# How do I visualize a chess position

## How to visualize a position

I'm a decent player and pretty good at tactics and visualizing moves with a board in front of me. However, I find it very difficult to visualize positions and just move in my head. Are there any tricks that will make it easier to mentally visualize, or is it just something that involves a lot of practice?

Improving the view of the board

• If you are studying on your own, use a book with lots of diagrams so that you can check your visualization regularly, e.g. B. Logical chess: move by move by Irving Chernev
• When studying with a partner, ask them to call up the moves of a variation, then test your accuracy with questions like "What color square is the white knight on?"

Source: Adapted from the Chess studies by Andrew Soltis

Notes on visibility on board

• I like to put a small variation (often 2 or 3 whole moves) into words as a mini plan. Eg "Moves 4-6: White gambits a pawn to develop the bishop". It doesn't have to be a thorough analysis at all, just a narration of the steps to convert the algebraic notation to English
• "Long variation, wrong variation" - Bent Larsen in The wisest things ever said about chess , attributed by Andrew Soltis. In other words, visualizing a variation as deep as 20 motions is unlikely to be beneficial
• Don't let sub-variations haunt you
• To make visualization easier, study endgames (i.e. fewer parts to visualize).
• "You cannot see 64 fields at the same time" - attributed by Andrew Soltis to Alfred Binet in The wisest things ever said about chess . This is a natural limitation of human perception. Even looking at a board, you can only see 12-16 squares at a time. Try to summarize information to reduce the burden. For example, you can summarize information on words like "White has a castle king behind a fiance".

Example with an opening that you want to learn with white

Suppose you want to visualize the opening 1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. e4 e5 4. Nf3 Bb4 + 5. Bd2 Bxd2 + 6. Nbxd2 exd4 7. Bxc4 Nc6 8. OO Qf6 9. e5 Qg6 10. Re1 Nge7 11 Nb3 OO 12. Nfxd4

Let's visualize this step by step and check your visualization against the board in the spoiler tags below:

1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. e4

How close was your visualization? The way I remember it is in words to remind me of the mini plan: White plays a pawn to get an ideal center

PS. I have a screenshot of the location from Ubisofts Chessmaster used Since the replayer cannot be hidden in a spoiler tag: how do I hide chessboard in a spoiler tag? .

3 ... e5 4.Nf3

Black tries to tear off the center from white with the thematic ... e5, and white wants to protect the center

4 ... Bb4 + 5. Bd2 Bxd2 + 6. Nbxd2

Black develops a piece with speed. White offers a trade to develop another piece that lands on b3 to regain the Gambit pawn

6 ... exd4 7. Bxc4 Nc6

Black keeps his extra pawn for the time being, as White has to use a tempo to regain it

1. OO Qf6 9. e5 Qg6 10. Re1

White castles safe, while Black posts the queen to the kingside

10 ... Nge7 11. Nb3 OO 12. Nfxd4

Black castles removed. White wins the pawn back. Let the middlegame begin!

Source of variation and abbreviated analysis: Start: Queen's Gambit Accepted by A. Raetsky and M. Chetverik

Example with an opening that you want to learn with black

This is a little more difficult as the board is now rotated for both practical play and the spolier tags. Suppose you want to visualize the opening 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 dxc4 5. a4 Bf5 6. e3 e6 7. Bxc4 Bb4 8. OO Nbd7 9. De2 Bg6 10. e4 OO 11. Bd3 Bh5 12. e5 Nd5 13. Nxd5 cxd5 14. Qe3 Bg6

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3

Weiß 'most popular attempt in the Slavic language is to develop both knights early

4 ... dxc4 5. a4 Bf5 6. e3 e6 7. Bxc4

Black develops the light square bishop and locks it outside the pawn chain

7 ... Bb4 8. OO

Black develops a piece. White breaks the pen.

8 ... Nbd7 9. De2 Bg6 10. e4 OO

White expands in the middle

1. Bd3 Bh5 12. e5 Nd5 13. Nxd5 cxd5

The center is closed

1. Qe3 Bg6

Black offers to swap a bad bishop for a good one. Let the middlegame begin!

Source of variation and abbreviated analysis: The Slav: Move by Move by Cyrus Lakdawala

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