How to Improve your Chess Visualization? | Chess Vision and Calculation Training | Alex Astaneh

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In this video, IM Alex Astaneh will introduce a new series that will help you to improve your chess visualization skills. First of all, what is visualization in chess? Visualization is the ability to picture a position in your mind, to hold that position in memory and to imagine how the pieces can move without actually moving them over the board. One of the biggest mistakes that we see, aspiring chess players make, is that they don’t practice their visualization skills anywhere near enough.

In order to improve your chess visualization, you should practice holding the position in your mind and developing your chess imagination. In this video, IM Alex Astaneh will show you one technique in which you can do this. In this series, eventually we will show you a variety of different techniques to constantly work on your chess visualization.

The technique shown in this video is a very simple one. It involves playing over master level games, in this case a game played by former world champion Anatoli Karpov, and what it involves, IM Alex Astaneh will read out the first three moves from either side but rather than playing out the moves, one by one, he will instead only play out the moves in the position after three moves have been played by each side. The challenge of this exercise is that you must try and imagine the position, follow along with your mind’s eye and only afterwards will he show the position. The beauty of this exercise is that you can progressively increase it. In this video, we start with three moves for each side. In future videos, we will show four moves for each side. You can then improve that to five moves each side, six moves each side and so on.

The world’s best chess players, like world champion Magnus Carlsen, are famous for being able to give simultaneous exhibitions where they play against ten, twenty or even more opponents at the same time wearing a blindfold around their head. That means that their visualization skills are so highly developed that they are able to hold all of these different positions in memory from the very beginning of a game to the end, all of them at the same time. Blindfold chess was considered miraculous for centuries, but now there is greater recognition of people who can keep track of more than one simultaneous blindfolded game. Grandmasters weren’t born knowing how to do that. It takes a lot of practice and patience, but after some time it will pay off.

[Event “Visualization “]
[Site “”]
[Date “2019”]
[Annotator “Alex Astaneh”]
1. d4 d5 2. Nc3 e6 3. e4 Bb4 4. e5 c5 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. bxc3 Ne7 7. Nf3 Nbc6 8. Be2
Qa5 9. O-O Qxc3 10. Bd2 Qb2 11. Rb1 Qxa3 12. Rb3 Qa2 13. Qc1 Nf5 14. Ra3 Nfxd4
15. Bd3 Nxf3+ 16. gxf3 Qxa3 17. Qxa3 O-O 18. Qxc5 Nxe5 19. Be2 Ng6 20. Qc7 f6
21. Bb4 Rf7 22. Qd8+ Nf8 23. Bb5 *


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155 Comments

  1. so how do you visualize the board and pieces? is it easier visualizing in 3d than in 2d?

  2. Thank you very much for your video. If it was your team involved also, then thank you to all.
    Now I know it's possible for a mortal to memorise full games (this thought had never occurred before).

  3. I cannot even imagine playing a game blindfolded calling out E4, D3, G3..& Win the Game. That’s an INSANE Level of Expertise.

  4. how does it help me in game if i will learn this???

  5. You could've at least explained why the final position was hopeless for black.

  6. Wow this channel is most informative helping a beginner to level up his skills..deserve a million subscriber

  7. my coordinate notation must not be super fluent, because I had to listen at 0.5x speed for the exercise

  8. I have Aphantasia, meaning I don't have a mind's eye… I have no idea why I'm watching this lol

  9. Great presentation Alex! Enjoyed your perspective and method.

  10. I can't follow it,it really needs to pertice a lot

  11. Great suggestion from Alex. Start small. Start by picturing 3 moves, then 4,…, and then the whole game!

  12. I just found this channel and it's so useful!! I can't believe the videos are so helpful and yet free 😛
    Thank you so much!

  13. Whew! I can visualize love and evol, but exsanguination backwards???

  14. Great experience doing exactly what you prescribed. This game was comparatively easy but with more practice with this method visualisation should improve. Truly like your teaching style Alex! Thank you

  15. how did u do the castle when u got already checked?

  16. Way too fast for me. Any recommendations how to start with something easier?

  17. He too fast play it with 0.5 speed its gonna be👌👌👌

  18. I think I might have some form of Aphantasia in some mild form, so it really gets complicated to do such a visualization…

  19. At first it sounds a bit like the queens gambit how she just plays on her ceiling

  20. Thank you so much for this video and all of your great videos. When you say three moves and ask, "Can you visualize that position in your mind?" my answer is "no." I don't have the ability to see any images in my mind. I can't even visualize an object like an apple. When I try to "visualize" in chess, I must look at the board, and memorize which squares contain which pieces as I think ahead (and the memorization is not easy and is too slow for the fast pace of this video). Looking at the board shows me the relationships between the squares. I can't even see an empty board in my head. It baffles me when I watch strong players analyze by looking off into space. My question is: can I ever get to be a strong chess player? I feel like I've been at a rating plateau (probably around 1800 FIDE) for many years, and visualization is holding me back.

  21. I have aphantasia, is there a way for me to visualize?

  22. I like the person skills I subscribed as well

  23. wow you’re talking about photographic memory there.. hmmm 🤔 I don’t have one sadly 😝 How’s your sleep pattern? Full 8hrs?

  24. I enjoy the extra layer of difficulty when asking us to memorize moves and then showing an advertisement. From a loyal watcher of many of your videos I would only suggest you move the commercial to the beginning in cases like this.

  25. Guess Gonna Call those Grandmasters an alien xd

  26. Woodglut scripts contain most of the woodworking plans you can find.

  27. you say the movies to fast how do i develope these skills

  28. you are saying the moves to fast for me to visualize

  29. 6:30
    At this time, according to chess.com, white was +3.08 rating up than black. Agreed that Queen takes C3 was a blunder 👍👍.

  30. A one video, in chess faculty on whole you tube, which deserves real attention.

  31. Thank u sir, I will practice this at my home.

  32. Feel bad for all the Aphantasia chess players.

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