zaterdag 14 maart 2009


Temposchlucker asked me: I assume you have tried to play blindfold chess. What's your experience?

I have to confess that I did try a lot of methods to improve my visualization and calculation. And amongst those was also playing blindfold chess. I was not very good at it. I managed to play blindfold without playing illegal moves, but it was not something that came naturally.

The way I played was that I would reconstruct the complete move sequence from the first move onwards, to rebuild the chunk I wanted to analyze. When I had done this (I did this fairly quickly) I was able to analyze the position a bit.

As far as I can remember I never felt that I improved. Not in playing blindfold, nor in regular OTB games. The only thing that made me better in visualization is the platform technique that Tisdall described in "improve your chess". Not that it made my visualization and calculation deeper or faster, but mainly because it made it more effective and efficient.

8 opmerkingen:

Temposchlucker zei

It's strange that the mind has such preference for reconstruction above memorization. I guess it takes less resources.

CMoB zei

Phaedrus, after completing the Lekker Schaken series almost for a second time around now, i more then ever believe that the method devised by Brunia en van Wijgerden is the best practical way to improve as a player by yourself. On top of the Lekker Schaken series i want to do the original steps as well (in book form). I've got the CD as well but i do not seem to get around to using that. Anyway, i hoped to get some advise from you on which steps you would think i could skip. I myself was thinking i could skip 1 & 2 and start with 3.

CMoB zei

Or do you think i would miss out on anything vital if i skipped 1 & 2? I can't imagine step 1 to be a challenge anymore...

Phaedrus zei


I have been tested a few times as part of an assessment. In these tests I consistently score best in mathematical exercises and linguistics. I score somewhat less good (still well above average) in spatial exercises. It seems to me that this relates to my preference to memorize sequences instead of positions.

Phaedrus zei

In my experience as a rule of thumb, one should start one level below the level where you think you really start to learn.

The steps method is by far superior to all other methods I know. Yet one has to take care. "just" doing the exercises may lead to under utilization of the material and your ability to learn from it.

Some of the dangers are:
1. starting one or two levels too high and missing the basics.
2. going through the exercises too fast which may disturb "transfer" and your ability to use the new gained knowledge in your games;
3. focusing on positions instead of patterns, which also disturbs "transfer".

When I started to do the stepsmethod for myself I was 1900+ rated, and I began with step 2, just to make sure I did not miss any of the basics. Besides that, I made sure that I payed extra attention to the patterns. For instance: in the mixed exercises I always made sure that I could name the pattern that categorized the solution.

CMoB zei

Well, none of the dangers you mention apply to me. And since you started out step 2, i will too. I mean i may be rated 0000 but i think having done the Lekker Schaken series (and doing them a second time around give me enough experience to skip step 1, agree?

chesstiger zei

Step one is mostly about the board and how the pieces move. So if you did the lekker schaken serie i am sure you can skip step one.

Step two is a good way to start so i agree that you should start with step two. And like Pheadrus i must say to take your time with it. It may seem all to easy for you but to absorb what it wants to learn takes a bit more time then you think.

Phaedrus zei

CMoB and CT,
I agree that it is of little or no use to start with step one, after you have done the "lekker schaken" books.

And one small addition. When I say, don't do these too fast, I am also recommending that you play enough games to apply the skills you learn going through the steps. A lot of exercises and few games hinders transfer.