A lot of people think that chess masters are just really good at thinking ahead, but what actually sets them apart is their ability to visualize moves in a position. They can look at a move and know if it will work or not before making the decision to execute it.
This skill comes more naturally to some people than others, but no matter who you are, you can learn to improve your visualization skills. It’s possible to do!
There are several different strategies for improving your visualizing, and most can be done anywhere and any time. In this article, I’ll go over one such strategy – practicing with the help of computer software.
Practicing using computer software is an efficient way to hone your visualization skills because you don’t need human interference (like telling yourself “the king needs to stay here”) to determine whether a given idea works or not. Software also allows you to test out various ideas quickly, which helps you focus only on the important parts of the game.
I’ll also include some tips about how to use chess apps effectively so that you get the best learning experience possible.
Pay attention to the little things
There are several small, simple strategies that can make a big difference in how well you visualize chess positions.
Many of these tips focus on improving your perception or visualization. That is, thinking about ways to use clues from the position to understand what will happen next.
These strategies include paying close attention to the moves being made, looking at both sides of the board, and considering possible variations.
A lot of people think that just because they can recognize some moves in a position, then they know how to visualize it. But actually going through moves is very important!
Making sure you have all of the pieces before looking at a new move can help make this easier. By having everything ready, you will not need to look for the right piece or figure out where it goes until later. This can save time!
Another way to improve your visualization is by taking lots of notes. When you are studying a new opening, making note of interesting structures, ideas, concepts and patterns can help you remember what things mean.
Learn to read your opponent
A very important part of improving your chess is being able to recognize what your opponent is doing and how they are trying to win. You can do this by paying close attention to their position, what pieces they have moved, who has made moves and why, and how they are moving or interacting with each other.
By knowing what your opponents are thinking, you will be one step ahead of them in the game. This is especially true if they make a mistake because you will know where their next move should be!
You will also learn how to analyze positions more effectively. By looking at different variations on a theme, you will get a better understanding of the concepts that make up the game.
Use the clock
A very valuable tool in improving your chess visualization is having a watch or timer at your disposal. There are many types of timers available, from apps that have you set time for each move as it is made, to ones where you can track longer duration activities like taking a break or going to the bathroom.
The best type is one where you can create an account with it and then link this account to your computer so that it updates automatically. This way you do not need to remember to use it, it is always accessible through software or a browser online, and you get accurate times!
There are several free web-based versions of such clocks which work well too. The only thing you may run into is there is a limited number of moves allowed per minute, but this does not matter much if you are just practicing opening strategies or figuring out different pawn structures.
By using the timing feature, you will be able to determine how long certain moves take and make changes according to what you find.
Ensure your board is clean
A big factor in how well you visualize chess is whether or not there are pieces left lying around on the board. If you’re looking at an empty board, it can be difficult to picture what moves would look like!
If a piece has just been moved away, then it will eventually get picked up and re-positioned later on in the game. But if there are still bits of it laying about the board, then that can prevent you from clearly imagining where it might go next.
By cleaning out the board after each move, you will give yourself more time to work on visualization before the next step in the game. This will make it easier to envision what happens next.
Use the proper chess clock
The first way to improve your visualization is by using the correct type of chess timer. There are two main types of timers you can use in order to learn how to visualize better chess.
The first one is an internal timing device that works with your body’s natural rhythm. This can be done via an exercise app or through something like yoga. By setting aside time for training, you create an empty slot in your daily routine where you can devote some time to improving yourself.
The second kind of chess timer is external. These run on batteries and have a set amount of time before they need to be recharged. Some brands also offer reminder features so that it notifies you when the timer has ran out.
Position your pieces correctly
A lot of people think that just because they can draw chess moves quickly, therefore they are able to visualize them well. This is not true at all!
Most professional level players have very quick drawing hands, but they also have great position sense and understanding of how their own pieces interact with each other.
So how do you improve your position sense? By practicing it. You will never really know how much positional talent you have if you don’t use it!
Practice thinking about positions in terms of squares and connections. And once you have mastered those concepts, apply them to some easy games or exercises.
Another way to improve your position sense is by learning basic concepts like pawn structure, rook endgames, and so on. But remember, even the most advanced ideas can be summed up in simple rules!
We hope you enjoyed this article on ways to improve your visualization skill. If you did, then make sure to give the source link below a look so you can continue improving your game.
Use the right colors
Choosing your chess color scheme is very important! While not every player uses all of these colors, it is helpful to be familiar with at least one piece per color group. For example, if you typically use white as your main color, then using a black or gray piece may feel strange.
Some people prefer darker shades over brighter ones, so looking into what colors are popular can help find yours!
There are also some general rules about chess pieces having matching numbers (for pawns) or shapes (queen, rook, etc.). Some even have special rules for different types of squares (like an R-squared before the king cannot see in front of it).