Saturday, September 23, 2006

Once you pop, you can't stop

In the past I put a lot of effort in improvement of my visualisation skills. You can read about that here. It improved my board vision, so that I started to see chessboards in my dreams in 3D en technicolor, but it didn't help to improve my rating. So I dismissed visulisation of the board as not usefull for chess improvement.

I experimented with blindfold chess too, but found it too difficult to improve my vision via that method. I could win a blindfold game from a bad player, but I didn't improve.

Every good chessplayer is able to play blindfold chess. It is a bonus where they don't have to train extra for. It's just an extra aspect of their ability to perform well behind the chessboard.

During my board vision experiment, I felt that board vision alone is not enough.
It is easy to visualise the path of a rook in the minds eye, since we are used to rows and colums since our youth, but the path of a bishop is hard to visualise, let alone the path of a knight.
During the past week I have experimented with the "chessvision" drills of DLM. These microdrills are actually a way to improve your visualisation of double attacks. The power of it is that the drills concentrate on geometrical aspects of chess which are very common in practice.
It seemed logical to extend microdrills to other parts of the game beyond double attacks, so I am developing new microdrills that cover other aspects of the game.

There seems to be a problem to integrate this chessvision into your play. In order to exercise that I try to use chessvision at CTS.

I don't know if it will work, but if it doesn't, I'm at least a little further on the road of exclusion:)


  1. Just a question. When you decide to implement a new training program to increase your rating, is this decision based on post-analysis of recent games?

  2. I'm not even close to your rating, so I speek humbly. ;)
    What have you found out so far? Are your mistakes mostly due to blunders or something else. Would be interesting to see a couple of your games.

  3. There seems to be a problem to integrate this chessvision into your play. In order to exercise that I try to use chessvision at CTS.

    This seems to be an interesting problem. I imagine if you do enough chess vision drills it occurs naturally and no concious integration is necessary. You can't prevent the Pop.

    I would be interested in what chess vision drills you will come up with as many different elements are worthy of poping.

    On a related note....
    I've been recently thinking how does one improve Chess Imagination
    or Fantasy (as Bronstein calls it) of a Tal or a Bronstein. Is it formed from a deeper understanding of the interconnectness of a chess position or a willingness to actively think of wild ideas that others ignore? Does Stoyko exercises help this or just a study of games such as the Bond Game?

  4. Samurai,
    I don't blunder much. My main problem is recognizing simple things too slow, ending up in time trouble. But the last 20 games or so I hardly lost (1-2 times). This summer I did a lot of work to fix my problems and that seems to be working. At the moment I don't want to publish games because that takes a lot of time. Time that I can use to improve.

  5. Tak,
    I haven't really thought about creativity in chess. When you are learning the language, it might be somewhat early to worry about the plot of your novel.

    I remember from an interview from Peter Leko that he said that he and his seconds had analysed and gnawed at a position for days and that he showed the position to Bobby Fisher. Fisher game WITHIN SECONDS with totally new insights and plans for that position.

    This suggests that it is based on pattern recognition, but I really don't know. You have to pick up good idea's somewhere, thus study of mastergames seems reasonable here.

  6. Lost 1-2 games out of your last 20! I would say that whatever you have been doing, it seems to have worked great, except for meeting opponents with higher rating to boost your own.