Saturday, December 25, 2010


In preparation for Tata (former Corus) I play about two games or so blindfold chess each day (typically about 1 hour total). It seems to improve my calculation a lot. Let's see if it gives measurable results.

This week I read an article about the difference of mentalization and visualisation in blindfold chess. Quote:
"blindfold chess masters consistently report that what they visualize are not images of pieces or chessboards, but abstractions of these with minimal or no physical features. A typical report is, “I do not visualize real pieces but I know where they are.”

This remembers me of a description in Kasparovs book which I cited in an old post.

Nature seems to be very thrifty with mental resources. Visualisation is very resource consuming. Nature replaces exact copies by abstractions and prefers reconstruction over storage in memory.

100% exact visualization is possible though, as I know from my own experience. It takes months to obtain and it lasts only a few minutes or less under very favourable conditions. Glad to see it confirmed that that is not the way to go. I already suspected it to be unnessecary. For chess you have to learn to mentalize, not to visualize.

Merry Christmas.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting thought, it makes sense, When GM's are asked to look at a position for a moment and recreate it they remember the board in chunks; standard king side castling with a N on f3 etc... Chunking is how we remember things in general. By the way I am impressed that you can even attempt blindfolded chess.