We will talk about thought processes later. Let's focus on visualization-I first.
Visualization-I = seeing the course of the future positions before the minds eye. It turns out that this type of visualization heavily leans on a specific subtask. If you do not master this specific subtask, then visualization-I is virtually impossible. Beyond a certain threshold of complexity, the burden on STM becomes to great and the visualization collapses. This specific type of board vision that is a subtask of visualization-I, I would like to call "aura vision". Aura = the squares that are covered by a piece. The lines or geometrical figure that emanate from the piece. If you can't see the aura of the pieces of the current position in an automatic and perfect way, you certainly will not be able too see it in future positions without an increasing toll on the STM.
I read the website of Momir Radovic (hattip to Robert). He talks about getting the chess basics right. As the chess basics, he identifies four actions a piece can do:
- Block (shielding the line of attack by a piece of minor value. putting it in a pin)
These four actions correlate with the actions I identified when a piece is under attack:
- Annihilate the attacker (= attack the attacker)
- Escape (= work your way through the holes in the restriction)
- Block (= block the line of attack with your own piece)
- Defend (= protect the piece under attack)
It is evident that we have indeed a few fundamental building blocks of the game here, and after ample thinking, I belief we have all fundamental building blocks here. Training subtasks of vision should start here. After reading mister Radivic's blog, I haven't been able to identify his solution of the vision training for each building block, until so far. Maybe one of the readers knows where he has written about that? He goes at great length to herald his solutions.
Three of the building blocks (attack, block and protect), are geared up around the pieces. Hence they are easy to learn. There are already two exercises available which are especially designed for this type of vision: point out the attacked pieces and point out the defended pieces. In practice, these three types of vision (attack, block and protect) don't pose much problems for advanced OTB players, since they can be learned by looking at the pieces. Heisman advised the attack and defence vision training especially for those who tend to leave their pieces en prise, if I'm not mistaken. Leaving a piece en prise without noticing it is uncommon beyond a certain level. And blocking the line of attack with a piece and forgetting it is pinned, is pretty uncommon too, so that's not where the problems lie. These are not the critical subtasks.
The critical subtask is aura vision. Since you don't see the aura when you focus solely on the pieces. For aura vision, you have to focus on the empty squares. From the four elementary building blocks of chess, as given by Radovic, "restrict" is related to aura vision. An example: when chasing a king over the board, you have to keep the king in an invisible cage, which fabric is made of the aura of the pieces.
Without perfect aura vision of the current position, your visualization of future positions is bound to collapse because of STM overload.
I will show you a position where that happens to me.
|White to move|
If I try to visualize all variations of the toa, then my visualization-I collapses time and again, so I will have to restart. I hope you suffer from the same problem in this position, because then you will understand what I am talking about, otherwise, imagine as if you were failing ;)