Chess Training Questions?

I have questions about Chess Visualization training .

1. What is the most efficient way of training it. Any free chess programs that I could use? It is even worth training it?

2. I've heard that memorizing the square colour helps, I have a program called chess eye which gives you the square in notation, eg. e4, c5 , h6 and you have to click if it is black or white, how does it actually help visualization? I don't visualize it though , it use more maths eg. a=1 b=2 . A1= 1+1

1+1=2

even = Black square odd = white square. I only really visualize squares like F7 , e4 , d4 , a1 ,a8 , h1 ,h8. I can see how it helps with blindfold chess but not in a game situation. There are also problems like when they give you the squares which pieces are on for example Kg1

Bh4 Na5 and you have to see if the king is mated. I can see how that helps your visualization as you actually have to visualize the pieces.

3. How long do I have to train before I can get to a stage where I am good at visualizing at least 4,5 moves ahead. What is a mean time? 1 year , 1 month? 1 week?

4.To train tactics , does it really help to spend hours solving tactical problems on websites like chesstempo? I've heard videos by GM Igor Smirnov and he states that they do help but not much unless you can achieve exactly the same position in a game situation which is rare. Same with chess books which offer tactics.

5. Does watching videos of GM's playing help you as well?

6. I've looked up an article about improving in chess and it states that to improve you just have to keep playing chess matches on chess websites and you will keep improving, is that true?

7. What is the best free website to play chess on, ICC is great but costs money. I currently play on chesscube however, I find that after playing with high level players, as suggested to improve, I run out of cubits which means I cannot play until the next day.

Thanks in advance. My FIDE rating is only 1689.

4 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Jeffrey's post is complete nonsense. (computers don't understand tactics? really? )

    1. I prefer studying tactics from books. Repetition (doing the same problems over and over) is important and you don't get that with websites. You can also use books any time or place. CT-ART used to be pretty popular though if you're looking for something computer based.

    2. Learn to visualize it. Working it out doesn't help you as much.Visualize the lines and how they intersect.

    3. I honestly don't know. I've always been able to visualize out as long as I needed to. If the main question you're asking about is visualization and not the tactics themselves I would recommend blindfold. Its not as hard as you would think. I discovered I could do it by accident when I was playing online once and the pieces didn't load but I kept playing anyway (and won). Just play a blindfold game and see how many moves you can play before you make a mistake. Keep trying until you can finish a whole game. You can play with another person or even on a computer.

    4. Its better than nothing but like I said above I prefer books.

    If that's what the GM actually meant then I would disagree. There's two aspects to training tactics: pattern recognition and calculation. Any problems will improve your calculating abilty whether you see it again or not. So, the statement is definitely wrong there. I guess I could see how that could kind of be true with pattern recognition but studying N forks will help me see other N forks. It doesn't matter where the other pieces are. (a pawn on h6 isnt going to make me miss a N fork on c7) Also problems help you look for the types of moves that start combinations so you have a better chance of finding them in a game.

    5. Going over games does. I don't know if videos add or detract from that. I guess it depends on the video (and the game)

    6. No. You need to study chess to get better. I don't know how many people I've seen that have played tens of thousands of games on websites and still have beginner ratings. Playing is important but studying is more important. Slow games are also better. Internet blitz is just for fun.

    7. I mostly play on FICS and instantchess. I have also played on chesscube, yahoo, gameknot, pogo and others. FICS is the simplest to just logon on and play with no BS.

    Edit: Jeffrey- I'd love to see you post a game of yourself beating Fritz 12 on the white side of a fried liver or an SMG. I have Fritz so I can double check the moves to see if your're telling the truth. Those openings are analyzed down to being equal for black. Its very hard for even GMs to beat a strong engine from an equal position. You claim to be able to do it so let's see!

  • alec39
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    "I have questions about Chess Visualization training"

    1. What is the most efficient way of training it. Any free chess programs that I could use? It is even worth training it?

    Yes it's worth it you should do visualization training exercises every day but it's best to work with a real chess clock and work everything out in your head.

    There are three parts to this training..........

    1) The first part is training you're intuition set your clock for perhaps 1-2 minutes per position solve as many problems as you can (write all your solutions down) you're going to get many of them wrong at first but with practice you'll get better at it the solutions will come to you faster you won't always know why but you're gut feeling will tell you the solution is right trust it.

    2) The second part of visualization training is working on your analytical ability for this you spend about 20-25 minutes per position analyzing it in your head like your playing a real game again write down all your thoughts on the position either on paper or a black book

    3) The third part is going over all your analysis and calculations moving the pieces on a real chess board to see if you were correct understanding the reasons why you weren't.

    "How long do I have to train before I can get to a stage where I am good at visualizing at least 4,5 moves ahead. What is a mean time? 1 year , 1 month? 1 week?"

    It depends if you do the training regularly and work hard at it you can't expect results in only 1 week that's ridiculous nobody gets better that fast you should see a big improvement six months to about a year if you keep at it some players it takes longer everyone is different.

    "To train tactics does it really help to spend hours solving tactical problems on websites like chess tempo?"

    In Tal's book 1000 Checkmate Combinations they advise not to take large of doses of "tactical medicine" you're mind needs time to absorb the information and ideas you're feeding it too much all at once is not going to help you improve. Do as much as you can handle but don't over do it!

    "Does watching videos of GM's playing help you as well"

    They can but I'd say the quality of GM videos really varies ranging from poor to excellent:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ET2HshchInM

    Youtube thumbnail

    "I've looked up an article about improving in chess and it states that to improve you just have to keep playing chess matches on chess websites and you will keep improving, is that true?"

    No,

    Playing online is absolutely the worst thing any beginner or intermediate can do to improve their Chess the sorry fact is most players cheat with engines go to a site like Chess any time try playing as a guest 1 out of 3 players use engines all day long it's the same story on most servers people are using a second computer to circumvent detection.

    It's a waste of time playing online if you want to get better you have to play with real players join a Chess club and pay your dues it's the only way.

  • 9 years ago

    I agree generally with David and Alec. Jeffrey is uninformed on most of the things he talks about. Among other things, modern chess programs will beat any human on the planet. GM's have given up playing public matches against them, instead they are used for analysis.

    Here are a couple of points not fully covered yet.

    A good free chess engine- Stockfish - Odd name, very strong program:

    http://www.stockfishchess.com/

    It's open source and free. It will beat any human any time.

    You are confused about the reason for the importance of the colors of squares. Unless you are playing blindfolded it is not required that you memorize the colors of squares based upon their grid identification.

    For example it is not especially important to simply know in the abstract that g7 is a black square. BUT in some key openings it is very important to be able to visualize the complex of dark squares around g7 and the diagonal. In the Dragon variation of the sicilian for example your dark squared bishop goes to g7 and you want it to stay there to rule the h8-a1 diagonal, while simultaneously protecting the dark squares in the vicinity of the king after you castle. If you trade off your dark square bishop or move it across the board in an attack too early, the complex dark squares around the king are said to be "weak" and you are going to have a tough time guarding those squares since you have already moved your pawn to g6. Look at some games with the Dragon and you will see that no other piece is really up to the job. The dark squares provide your opponent with open lines to attack your king. A knight on f6 is a good defender and is very important, but f6 is a dark colored square, so from f6 the Knight defends and attacks the light squares only, and can't take care of business without help. This is just one of many examples of the importance of visualizing colors of squares as you are looking ahead. Another simple example is remembering that a knight on a dark square attacks only light squares and vice versa.

    So the bottom line is that it is important to be able to visualize patterns of colored squares both for your defense and attacks. But except when you are playing blindfolded, associating the color with the grid name is not so important.

    Try FICS for a good free site Free Internet Chess Server-

    http://www.freechess.org/

    or pony up the cash for ICC.

    Gameknot.com is free and good for slow "correspondence" style chess updated to the internet.

    Last but not least. Get a coach or mentor and play over the board if you want to get better.

  • 5 years ago

    Unknown. Try it & see.

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