. Some of us will "see" the board and others will "read" the notation, but most of us someting in between. It would be an interesting research project if I wasn't trying to learn to play chess at the moment.

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Re: Board Visualisation Training

Post by BorgQueen on September 24th 2010, 1:05 pm

OMG talk about EPIC PHAIL!!! I got this instruction from the visualisation exercises:

"find all the shortest paths to bring a knight from d1 to b3:"

I started out ok, got about five detailed. It was getting confusing, but I thought I was close. Then I checked my results with the truth by looking at the board.

Well, the five or so I found were right.... BUT......
My God!

There are twenty three ways to get a knight from d1 to b3!! It took me about 30 minutes to find them all using the board and write them down... let alone mentally visualising them all!!

And they say that these exercises will only take a few minutes a day. This one exercise would take me many hours to do mentally!

For your information, here they are:

1. b2,a4,c5,b3
2. b2,c4,d2,b3
3. b2,c4,a5,b3
4. b2,d3,c1,b3
5. b2,d3,c5,b3
6. c3,b1,d2,b3
7. c2,a2,c1,b3
8. c3,a4,c5,b3
9. c3,b5,d4,b3
10. c3,e4,c5,b3
11. c3,e4,d2,b3
12. c3,e2,c1,b3
13. c3,e2,d4,b3
14. e3,c2,d4,b3
15. e3,c2,a1,b3
16. e3,c4,d2,b3
17. e3,c4,a5,b3
18. e3,f5,d4,b1
19. e3,f1,d2,b3
20. f2,d3,c1,b3
21. f2,d3,c5,b3
22. f2,e4,c5,b3
23. f2,e4,d2,b3

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Blue Devil Knight wrote:The danger of studying positional chess at the expense of tactics is that you will spend a half hour thinking about where a Knight belongs, and then proceed to put it on a beautiful square where it is en prise. Smile
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Re: Board Visualisation Training

Post by BorgQueen on September 27th 2010, 10:19 am

Now I am kinda stuck with finding ALL the ways a knight can go from a1 to h8 :S

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Re: Board Visualisation Training

Post by PawnCustodian on September 27th 2010, 11:03 am

Just don't waste time looking for paths that take an odd number of moves.

Knights are funny like that.

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Re: Board Visualisation Training

Post by HangingKing on September 27th 2010, 5:47 pm

BLINFOLD QUIZZ

Just to evaluate where we are in blinfold skills, i invented this little quizz.
Try to find good moves, these are not tricky moves, it's just to see how deep you can visualize.

Level 1 :
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 f6

What do you play ?

Level 2 :
1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. e3 Bf5 4. Bxc4 e5

What do you play ?
Then what is black defense ?

Level 3 :
1. e4 b6 2. d4 Bb7 3. Nc3 d5 4. e5 f6 5. e6 Qd6 6. Nb5 Qb4+ 7. c3 Qa5

What do you play ?

Level 4 :
1. c4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. Nf3 g6 4. d4 Bg7 5. d5 Nd4 6. Nxd4 cxd4 7. Ne4 d6 8.
g3 e6 9. Bg2 exd5 10. cxd5 Bf5 11. O-O Ne7 12. Bf4 Nxd5

What do you play ?

Personnally, i'm already in difficulty at level 3... :-(

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Re: Board Visualisation Training

Post by BorgQueen on September 28th 2010, 9:42 am

Thanks HangingKing, I'll give that a go later!

Ok, I've had to look at the board and logically go through every possibility and here we have it... there are 102 ways to get a knight from a1 to h8!! Anyone surprised?!

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Re: Board Visualisation Training

Post by BorgQueen on September 28th 2010, 10:30 am

Nope... still finding more... 108 ways and counting... did everyone else who has done month three find this easy or what? Am I particularly bad at this or is this "tiny exercise" really as hard as I am finding?

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Blue Devil Knight wrote:The danger of studying positional chess at the expense of tactics is that you will spend a half hour thinking about where a Knight belongs, and then proceed to put it on a beautiful square where it is en prise. Smile
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Re: Board Visualisation Training

Post by PawnCustodian on September 28th 2010, 10:48 am

I won't get month 3 until next week.

It's hard. Check this out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knight's_tour

Believe it or not some of the old masters used to do this blindfold.

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Re: Board Visualisation Training

Post by BorgQueen on September 28th 2010, 11:01 am

O-M-G!

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Re: Board Visualisation Training

Post by HangingKing on September 28th 2010, 11:07 am

108 ways is exact, try this little program i made. Should work for any input squares on the chess board.

http://cjoint.com/data/jCrWqytzaT.htm

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Re: Board Visualisation Training

Post by BorgQueen on September 28th 2010, 10:16 pm

Cool! Thanks! The program should certainly help me see if my answers are right... 108 vs 108 is close enough to say I have them all now!

The next 'little exercise' is getting a knight from h1 to a8 lol... I know there are 108, now I just have to find them all in my head! hahahahahahaaaaaaaaa!

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Blue Devil Knight wrote:The danger of studying positional chess at the expense of tactics is that you will spend a half hour thinking about where a Knight belongs, and then proceed to put it on a beautiful square where it is en prise. Smile
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Re: Board Visualisation Training

Post by gmerlin on September 30th 2010, 10:55 am

Hi

I’m now on month 6, and I completed the board visualization part. My experience with these exercises was very good
I think that although my game has not improved that much, my rating has.
Why? Although I don’t win games to much higher rated players, now I don’t lose so many games to lower rated (I have reduced my standard deviation on the left side of the curve, statitians correct me)

What’s happened is that I have reduced my blunders condiserably (additionaly I recognize when I’m lost sooner) and improve my 2 moves and even 3 moves tactics a lot
As for example now I “see” that after a knight moved it would also be guarding x piece and the tactic doesn’t work.

The way I’been practicing is that I do a bunch of excercises when doing my work out (30 mins of eliptical bike)
For example I do days 4-8 one day and the next days 5-9, etc
Also I have kept doing them after I finished month 4, as I doesn’t take me any extra time.
For all those multiple answers excercies (I knew that a knight from a1 to h8 had a bunch of possibitles, interesting to know that actual number is 108) I decided to think only 8 ways each time, so I don’t get bored.

Some additional thoughts: I started doing the exercsies with a mix of “counting” and logic. But after a while I started “seing the board” from upside and with a slight angle (but the corners are a bit foggy if not concentrating on them), hope to make the image clearer with time.

My answers to the quiz are (I did it at work, so didn’t use a board to check later, also don’t tell my boss)
lv1-Nxe5 (I have used this opening as black for fun quick games, I respond with …Qe7 and let the fireworks begin)
lv2-Qh5, black responds Qf6
lv3-Nxf7+
lv4-Nxd6+
will check at home later

regards

JCM

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Re: Board Visualisation Training

Post by HangingKing on September 30th 2010, 12:51 pm

For lvl2 and lvl3 i think you are on the wrong side of the board...
Good exercise for me, to try to visualize your answer, despîte i remember approx the starting position.

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Re: Board Visualisation Training

Post by gmerlin on September 30th 2010, 3:32 pm

wow you scared that i was so way off

well i had to check and on lv 2 you are right, Qb3 is much simpler

but for lv 3 my answers seems right, will have to check with comp later

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Re: Board Visualisation Training

Post by HangingKing on September 30th 2010, 3:45 pm

Nxc7+ just a mispell i guess.

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Re: Board Visualisation Training

Post by BorgQueen on September 30th 2010, 10:24 pm

These exercises are great! I may be doing kinda bad at finding the 108 moves to go from h1 to a8 and such, but as I progress, I am starting to see areas of the board much more clearly in my mind! I hope by the time I finish them all I will be almost able to play blindfold chess... BADLY, but at least I can say that I can play it!!

One of the things that really helped me was taking the time out to memorise the diagonals. It really helps to know what diagonals g6 is on and such and that is something I was bad at.

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