Chess Visualization Training | Simple Exercise To Improve Your Skills

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In this video lesson, GM Igor Smirnov talks about one of the most overlooked, and at the same time, one of the most important chess subjects – chess visualization.

Chess visualization is about your ability to see (visualize) different moves and variations in your mind without moving the pieces on the board. Playing the game of chess is nothing more than visualizing different possible variations and picking the best one.

It would not matter if you know all the tactical motifs or if you are good at calculating variations. If you cannot see/visualize the position accurately while calculating, you will inevitably make a lot of miscalculations and blunders.

In this training, GM Igor Smirnov teaches how to do an interesting exercise of visualizing 3 moves ahead. It is important an skill to be able to visualize 3 moves because most of the chess calculations and tactics involve at least 3 moves.

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► Chapters

00:00 Chess Visualization Training
01:46 3 moves visualization exercise
02:30 Game: Albin vs Bernstein
04:22 Improve your visualization skills
06:14 Why visualize 3 moves?
08:03 Almost there…
09:04 Final exercise (advanced players)
09:56 For beginners/intermediate players

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97 Comments

  1. You did not play now on chess tournament coach?

  2. Yes, helpful. It could just about manage most if the visualizations. I'm about level 1150.

  3. Excellent, just right for me. Age:73, thank you! 👍🏿🍀🍰

  4. Excellent idea (and I saw all the moves, including Qxf3). Do you know the books by Martin Justesen, an average player who prepared nice visualization exercises, e.g. in "Blindfold Opening Visualization" (in which he offers 5 or six moves of a game, typically an opening trap, and the reader is supposed to find the continuation, usually a one-mover, without looking at a board)? The other book is "Blindfold Endgame Visualization". Being an average player myself, I fully agree that knowing tactical motives (pin, skewer and co.), pattern recognition (including middlegame structures, typical endgames) and visualization are crucial to reach, like, ELO 1900-2100. I'm still working on it.

  5. This is great! Thank you for this format Igor! Really helpful

  6. queen takes knight is the winning move. It can not be taken because of Rg6#

  7. its a bit hard, i need to pause the video every now n them

  8. My guess is rook E1 to keep pressure with the queen and rook

  9. After the final set of moves (1. Qa4 Qe2 2. Rf1) Black plays 3. …Qxf3 winning a piece, because of 4. gxf3 Rg6 checkmate. I could visualize all these moves blindfold fairly easily, even though my rating is only about 1600, because the position is relatively simple.
    More of these exercises would be very useful, Igor.

  10. i'm not sure if this is right but after white plays Rf1 I think queen can take the knight on f3 and if white takes your queen with there pawn you can checkmate with Rg6

  11. LOL you can see his cat sleeping in the background

  12. Rook take pawn e4 then attack e8 possibility to chek mate

  13. The at behind him be like: yyo dude, you''re soo boring🙄

  14. Qxf3 with blindfold let's gooo!! Because rook can mate him !

  15. I came searching for this topic after the recent Huberman lab episode on mental training and visualisation. Chess lends itself well to the protocol he prescribes. His protocol also lends itself well to chess (it may seem like a 'duh' comment, but think it through). My rating is around 1800 – 1900 (OTB) so you can use that in judging the value of my comment. Surprisingly for me, this is the first time I have trained this way, and I found this a helpful and informative video.

  16. High Igor, 

    Maybe this course has been one year ago and there have not been enough likes to continue visualization training courses on the net at that time. I peg you to unveil more methods to improve visualization. It's crucial for me and I believe for many other students who attach to all your courses and are fan of yours. Maybe you have already done a separate course to this topic and I can buy it. Or I can use the exercises of "Calculate until mate" to train it more deeply

    Best Regards and keep doing so well
    Christian

  17. Black queen blasts the f3 knight, white queen comes to b3 to challenge black's queen, black replies Qe2 and resumes his attack.

  18. I would really like you to do more of these; I found it quite hard (especially until I realised the pawn on e6 was pinned) but it was a very useful exercise. Please do more videos like this, but don't make them too difficult too quickly!

  19. Qxf3 white can't take it because if he takes it he will get mated by Rg6#

  20. ending some pins still confusing me …

  21. The best move I could find at the end of the puzzle with black was Qxf3. If the pawn captures, it's checkmate with Rg6#. But if he doesn't, then I'd have won decisive material advantage. I did that while looking at the screen, not blindfolded.

  22. Amazing video and exercise. The only thing I would change is that you started the video with the black pieces, it's easier to start visualization with the white pieces on the bottom.

  23. 2. Queen takes f3, if 3. gxf3, then Rook g6 checkmate

  24. Is it an absolute that one must learn all the alpha numeric positions in order to be competitive at chess? I can visualize the moves I want to make and the moves that my competition might make, but I don't assign an identity to each square and each piece. Is this just a lazy way of playing or can I continue down this path and still improve?

  25. very good job, I think black should play ..c6 with the idea of opening the d straight

  26. The solution to the puzzle is Qxf3, because if pawn takes than Rg6#. And in other variations you are simply up an entire piece.

  27. Hahaha. I just vizualized correctly in the opening, the rest I got lost. OMY God. I didn't know how weak I am in vizualization.

  28. That's why I miscalculated a lot even I am very good at tactics.

  29. Maybe it would be nice to show only the board without the pieces. And then after each three moves you will shown the board with the pieces 🙂

  30. There's a GM who says that chess visualization training is such a waste of time because all you have to do is solve chess problems and play and your chess visualization will improve. It's very hard for a skilled chess player such as a GM to understand that there are people who play chess all their lives but yet can't see more than 1.5 moves which equals to I move, you move, and I move.

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